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We cruised into Juneau; all awake and ready to go to town. I had called the ranger station and given Sandra a heads up, without any personal inference, in case anyone else happened to be listening to that channel on the radio. She was curious, right up until I mentioned marriages. She wished us luck and I told her we would be back out in that neighborhood in a few days again.
Arriving in Auke Bay, we tied up at a public dock. There were some yachts there bigger than mine. As a matter of fact, we tied up right behind Paul Allen’s huge yacht. From what I could find out, he had it brought up from Seattle, and would be up at some future date to go out on it. It was a sweet boat. Very sweet. At least from the outside.
May and I caught a cab to the airport, and there rented a mini-van for our stay. Driving back to the dock I discovered that traffic in Juneau was not much different than in California or anywhere else. I am not sure what I expected for sure, but it was a pleasant surprise to see that I could drive here without any problems.
Carl and I sat in the front, and the ladies all crowded into the back. We headed off into town to a bridal shop that Anne and Julie had found in a phone book listing. Dropping them off there, Carl and I headed on down to a realtor’s office and I began my search for a place.
We talked to them for a bit and found out that a remote property like I wanted…we wanted to have…was hard to come by. Most of the land in Southeast Alaska was either Forest Service and National Park land or it was native corporation lands.
Looking at what they had, which was very little to choose from, I made an appointment to fly out to two of the one’s I felt closest met my criteria. Carl had stepped out of the office and taken a little walk as I discussed the times for meeting the agent. Just as I was leaving a rather large and very rough looking man walked in.
I could smell alcohol on his breath and he looked…well…very angry. While his clothes appeared to be clean, they were well worn, almost to the point of being ragged. He began in a loud voice and got louder as he went in. The agent I had been talking to had stood up and was trying to slow him down.
“Where’s that God-Damned Johnson? He was supposed to be out to my place and look it over for me. I waited all Goddamned day for the son-of-a-bitch and he didn’t show. Least he could have done was to radio me and let me know he wasn’t gonna make it.”
“I’m sorry Mr. Benson. He was called away on some important business and didn’t have time to call you up. I guess I should have…”
“You guess you shoulda…shoulda woulda coulda…shit in one hand and fly with the other…didn’t help me at all. I’ve a mind to drop you as the agents on my property and go somewhere else. Damned people anyway.”
“Well, to tell the truth Mr. Benson, Mr. Johnson was thinking that he wasn’t going to take you on. You have not been…well…you haven’t been the best person to deal with. That, and the fact that you won’t let anyone come out to your place unless you fly them out in your Beaver. You have to be willing to work with people if you want to sell your property, and if you want us to be able to get people to come out and see it.”
“I just don’t want anybody poking around without my knowing it. Ain’t right ya know?”
“Well, perhaps you should try another agency or even sell it yourself. I’m sure that with the attitude you have shown us so far, we won’t be able to sell your property for you. You have just been to…narrow in your willingness to show it hospitably.”
“Yeah? Well…it’s my damned property and it is the only acreage in the whole God Damned Park out there too. If someone wants it, they’ll damn well kowtow to my way of thinking; or else they’ll not get it. Capice?”
“That’s Capuche Jake, Capuche.”
“Capice…Capuche…who cares? I like capice so that’s what I’ll stick to.”
In a low voice, the upset agent muttered to himself.
“Moron. What a moron.”
“What was that? What did you say?”
“I said, tomorrow…tomorrow Mr. Johnson will be back…He’ll talk to you then for sure.”
“Humph…that ain’t what you said by a damn sight…tell ya what…forget it. I’m gonna take care of selling my property myself. Damned agents are thieves anyway.”
He turned and brushed past me as if I was not there. I was curious about his property now. I moved to follow him outside, when the agent called out to me.
“Sir…you don’t want to deal with him. He is one crazy old coot. Off his rocker. Besides…he’s not exactly even-tempered.”
I nodded, but went outside behind this Jake character anyway. Carl was just walking up and had kind of slowed down Jake’s pace just a bit. I stepped in close and asked him about his property.
“Excuse me…um…Jake? Mr. Benson? I couldn’t help but overhear about your property and all inside there…and I was…”
“Oh yeah? That outfit is a bunch of assholes. Stupid assholes to be more precise. Can’t seem to follow up on what they say they’ll do. Their word is worthless. Completely worthless.”
