Coming Exhibit at Museum of the Aleutians

Port of Refuge:
Udaagamax (Stories from Alaska’s Marine Salvage Master)
A forthcoming exhibition at Museum of the Aleutians
Opening June 1, 2020.

Udaagamax is Unangan (Aleut)  for “safe place to go.” This exhibit will feature the stories and images of the work of legendary Arctic salvage master Dan Magone.

The Aleutian Islands are the longest small-island archipelago in the world, the volcanic peaks of a submarine mountain chain stretching from Alaska to Siberia, three hundred wind-blown, treeless islands, fog-shrouded in summer and snow-covered in winter, and separating two of the coldest, stormiest, richest seas on the planet, the North Pacific Ocean and Bering Sea.

ship covered with ice
“Making a Salvage Plan.” Dan Magone surveys the grounded Mar-Gun fishing vessel.

The main port of refuge in these remote islands is Dutch Harbor, Alaska. “Dutch” is America’s busiest fishing port and home to hundreds of fishing vessels, including those featured on the long-running television series, Deadliest Catch.

These fishing vessels, processors, refrigerator ships – and the massive cargo and tanker ships which pass nearby on the Great Circle Route from Asia to America – often get into trouble. They collide, capsize, run aground, break apart, catch fire, spill oil, take on water, drag anchor, and sink. Lives and property and the environment are suddenly at risk!

There is a man in Dutch Harbor who has been saving troubled ships for forty years. His name is Dan Magone, and he is a Marine Salvage Master. His presence, know-how, vessels, crew, and equipment at Magone Marine are so instrumental in solving marine problems in Western Alaska that the U.S. Coast Guard calls him “The Aleutian Solution.”

The stories and photographs reveal the dangerous, rugged, highly-skilled salvage work of Dan Magone and his crew of divers, shipwrights, and mariners. Dan calls them “The Toughest Guys on Earth.”

Join them on storm-tossed, ice-choked seas as they rescue injured fishermen, tow disabled tankers, pull ships off the rocks, raise sunken ships, put out fires, lay demolitions, dive in 30-degree water, and contain oil spills.

Dan Magone, a well-known storyteller, narrates his maritime stories with humor and humanity, and also tells the larger story of the islands, seas, history, and peoples of Western Alaska.

Salvage Master Dan Magone in boat, Aleutian Islands
“Righting the Beast.” Ted Sherebernikoff, a Magone crew member, assists in the righting of the Cougar Ace, a car carrier with 5,500 Mazdas aboard.

Didn’t We Have Fun! Gets Honor Award from Skipping Stones

I’ve just heard the news about a wonderful recognition for Didn’t We Have Fun! The book was chosen for a 2013 Honor Award from Skipping Stones magazine, as one of twelve books selected for the Multicultural & International Books category.

This nonprofit magazine is circulated nationally to students and teachers and focused on promoting multicultural understanding and ecological awareness.

In the year of our 25th Anniversary, we recognize 25 outstanding books and teaching resources with the Skipping Stones Honor Awards.

The honored books promote an understanding of cultures, cultivate cooperation and encourage a deeper understanding of the world’s diversity.

They also encourage ecological richness, respect for multiple viewpoints and close relationships within human societies.

We believe these unique titles offer an exciting way to explore and understand cultures, places, societies and their histories.

For book reviews, please visit:

A full list of the recipients of the 2013 Honor Award (Multicultural category) can be found here at Crickhollow Books, the publisher of Didn’t We Have Fun!

Artist Hilda Robinson is featured at Richmond Art Center

Didn't We Have Fun, by Jeff Kunkel and Hilda Robinson

Co-author Hilda Robinson currently is featured at the Richmond Art Center in a solo show, in conjunction with the art museum’s annual exhibition titled “The Art of Living Black.”

The Art Of Living Black
17th Annual Bay Area Black Artists Exhibition

Artist Reception: Sat, Feb. 9, 2–5 pm
Artist Panel Discussions: Feb. 9, 12–2 p.m. and Feb. 16, 12–2 p.m.

Hilda Robinson: Didn’t We Have Fun!
Corresponding Workshop: Mar. 2, 11–3 p.m.
Exhibition Exploration – Celebrating Life & Culture in Oil Pastel with Hilda Robinson

Didn’t We Have Fun! is a vibrant, colorful children’s picture book that looks at African-American family life and culture, seen through the eyes of a celebrated artist. The text is by Jeff Kunkel, based on interviews with Hilda.

The images of family life, reading, studying, chores, playground games, and neighborhood social events are rich and warmly drawn in a jazzy, impressionistic style.

“Anyone from any background will be able to relate to the celebration of childhood, family nurturing, faith, love and community expressed in this book. You will treasure it for a lifetime.”
– Dr. Terri Renee Jett

Didn’t We Have Fun
by Hilda Robinson & Jeff Kunkel
Crickhollow Books • July 2012
Picture Book / African-American Life & Culture
Trade Hardcover (laminated cover)
48 pages • 28 illus. • 10” x 10” • Ages 5 and up
$19.95 • ISBN 978-1-933987-17-0