Parks and Recreation Image

Juneau-Douglas City Museum

Nordmark, Patsy Popejoy

by Patsy Popejoy Nordmark

I was born in Juneau in 1943, and graduated from high school in 1961.

I have a few memories of the period from 1945 to 1948 when we lived in the basement apartment of the Jenne house on Seventh Street at the top of the Main Street stairs. Crystal Snow Jenne came from a “Days of ’98” pioneer family. Mrs. Jenne’s daughter, Corrine Kenway and her children, Virginia and David, lived with her. Their house was full of antiques, which did not get much respect from the three of us rampaging preschoolers. There was a room in the basement which was usually locked and in which we were forbidden to go. We were disappointed when we finally got into the room and found it was full of old letters, programs and pictures. Of course, none of us were old enough to read, and we didn’t know it was Mrs. Jenne’s treasure trove of her life history. The subsequent spankings were enough to keep us from further investigations.
During this World War II time period, we had civil defense drills when all the lights in town were blacked out, and we had to practice evacuating. When we were at home during an “air raid,” we left the house and went up Basin Road. I remember being quite small and running with my mother in the pitch dark just past the last house on Basin Road. I remember looking down into Gold Creek and being afraid that I would go over the edge. When we were in church, we evacuated to the open space under Calhoun Avenue.

We were still living in the Jenne house when my mother Ruth Popejoy, Corrine Kenway, and Carol Beery Davis worked to establish the concert circuit of the Alaska Music Trails. They worked in conjunction with impresario and concert pianist Maxim Shapiro, who was quite a character.