“Anyway, you were saying you had some canlı bahis property out by a Park?”
“Yep. Right out in a small by next to Glacier Bay as a matter of fact. Kind of around the corner from the entrance and those damned rangers that keep out the common folk. I got about…well…let’s see…if I remember rightly…one hundred and sixty acres. All titled and deeded too.”
“You are wanting to sell it then?”
“Damn…ain’t you the perceptive one. Hell yeah I’m trying to sell it. I’m to damned old to be traipsing around out there anymore. Got no need to keep it when I could be down south and living like a king at last.
So to answer your question…Yeah, it’s for sale. All or none, and I won’t dicker on my price either. Take it or leave it.”
“Okay then. How does one get out there to see it?”
“See it? Get out there? Well, didn’t you hear that idiot in there? I got a plane. I fly you out and you can look it over. And don’t worry neither…I’ve been flying in Alaska since…well…since you were a pup at any rate. Ain’t many places I ain’t been to either. I got a good Beaver and it is the most airworthy craft around.”
“So you’d fly me out then?”
“Damn son…are you suffering from some kind of ailment or what? I just told ya, I’d fly ya out there. Jeesus H. Christ on a crutch. People nowadays can’t seem to communicate for sheeit.”
I wanted to at least see this property once before I gave up, but his attitude so far had done nothing to help to stick around long enough to fly out with him. His anger may have only been due to the agency and their inability to be where they said they’d be, but I could see his patience level was a low edged one.
“What would be a good time for you to take me on out there then?”
“Well, I have a few things I need to get done first. How’s about…oh say…three o’clock this afternoon? Course that all depends on the weather too. If it gets to socked in even I won’t try it.”
“All right then, three o’clock it is. Where should we be?”
“Well, you all meet me down at the float plane dock over there. I’ll be in the blue Beaver. Can’t miss it either. It will be the nicest plane there.”
“Okay then. Blue beaver…right over there?”
“Dam son, you need to see a doctor about that memory problem ya got. It’s getting pretty poor. YES…right over there, that blue Beaver. THREE O’clock. Got it?”
“GOOD! I’ll see ya later then.”
He was turned and walking away as he threw that last bit out there into the air. His gait was slow but his stride was pretty long and he seemed to cover yards at a step. Carl and I watched him until he turned a corner.
“He own some property out by Glacier Bay?”
Putting on the accent of Jake, I let fly.
“Damn son…you really need to see a doctor about that memory problem you got there.”
Laughing we headed back to the car, and then to the bridal shop. I was excited yet apprehensive. Finding some property so soon had been unexpected. Then the character that had it…I hoped that I survived the trip out to see this land.
Telling May and the others about my meeting with a prospective land-seller, I had some laughs and then a bit of concern expressed for my upcoming trip out to see the property. I reassured May and we went on about getting fitted and picking out the trimmings for our weddings.
Later, about two o’clock, I mentioned that it was about time to head on out to the dock. Julie and Anne both chimed in that they wanted to come along if they could. I told them I didn’t know if Jake would have room or even want them to come with. They insisted on at least coming in the car and if he wouldn’t let them come, at least they could drive back to where the others were at.
We three loaded up and I gave May a kiss goodbye. She hugged me in close and whispered a warning to me.
“You be sure you are careful out there. He may not be quite on the up and up if the real estate agent didn’t care for him you know.”
“We’ll be all right May. I promise. He is just a harmless old fart that is a bit…well…cantankerous too.”
Arriving at the dock at ten to three, I found Jake standing by his plane. It did look sound and also safe, a relief to me as I had not been real certain of that fact.
“Hi Jake. I was wondering…will you have room for two more?”
“Two more? Well…I suppose two more men won’t hurt. But no moving around too much. It’s a bit rough up there today.”
I motioned to Julie and Anne, not minding that Jake had said ‘men’. As they walked up I saw his eyes bug out and his mouth open wide.
“Uh…Who’s this? I ain’t never had no woman on this plane…ever.”
“Is there a problem Jake?”
“I ain’t sure taking along females is such a good idea. I mean…where we are headed there ain’t a lot of nice things for a female to…um…well…I mean…I just ain’t never had no female out there before, let alone two of ‘em.”
“Jake, this is my daughter Julie and her friend Anne. They will stay put or where you want them if that is a problem. I’d like to bring them along though, if it’s all right with you of course.”
