Author Archives: Wayne Mergler

Wayne Mergler was born in Lynchburg, Virginia in 1944 and grew up in Ohio, Georgia, and Europe. A graduate of Auburn University, he also studied at the University of London and at the University of Alaska Anchorage. In 1968, he and his wife Maureen, impossibly young and looking for adventure, drove cross country up the Alcan Highway to Alaska, where they found everything they were looking for, and more. Mergler taught English, drama, philosophy, and history in the Anchorage public schools for 25 years, taught literature and writing and film as an adjunct at the University of Alaska Anchorage, and currently teaches literature to senior citizens. He is the author/editor of the award-winning, definitive anthology of Alaska literature, The Last New Land, now in its fourth edition. He has, in addition: appeared on radio and TV talk shows in Alaska; lectured on literature and history; been a contributor to the public radio series, "Hold This Thought"; worked as a columnist for the Anchorage Daily News and the Anchorage Chronicle; been a book critic and reviewer; and is also active in community and professional theater. (Wayne's a busy old critter!) Now retired, Mergler works as a part-time bookseller. He and Maureen live in Anchorage, have three grown children (Joanna, Heather, and Seth) and eight grandchildren, all home-grown Alaskans. Author Photo: Heather Emerson

The Vanishing Storyteller (Best of WH)

“I used to sit on the porch steps, usually with a stick in my hand, digging at the dirt by the brick-lined walk. My parents and aunts and uncles sat on benches or straight-back wicker chairs; my grandfather always got the rocker and my grandmother usually sat in the swing. Sometimes, I would sit with […]

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The Alaskan Way Of Death (Best of “Hubris”)

“The ground is frozen solid, and no amount of shoveling, hacking, or pick-axing is going to create a grave. In Alaska, a corpse is ‘put on ice’ until summer, usually July or August, when the ground has thawed sufficiently to allow a grave to be dug. It has its drawbacks, of course. Bev’s daughter told […]

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Judging Judge Judy

“Most of what I saw there is now forgotten, and rightly so, but I did find myself somewhat hooked on a courtroom show called ‘Judge Judy.’ I, of course, knew of Judge Judy, but I’d never paid her or her show much attention until my long, unexpected sojourn in the hospital. However, since she seemed […]

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The Haunted Bookshop: Cyrano’s of Anchorage

“Together, they were amazing. And they were always together, always laughing, singing, sometimes holding court, telling stories, regaling their fans with the sheer joy they felt in the presence of each other. They were genuinely happy people, largely because they were living their lives exactly the way they wanted to. They did not care a […]

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Where Have All The Children Gone?

Above The Timberline By Wayne Mergler Note: Wayne Mergler is still “on sick leave” in the frozen north, so we are sharing one of his 2010 columns for your delectation till he’s back on board. ANCHORAGE AK—(Weekly Hubris)—11/4/2013—Anyone who has been to Anchorage, Alaska knows that we’re surrounded by mountain ranges here, most notably the […]

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The Alaskan Summer: Open Season (For/On?) Tourists

“When I first came to Alaska in 1968, tourists were a rarity. Some adventurous types came up here, sure, but, for the most part, Alaska was not on anybody’s ‘must visit’ list. For the first 20 years I lived here, Alaska was the country’s best kept secret. No one had any idea what it was […]

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The Vanishing Storyteller

“I used to sit on the porch steps, usually with a stick in my hand, digging at the dirt by the brick-lined walk. My parents and aunts and uncles sat on benches or straight-back wicker chairs; my grandfather always got the rocker and my grandmother usually sat in the swing. Sometimes, I would sit with […]

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Nomenclature Blues

“Now, if Jaiziriquon is reading this column (seems unlikely), I should start out by apologizing. I have no idea how to spell his name or even if I heard it quite right, but this is the closest I can come to accuracy. I hope he will forgive me.” Wayne Mergler Above The Timberline by Wayne […]

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Adventure with Moose & Squirrel

Above The Timberline by Wayne Mergler ANCHORAGE Alaska—(Weekly Hubris)—3/5/12—A moose fell on my car today. Probably, most Americans don’t have that experience but, in Alaska, where I live, it is not so rare an occurrence. And the winter of 2012 has been more “moose-active” than most. At the time of this writing, the city of […]

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Where Have All The Children Gone

Above The Timberline by Wayne Mergler Editor’s Note: Since Wayne’s still convalescing, Weekly Hubris offers up yet another of his early columns for the –zine. ANCHORAGE Alaska—(Weekly Hubris)—1/23/12—Anyone who has been to Anchorage, Alaska knows that we are surrounded by mountain ranges, most notably the spectacular Chugach Range, which looms over the city like protective […]

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