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It was a gorgeous night, lit by stars against a black sky and very quiet.Mark lit an unfiltered Camel and the smell of tobacco filled the car.Students made plans to reach Ullrahaven by a caravan of cars.

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Most left campus by five or six o’clock that afternoon.

Desk duty was the responsibility of Wickersham’s residents and rotated among them.

Whenever a girl left the dorm, she’d flip the tag to indicate she was out.

When the guy showed up or the phone rang, I’d check the board to see if she was in.

“We can get there in half an hour and still get you back to Wick by midnight.” The map was small, drawn in pencil and looked flimsy but, as an only child, I’d been so protected by my parents this felt like an adventure. I flipped radio stations, getting the Beatles and Sinatra.

When “500 Miles” came on we sang along – Mark had a beautiful tenor voice, and the song ran endlessly through my head.

Then I’d page her or take a message, which I’d hook on her tag. “It wouldn’t be on a map otherwise.” Mark was majoring in geology and he was two years older than me. Besides, the drawing indicated it was a gravel road.

That night there were few visitors or calls since so many had already left for Ullrahaven. A few days earlier, he’d found an old map in the geology department’s files. At least, I thought to myself, gravel roads were maintained.

In 1963, the summer of my junior year at the University of Alaska in Fairbanks, I had a job in Anchorage.

It was across from the Alaska Native Service Hospital on Third Avenue.

Of course, to go, but an upper-class woman who thought her boyfriend was interested in me made sure I had desk duty that night.

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