“Damn…well…I bahis siteleri guess it will be okay. Damn. They’ll have to sit in the far back though. Balance…I got to have balance. Extra weight-n-all. Ya know?”
“I’m sure they won’t mind that. Will you girls?”
“Oh no dad. We will sit anywhere Mr. Jake wants us to sit. The far back will be all right with us.”
Julie was being a bit overly nice, considering for a moment I thought she was going to take Jake’s head off for his ‘female’ comments. It was more the way he said it than anything. Kind of like ‘females’ were beneath him or something.
“Well..damn…just get in. I can’t give you a han…I mean…you’ll have to get yourselves up inside as I don’t touch women…well…not that I won’t…I mean…you look like nice girls and all, and your dad is right here and all. It’s not like you are…hoo…I mean…ladies of…damn. Look, your dad will give you all a hand getting in.”
Blushing, his words all choked up, I could tell that he hadn’t had much experience with the fairer sex. If any. It also sounded like he had ‘touched’ hookers though. I had to wonder if bringing Julie and Anne along was such a good idea after all.
As the girls got up and into the plane, I realized that they were wearing cut-off jeans and halter-tops. Pretty short cut-offs and very skimpy tops. Jake notice that fact too. I saw him staring hard at their rear-ends as they bent to step into the plane.
He guiltily looked off when he noticed my catching him staring at them. I almost stopped them and sent them to be with May but, wanting to see the property and not wanting to chance pissing off Jake again, I just helped them inside.
Jake came around, and climbed up into the pilot’s seat. I saw that the plane was floating out into the bay, his untying it and the little shove he must have given it going unnoticed by me. He turned around and yelled to everyone to buckle up as he cranked on the engine.
The throaty roar of the rotary opposed engine firing off was loud but smooth sounding. Jake ran up the Rpm’s and soon we were tooling across the water out into the openness. As soon as he got permission, he gunned the motor, and we began to mover faster. It didn’t take long at all and we were airborne.
Flying out to his cabin didn’t take too long. Landing on the water…well lets just say that I was nervous as he came in. His angle was steep and he banked at the last minute before aligning it to some unseen point. We skimmed along the water and suddenly just seemed to fall into a slow rolling pace. The rocking of the plane was gentle but a bit unnerving as we headed to the dock in the distance.
Gliding into the floating dock I noticed a cabin up on the beach, pretty high up. He jumped out and grabbing a line, tied off the plane. I helped the girls out, and as they stepped out onto the dock, I caught Jake staring at their asses.
He didn’t notice that I was looking at him as he had been tying up the other line at the rear of the plane to the dock. I just watched him, hoping that the girls being out here wouldn’t be a problem. He shook his head in a smart little nod, as if gathering his wits about him.
“Well, here ya all are. This is the first time that females have been out here. Uh…there’s bears around, but not in too close. As long as you take care of your garbage and all they won’t bother you. Moose hang around over by that creek there, and deer too. Dock stays with the level of the ocean so the tide’s won’t bother you when you boat or fly out.”
“Bears? Bears out here?”
Anne looked a bit apprehensive about the mention of bears.
“Ahh…they won’t bother ya. Hell, they’re more afraid of you than you are of them. You just remember to not leave out tempting garbage or food and they’ll leave this whole area alone. I’ve never had a problem with bears at all. Nope…not a one.”
We were walking up the long finger of the dock towards the cabin. It looked to be a two-story affair with quite a large front deck. The closer we got the more rustic yet well built it looked. I was impressed with the quality of construction I was seeing too.
“Did you have this built by a log home builder?”
“You could say that. I built it. All of it. Took about six years total. That was to just get all the walls floors and ceilings up. I’ve worked on it since with small improvements. Just put in a hydroelectric plant last year. It runs off the lake up above there, and has been pretty smooth running too.”
“You built this cabin?”
Julie looked a bit surprised at his revealing that he had built it all.
“Yep. This is Alaska hon. If’n you want something, usually you have to work for it, do it yourself, or if you got enough money, you can have it done. Having it done is expensive. Real expensive. This here cabin has four bedrooms, an office, a den and a living room. The kitchen is in the back, and it opens out onto another deck. Separate from the front deck though.”
“Wow, that’s bigger than I thought it was going to be. How do you heat it?”
