THERE ARE LOTS OF reasons to go to the Alaska State Fair in Palmer every year. Turkey legs and crab cakes and cream puffs. The Elks’ Rat Race. The giant cabbages. The Scheer Lumberjack Show, where my friend Rhonda Sleighter can sigh over Fred “The Silver Fox” Scheer’s biceps. Yodeling along with Hobo Jim at the Sluice Box.

Wait a minute. Yodeling?

You bet. Also howling like a wolf, yipping like a coyote, and stamping like an elephant. Also dancing until your feet hurt and singing until you’re hoarse. Hobo Jim has that effect on people from up there on stage, bright blue eyes and evil grin flashing out from beneath the crushed brim of a white straw cowboy hat, fingers a blur on the guitar strings, foot stomping hard enough to go through the stage.

And in fact, he went through a stage once during a performance, in 1982 in Evergreen, Colorado, stomping hard enough to go through all the way up to his waist. What did he do? “Climbed out and kept playing. The crowd went nuts.”

Alaska Traveler Chatter

Dana View All →

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