One winter Sunday I strolled
Towards the Bering Sea in the cold
For a G-rated flick
Not my first pick
But at the theater they call Coast of Gold

Synopsis: I’m a Family Practitioner from Sioux City, Iowa. In 2010 I danced back from the brink of burnout, and honoring a 1 year non-compete clause, travelled and worked in out-of-the-way places in Alaska, Nebraska, Iowa, and New Zealand. After three years working with a Community Health Center, I am back having adventures in temporary positions until they have an Electronic Medical Record System (EMR) I can get along with. Right now I’m in Nome, Alaska.

The first time I went to college, I went as a music major. Even though I understood it, I intensely disliked opera; I found the score weak musically and the libretto (the story) frivolous at best, and always poorly written. The comic opera lacked funniness.

My dislike of such a genre extends to musical comedy. It doesn’t make me laugh, the music doesn’t make me want to dance, and the lyrics don’t inspire me to memorize them and sing them in the shower.

I make it a point to avoid G-rated movies; I find scripts aimed at children, well, juvenile.

Nonetheless I walked over to Nome’s Gold Coast Cinema and Subway Shop to see Annie.

I went for the experience and to have an excuse to walk in 5 degree weather to the edge of the Bering Sea.

I found modern, stadium seating and a ticket priced at $9. The Subway sandwich shop in the lobby added previously unknown variety to the concession menu. And probably few Subways offer popcorn and movie candy.

Perhaps because the weather just turned cold, or perhaps because school goes back into session tomorrow, the crowd numbered under 50. Children in heavy show boots clomped up and down the stairs most of the performance, going to and from the bathroom and the concession stand.

At the end of the show I leaned my back against the wall of the outsized foyer (in Alaska architecture called the Artic Entry, in Inupiaq the cunichuq, which allows for donning and removing layers) and slipped on my Yak Trax, a device of coiled steel spring and rubber, which, applied to the soles of one’s boots, gives traction on ice.

Outside, though 5 degrees colder than yesterday, I found I adapted quickly to the winter and I stood on the seawall overlooking the Bering Sea. I gazed off to the west, towards Russia, a country I have no urge to visit.

I looked over Norton Sound, and thought of the 1950’s John Horton song, “North to Alaska” and the classic line, Just a little southeast of Nome.

Southeast of Nome will put you into some very frigid water; this town is located on the southern shore of the Seward Peninsula.

Alas, popular music failed in historical accuracy. Sort of like comic opera failing at comedy.

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