“I have a wood stove and a fireplace. The bahis şirketleri fireplace has copper pipe inside the chimney for heating up the water. It works okay in the winter. Use the cook stove in the summer. Not a whole lot of bathing goes on here in the summer. Lest I fall in while fishing or something.”
“Where’s the well at?”
“Don’t you have a well for the water?”
“Hell, you are a cheechako ain’t ya? This here is Southeast Alaska. We get our water from the roof. It’s all rainwater here bud. Comes from the sky. Have a big tank right over there…pipes running from the gutters over there. Insulated pipes too. I have two tanks too. One for the water from the roof, and the other is gravity fed from that one. Has a filter between them to get out the sand and dirt that may show up time to time.”
“Oh. I didn’t know that was how you got your water. Ever run out?”
“Well, I haven’t. but if you got a woman and then these two gals here…you could. Of course you could tap into the lake up there. Pretty big one and it’s all on the property too. Forest Service can’t tell you what you can and can’t do here by God.”
I could see Julie was curious about something Jake had said, so I nodded to her.
“What’s a ‘cheechako’?”
“Hell little lady…you three are. All of ya. New comers. Heh…kind of like…well…it’s just a term the we Alaskan’s use time to time to describe new people that don’t know shit about Alaska. No offense ma’ams.”
“So it’s kind of a…not so good thing to be then?”
“Well…kinda like a tenderfoot or something along those lines. To tell ya the truth, I can’t rightly remember what it means…exactly.”
I saw that he was warming up to Julie a bit. A better thing since the first meeting I had gotten the distinct impression that he may have been a woman hater or something along those lines. So far things had been great.
The inside of the ‘cabin’ turned out to be a neatly kept, clean and spacious home. Jake had worked hard to make it comfortable and in the end, he had succeeded extremely well. We were all impressed with the huge beams and open airy type of feeling this place had. The view…well, tremendous sold it short by quite a bit.
“Well, I’m guessing you’ll want to know how much I want for it. Here’s the map of the property lines, and the deed. You’ll need to keep all of the deed stuff in your head fresh and all as the Forest Service tends to like to try to move in on one side or the other at times. You have to fight them off else they’d take it all and leave you with nothing.”
I could tell that Jake disliked the government completely. He seemed to be a good person deep down, just real rough around the edges. I assumed that he had ran into troubles with the government time to time. I hoped that if we got this place we wouldn’t have problems as well.
“I’m asking…well…I’m asking one point five million. Dollars that is. Cash.”
” A million five? Cash? As in small bills? Hundreds? Real cold cash?”
“Oh…uh…well, I can’t accept a check…and I don’t really trust my bank too far either. But…I guess a wire transfer would work too. If you can get your bank to do that with the loan you’ll need. I can’t help much with the down either. You’re on your own there. I have needs for my money and I just want to get shut of here as soon as possible. I have been looking at a place in Nevada…nice and sunny and warm there. My ol’ bones need that sunshine more than ever now.”
“I don’t know. That’s usually not how it’s done. Title transfer and things will take money and time…”
“Yeah…title transfer. I want you or the buyer to take care of all of that.”
I was stunned at how fast this was all happening. Suddenly, I had found the land and the price was in my reach with no problems, but how it all came together caught me off guard. I had expected to look for at least a month or even up to three or four before finding something that I liked.
My hesitation must have made Jake nervous as he began to talk defensively again. I could tell that he was afraid that I couldn’t’ or wouldn’t be able to come up with the money.
“Have you talked to your bank? Will they back you on a loan that large?”
“I think that will be one of the easier things I do this year.”
I was thinking how Jake didn’t have a clue as to how well off I was. That was in my favor, but I didn’t want to screw around and lose this chance either. I was thinking about how to best proceed without making Jake suspicious of me. Too fast…he might think I had suckered him. Too slow…he may think that I might not have the money to do the deal at all.
Suddenly Julie broke into the conversation.
“Mr. Benson…can I use the bathroom for a minute?”
“Huh? Oh…yeah. You know where it is all right?”
“Yes. Come on Anne. I need you.”
Anne looked a bit confused, but followed along anyway. What Julie was up to I didn’t know, but I couldn’t help but wonder what she was going to do. Jake and I found out a bit later. Anne came out of the bathroom adjusting her top. Getting in closer, I saw that she had tied it up under her breasts revealing a lot of skin. Her cut-offs were unbuttoned too, and the zipper was part of the way down. She was just about showing everything she had to offer down there.
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