Friday, January 13, 2012

Alaska History: "The Aunt Phil's Trunk" series

Meet the Author Series at Paragraphs
Saturday, 14th January 2012 4-6 PM

Alaska History: “The Aunt Phil’s Trunk” series

Lecture followed by book signing and reception with author, Laurel Bill

Third-generation Alaskan, Laurel Downing Bill, is author of the recently released “Aunt Phil’s Trunk” series.
The four volume series developed after Laurel inherited newspaper clips, research and rare Alaska history books from her Alaska historian aunt, Phyllis Downing Carlson, who died in 1993. The series started in July 2002 as a weekly newspaper column, “Aunt Phil’s Trunk”, in The Anchorage Chronicle.

Each volume contains over 300 historical photographs to complement vivid stories about Alaska's history.

Laurel is also scheduled for a Writer's Workshop, hosted by the Valley Byliners, at the Harlingen Public Library in February.  The subject of her presentation will be "Getting that Book Published" and we are pleased to have her stop by Paragraphs for our Literary Mercado, on Saturday.

Born in Fairbanks in 1951, Laurel moved to Juneau in 1959 after her father, Richard Downing, became the state’s first commissioner of public works.

She graduated from an American high school in Mallorca, Spain, in 1969 and then attended one year of college in Leysin, Switzerland. Laurel returned to Alaska in 1970, where she eventually met her husband, Don, in Fairbanks. In 1974, the couple moved to King Salmon – a small village about 360 air miles southwest of Anchorage. There they raised their two children, Kim and Ryan, in the remote community while Don worked as area biologist for the Alaska Department of Fish and Game Commercial Fisheries Division and Laurel worked her way up to assistant general manager for the Bristol Bay Telephone Cooperative Inc.

After 24 years, they retired into Anchorage. That’s when Laurel decided to go back to college. She graduated from the University of Alaska with a degree in journalism in 2003.

"Aunt Phil's Trunk: Volume 1," released in 2006, features a spectacular photo essay following the harrowing routes rugged prospectors traveled to get to the Klondike, including the all-water route from Seattle to St. Michael and on to Dawson, as well as the Stikine, White Pass and Chilkoot Pass trails.

"Aunt Phil's Trunk: Volume 2," hot off the press May 2007. includes stories about Alaska’s early lawmen – and the criminals they pursued – along with its pioneering postmen and rugged adventurers who challenged the Great Land’s highest peaks.

Released in May 2008, volume 3 spans 1912-1935 and highlights the pioneering spirit of early Alaskans as they enter a new era as a territory of the United States with stories about early Anchorage and the Alaska railroad, epidemics and rescues in the Far North and the daring flyboys of the 1920s.

"Aunt Phil's Trunk: Volume 4" captures the essence of life in Alaska between 1935 and 1960. Its vivid stories highlight major events of World War II, the Cold War era, a secret Russian mission to Fairbanks, Alaska's 91-year struggle for statehood, heroic Alaska Airlines flights for freedom, Alaska Natives battles against discrimination and how Anchorage blossomed into a jewel on the tundra.

Discover more about Laurel and the Aunt Phil’s Trunk series at
This event is free and open to the public. Refreshments will be provided.
Paragraphs On Padre Boulevard,
5505 Padre Blvd. South Padre Island, TX 
For information call us at 956-433-5057

No comments: