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Rampart Alaska
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Rampart Alaska

A friend gave me vintage postcards of Alaska. Her Grandmother left Chicago in the early 1900s to mine for gold. This is one of those postcards of the place where Robert Service (not an ancestor) wrote his famous poem, The Cremation of Sam McGee. I was originally going to put the poem to the page, but the thing is really quite long, so I opted for a summary. On the back of the postcard, handwritten says: Robert Service wrote famous poem here about 1917. They got the date wrong by 10 years.

Wikipedia: The Cremation of Sam McGee is among the most famous of Robert W. Service (1874 - 1958) poems. It was published in 1907 in Sons of a Sourdough. (A sourdough in this sense, is a resident of the Yukon.) It concerns the cremation of a prospector who freezes to death near Lake Laberge, Yukon, Canada, as told by the man who cremates him.

The night prior to his death the title character, who is from the fictional town of Plumtree, Tennessee, asks the narrator to swear that, foul or fair, youll cremate my last remains. The narrator knows that A pals last need is a thing of heed, and swears he will not fail to cremate him. After McGee dies the following day, the narrator winds up hauling the body clear to the shore edge of Lake Lebarge before he finds a way to perform the promised cremation aboard a derelict steamer called the Alice May. Much to the narrators horror, he later discovers Sams ghost in the makeshift crematorium, enjoying the warmth. Robert Service based the poem on an experience of his roommate, Dr. Sugden, who found a corpse in the cabin of the steamer Olive May.
A success upon is initial publication in 1907, the poem became a staple of traditional campfire storytelling in North America throughout the 20th century. An edition of the poem, published in 1986 and illustrated by Ted Harrison, is read widely in Canadian elementary schools.

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A fascinating story and poem, and a very beautiful tribute page! Gorgeous framing using the transfers/elements. I love the old postcard village setting and the glowing light. Wonderful page!
 
Wjat a great story ... now I need to go find the poem. the dawn of a special day -- your blending is amazing
 
An interesting story and page. I wonder what it is about the story that makes teachers in Canadian schools read it to the children. Not having read it, it sounds like a Halloween story.
 
Interesting story and journaling. Love the blended postcard. This reminds me of a Jack London story "To Build a Fire" that I use to read to my 8th boys.
 
Anytime I see a mention of Robert Service, my radar goes up. Beautiful page, and it reminds me of a time in Ketchikan when we were browsing along a back street, and a random guy leaning against a fence started reciting a Robert Service poem. My husband joined in and they had a duet--word for word. Alaska is indeed a special state.
 

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