Photo by Kathy Steen
Being a dignified and proper Polish woman, my mother always had a fur coat or two that she donned for special (usually church-related) occasions.
When she passed away, one of those furs ended up in my care.
The thing is, I’m not really a fur kind of gal. My style is more North Face and Eddie Bauer than mink or chinchilla. At one point, I considered sending the coat to a company in Vermont that cuts up furs and turns them into teddy bears, but somehow never followed through on that. So in the 29 years since my mom's death, I’ve never worn it.
Googling for fun things to do in Alaska, I came across something called the Fur Rondezvous, and immediately thought of the fur coat that’s been tucked away in my closet for three decades.
The Fur Rondezvous (Fur Rondy for short) is an annual festival held in Anchorage. Its roots go back to when fur trappers gathered each year to sell their wares. A fur auction is still on the agenda, but now it is more of a winter fest with everyone invited. There are ice sculptures, a run with the reindeer, and outhouse races (more pictures to come).
So I packed up the fur (it required its own carryon luggage) and here I am! It was the perfect opportunity to strut around in my mother's beautiful fur coat, and fit right in!
I asked one of the furriers what she thought of the coat, and after approvingly examining its craftsmanship, she pronounced it "a cherry of a vintage coat."
I think that would make mom smile proudly.
The Fur Rondy Royal Court
I'm relieved THIS wasn't my mother's fur.
Nope, PETA was nowhere in sight.