My stomping ground is a little town near Anchorage, Alaska called Yakutat. Now we don’t do things around here the same as you folks in the lower 48. I fish for salmon and there is no more beautiful place in the world to do it than here. Life is simple and that’s the way we like it. I originally lived in Houston, Texas, where life was not so simple. The big city life was crushing my spirit. I knew that life did not have to be so complicated – so filled with stress via mortgage payments, car loans and unnecessary debts.
I felt suffocated in that cement jungle of superficial manufactured wants. It took me many years to realize that all that crap advertised on TV is a manufactured want. I don’t need it, but some corporation (who invented this “want”) wants me to have it. Not because I need it, because the corporation will make money if I buy it. In short, corporations care about one thing and one thing only – profit for the corporation.
Well, it has become very difficult to profit off this little guy in Alaska. My new life doesn’t revolve around consumerism. It centers around my environment, my community and the general well being of all concerned, including the wildlife. I love it here. It’s indescribably beautiful. My best friend John is getting married, so the question is, “Am I losing my friend or gaining a new one?” We’ll see.
John and I were looking online for groomsmen gifts for me and some of the other guys and I must admit we had some laughs on some of the items other people thought we should buy. Pocket watches are a good example. A pocket watch in Alaska? You’re kidding right? They are about as useful as a bikini would be. Where I live, they would freeze solid as a rock but might make a decent fishing lure. Which brings me to another stupid gift for any mountain man. Cufflinks! Ha ha, please save your money! I’m sure a steelhead would bit on one and that’s what I would end up using your expensive cufflinks for. Fishing lures! That’s what it would be good for. No wait, let me check my calendar. Nope. No black tie events scheduled for the next month. Oh wait, none scheduled for the next ten years. What a relief!
Now that we’ve talked about some of the ridiculous gifts you might give a groomsman in Alaska, let’s talk about some more useful gifts for groomsmen. We hunt and fish, so you can’t go wrong choosing any gift that involves any of those two activities. Fishing reels, rods and lures are always great gifts for any guy in Alaska. As for hunting, give me a good hunting knife or razor sharp folding knife any day of the week and I’ll use it for a lifetime. I’ve got a Gerber folding knife with a serrated blade. Don’t ask me the model number because I have no idea. But I do know it’s a good knife and I wouldn’t go out without it. That’s it! Still trying to figure out what are the best grooms gifts for an Alaskan? Stick with man tools! You can’t go wrong.