Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Tisha BY/as told to Robert Specht

Tisha is the true adventure love story  of Anne Hobbs, who at 19 years of age in 1927 ventures to Alaska to teach school.  It is her memoir as told to Robert Specht.  After we spent weeks in Alaska last year I have a very deep appreciation of it's natives and history and cannot read enough about it.  I was browsing in the Goodwill book section and had a conversation with another woman who is also a self confessed reader junkie, she spotted this book, paperback, published by Bantam Books in March 1977 on the very low priced bargain shelf and handed it to me declaring it one of the best books she had ever read.  I had told her I am fond of history and memoirs and prefer non-fiction.  I recognized this book from our Alaskan trip as one I considered buying  while there but did not because I had a box full already to ship home.  I snatched it up.  At  first I thought Tisha was an Indian name but learned it was the way the Alaskan Indians pronounced "teacher" and the name that stuck with her.  

The first sentence transported me immediately to the wild country of Alaska and  this frontier, places we visited that  preserve the same structures as the  gold rush times and before--Eagle,  Chicken, Dawson, deep Yukon territory and the vastness of the land  and reawakened  my appreciation for those who ventured there way back then.  Anne begins,  "I have lived in the Forty Mile country of Alaska for a long time, but even now, every so often when I'm out rock-hunting or looking for fossils< I get lost."  It was not an easy life and had Anne not been venturous and head strong she would not have made it and lived to tell, it was not a time for timid or weak people but for survivors.  It begins September 4, 1927, "Even though it was barely eight o'clock and the sun had just  come up, practically the whole crew of Eagle had turned out to see the pack train off.  ...Mrs Rooney tells Ann, One thing you'll learn  is that it doesn't take much to collect a crowd in Alaska..."   


It's only 342 pages but likely out of print now, although it is a current seller in Alaskan bookstores and the Yukon territory today,   I agree that the book is wonderful and give it 5 *****.  It's a keeper.