Here come the dogs
Our publisher in memoriam Nancy McGuire loved this time of the year. When there is a buzz in the air as Nome gets ready for the mushers to come in, when the Iditarod Burled Arch is moved from its permanent place between City Hall and the Youth Checkpoint to the middle of Front Street. And of course when on March 17, Nome wears Green and puts on the traditional St. Patrick’s Day Parade. When Nome’s Front Street brims with visitors, wearing big parkas and even bigger boots, who are curious about Alaska’s Oldest Newspaper so conveniently located a stone’s throw away from the Iditarod finish line and who stop in to say ‘Hi’. Even on deadline days, she loved it.
Nancy loved to host journalists from all across the country and the world. She loved the interaction, even during our busiest time as we crank out yet another Nome Nugget newspaper and get it ready for the printer.
Nancy loved to present her own two dogs and loved to tell the story of her terrier Snoopy attempting to bite then-Governor Tony Knowles in the rear end during a courtesy visit with the lady of the Nugget.
She used to chuckle that whenever Knowles returned for a visit, he was at the ready and had a dog biscuit to bribe the dog.
Iditarod time is a special time for Nome, when even the most jaded get a bit nostalgic about the good ole’ times when “Men were men and Women won the Iditarod.”
Iditarod stands for the perserverance necessary to make it down a very long trail. To deal with adversity and to use one’s wits and skills to get through whatever Alaska and Mother Nature throws at you. It is a test of endurance and a test of a special relationship that forms between a human and a dog team.
Nancy cherished all this and supported the Last Great Race with all her heart. But don’t tell her that the Nugget cannot be in the chute when the winner comes in! One year the Iditarod wanted to restrict the Nugget’s access to the chute. That idea didn’t get very far. Nancy threatened to chain herself to the Burled Arch and, ha, have them try to throw her out. That was that.
We are looking forward to bringing you another year of Iditarod coverage, yes, including a photo from the winner in the chute.
Thank you, Nancy, for breaking trail for us. —D.H.—