When my family arrived in Anchorage, Alaska, the spring of 1966, after a long and arduous drive from Lubbock, Texas, all was well. We spent the first night at Mush Inn Motel and had dinner at Lucky Wishbone. The next morning, dad carefully backed our New Moon mobile home into space #299 at Alaskan Village Trailer Park. We quickly went to work getting things in order.
Our first chore was to wash off the inch thick AL-CAN mud. After that, my brother Jim and I began the task of making friends. It didn’t take us long. Being military kids, we were used to doing such every three years.
We had ample opportunity to explore the surrounding country with new pal’s: Bob Malone, Chuck Staley, Danny Kunda, and Jeff Cloud. Across Muldoon Road from our home was a small grocery store named White House Market.
Lock, Stock, and Barrel gun shop was located within the two-story building as well, including Chuck’s Barber Shop. Directly to the north of those businesses was a well-beaten trail in the woods running across Chester Creek. It wound through thick trees behind ABC Auto Wrecking, ending at Rangeview Trailer Park. At that time, I didn’t know there was a rivalry of sorts between kids living in Alaskan Village and Rangeview.
This rivalry came to light one day when we were in the woods throwing rocks in Chester Creek. Three Rangeview kids came out of the trees on bikes and began to intimidate us. One of them, a tall, stringy-haired-fellow had a chain wrapped around his waist which added to the confrontation. They told us to move along or they were going to kick our butts. We quickly left.
The threats continued at random. Whenever we came across these bullies we went out of our way to avoid conflict. There came a point when that all came to a head; literally speaking.
Bob, Jim, and myself were coming back from hiking, when this tough guy with his chain menacingly approached us. For the sake of this story I’ll refer to him as Lozano (not his real name).
Because Lozano was older than Bob and me, for whatever reason he singled out my brother to push around. Jim is the most mild-tempered guy you’ll ever meet. Push him too far though and he snaps.
While holding chain in one hand, Lozano made fun of the BB gun Jim held and tried taking it away. That’s when my brother knocked him to the ground and started beating the guy relentlessly with fists and gunstock. Unlike the movie, “A Christmas Story”, where little Ralphie is stopped short from knocking a troublemaker senseless, Bob and I stood back and watched as Jim did just that.
With high-pitched cries from Lozano to stop, Jim eventually ceased his hammering. Lozano limped away with gashes and scrapes to his head and face. That’s the last time we had trouble with him or his Rangeview pals.
On my last day at Clark Junior High, in 9th grade, on the way home, our bus drove by Rangeview as it always did. This trailer park is located on Muldoon Road. Out of nowhere a volley of ice balls hit the side of our vehicle. Bob, me, and several other Alaskan Village kids yelled for the driver to stop and let us off. Amazingly, he did!
We chased the culprits for a distance, before hustling back to our bus which had remained parked alongside Muldoon Road. That’s my final and most fitting memory of the Muldoon Road Range War as I like to call it. Soon afterwards, my family moved to the Lake Otis area.
- Final note – When Mann Leiser purchased the property that the Rangeview-Alaskan Village trail ran through, it ended our skirmishes in the trees. Sadly, the trail’s long gone, along with Leiser’s once prosperous Alaska Greenhouse complex. Alaskan Village Trailer Park is also nonexistent while Rangeview is still in business.