Hanson Fathers and Sons – Fossil Photo

Bill, Billy, and Milton Hanson with fossil
Writer William Arthur Hanson (Bill Hanson) with his grandfather, Billy, and father, Milton. Fossil found by 10-year-old Bill.

In launching the Alaska Billy Website yesterday, the photo shown in this post appeared in Facebook without the caption. My grandfather collected fossils and artifacts throughout his life. He knew they were petrified wood and remnants of dinosaurs, but didn’t investigate further as far as I can tell. When he and my grandmother sold the ranch and moved to town in 1964, they still didn’t have running water or a telephone; there was still a privy behind house. The costs were simply beyond their income level. And yet, Billy embraced technology like motorized vehicles and electricity when they became available in the 1920’s and 1930’s. What would his life had been like in the world of cell phones and the internet, I wonder.

This is just an update to yesterday’s post. I plan to post to the Alaska Billy Blog approximately every two weeks.


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William Arthur Hanson (Bill Hanson) is an Alaskan writer who searches for the roots of life in landscapes and the inhabitants they shape. He draws on 30 years as a biologist, forester, and ecologist. He has worked from the rainforests of Southeast Alaska to the subarctic taiga of the Interior. His writing mixes his deep knowledge of Alaska with people and places from his worldwide travels to Vietnam, Russia, Mexico, Ecuador, Europe, Malaysia, and much of the United States.

2 thoughts on “Hanson Fathers and Sons – Fossil Photo”

  1. And some of that technology was really interesting. Remember the windmill that stored electricity in a battery, which then ran the lights and frig in the house? (So glad you got this started, I’m looking forward to the adventure as you explore our grandfather’s history.)

    1. Thanks. Actually I didn’t know or didn’t remember that there was a windmill that generated electricity. I’ll have to chat with you more about this on the side. The topic of the influences of changing technology is a theme I want to pursue in the blog. During Billy’s life and even more so during his parents’ lives, the railroad was transforming the western U.S. Electricity, automobiles, powered sawmills and farm equipment. So many changes.

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