Evan's Eyes

Web Log Entry #0062, Saturday, April 19, 2003: Day 152 -- Supplemental

I received the following letter in January, 2005, concerning my post about the Dimond Mall. In the interest of accuracy (which I do care about now and then), I've added it in its entirety:

Dear Mr. Nichols,

I've been enjoying reading your blog about your indenture in Anchorage. However, since I was born and raised, and have lived most of my life in Alaska, I found one sentence in particular that I need to clarify for you, just in case no one else has. The sentence comes from Anchorage log #0062, 4-19-03, Day 152: "To celebrate, I went to Anchorage's biggest mall, the Dimond (their spelling, not mine) Center."

It's a common misconception of outsiders who see that sign, and Dimond High School's, that Alaskans are trying to mean 'diamond', the gem, when in fact we mean something entirely different.

'Dimond' comes from A.J. Dimond. Anthony J. Dimond was an Alaskan statesman. He left a teaching position in New York and came to Alaska in 1905, then he spent the rest of his life protecting and defending the land he loved. Motivated by the goal of statehood for his adopted homeland, Dimond entered politics. He served four terms in the Alaska Territorial Legislature, and as mayor of Valdez for nearly a decade, and eventually became Alaska's sole delegate to the U.S. Congress (1933-45). His first acts in Washington were to introduce a Statehood Bill, which was ignored, to urge construction of the Alaska Highway, and to advise that fortifications be built in Fairbanks and Anchorage. Dimond ended forty years of public service as a Federal Judge for the Third Judicial District. In May of 1953, Judge Dimond suffered a heart attack and died a week later at Providence Hospital in Anchorage. November 30, his birthdate, was designated as A.J. Dimond Day to commemorate his distinguished service.

As far as many Alaskans are concerned, calling him 'Diamond' would perfectly fit the durability and worth of his service and character, but that's just not how the man spelled his name. Just thought I'd let you know. Great blog, though, I'm enjoying it very much because it lets me see this place with new eyes; I like to gain perspective. It's easy to lose one's perspective anywhere, but especially here.

Scott Woodham

<== Back - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - Next ==>


© 2003 Evan M. Nichols