By Randi Somers
Calling his title character “Everlasting,” Bumppo Bremiker is writing a series of books about a young village girl. The girl sets out down river to find her father and uncle who had been fishing when a spring flood wiped out her village and stranded the men down toward the ocean.
She finds a magic stick that allows her to speak with animals in their language and they help her in her search. She finds her father’s skin canoe and continues toward the ocean in her search.
A fisherman himself, Bumppo also taught in two villages, Point Graham and Perryville, where he learned the intimate details of village life that are so graphically portrayed in his first book.
He dedicated the book to his grand daughters Gillian and Xoe saying, “I told these stories to your papa when he was little and he suggested I write them down for you.”
Bumppo grew up in North Dakota and Minnesota, where he spent summers on rivers and lakes. After high school he followed his dream of coming to Alaska, the prime location for hunting and fishing.
He went south again and studied anthropology and history at the University of Minnesota and then returned to Alaska. After trapping for awhile near Fairbanks, he staked out five acres of state land on a bluff overlooking Kachemak Bay with the mountains and glaciers on the far side.
Lured to be closer to the ocean, he moved to a log cabin in a protected cove on the far side of Kachemak Bay where he restored a 1929 Bristol Bay sailboat into a commercial fishing boat. He raised his son and daughter fishing for halibut, shrimp and crab and hunting and gathering most of their food.
Eventually they moved to Homer where he continued to fish and also works in carpentry. After earning his captain’s license, he ran halibut charters and freight hauling boats.
Then, at age 50, he returned to college and earned his teaching degree and taught kindergarden through tenth grade in remote villages where he gained the experience and knowledge that are the core of his books.
His first one, “Everlasting and the Great River, adventures of an Alaska Dené girl,” has just been published and is available at the Homer Bookstore. He credits Bob Parsons for the illustrations, Robin Parsons for editing and his wife Lindianne for final edit and much more.
The first book is a prelude to the girl’s urge to cross the ocean and explore the world. Bumppo said he will write five or six more to complete the story.
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