Name: Mike Carpenter 
Age: 76
Residence: Trapper Creek, AK

Occupation: Owner of Wal-Mikes Store

Years lived in Alaska: 65

Current Location: Trapper Creek, AK

Date of Photo: February 20, 2021
Temperature: 5F / -15C
Current Weather: Partly Cloudy

Image Description: MIKE STANDS OUTSIDE AT THE ENTRANCE TO HIS WAL-MIKE STORE IN TRAPPER CREEK. A LITTLE BIT OF EVERYTHING YOU NEED: “WHY BUY NEW WHEN YOU CAN GET IT USED FOR THE SAME PRICE?” 

What first brought you to Alaska:

I first came to Alaska because I came up here with my mom in 1956 and little brothers, and just looking for a better way of life. Come from Kansas. There were no trees to cut down there, so we come up here actually for a better way of life. And we like to starve to death. That’s how good it was.

How has Alaska captured your heart?

Alaska has captured my heart because there was just opportunities for free enterprise, everything. I cleaned bars. I washed dishes. I was a box boy at Piggly Wiggly in Spenard. I painted houses. I washed refrigerators and ovens. I worked for realtors. I’ve worked all my life and the free enterprise system means a lot to me. Freedom, freedom, freedom. 

Describe just one of your favorite “Best Days” or  “Most memorable experiences”  in Alaska. 

My most memorable experience is probably the ’64 earthquake [inaudible 00:00:09] real high. Because I was a senior that year, so I remember it very well. And again, I was working at Piggly Wiggly in Spenard. And Alaska was a very, very special place. Everybody come together that night, and we passed out baby food, we passed out milk, we took care of everybody. Nobody slept for three days, and passed out all the fresh meat and groceries. And Alaska is just made up of wonderful people. It really is.

What in Life do you know for sure?

What I know for sure in life is the number one at the very top of the lift is my relationship with God. I have a very short sermon. Jesus died for my sins and if you don’t believe me, go to hell. And everything comes after that. And it’s got nothing to do with religion. It’s got to do with the word of God and it’s got to do with what’s real.

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