My Life Story

As told to Ephrim Anahonak Jr.

I was born in Port Graham. Iím not going to tell you my age, but Iíve been through a lot. I lived in Anchorage for 15 years from the age of eighteen.


Iíve worked at a variety of jobs. Some jobs Iíve had are nurses aide for three and one-half years, janitor for six months, teachers aid for five and one-half years, and cannery worker. I guess you could say Iím a professional worker with little formal education.


I have seven children. Two of my daughters are married, one is going to be married and one is going her way in the world. I have three children that are school age.


I was educated here in Port Graham up to the 8th grade. I would have gone to Mt. Edgecumgbe like the rest of the people my age, but my parents didnít feel I was old enough to travel. So I missed out on that. I finally got my high school diploma under G.E.D. a couple of years ago.


If you are really ambitious you can make your life worthwhile and never be afraid to try anything.


As a nurseís aide, I did almost as much as a registered nurse. The only things that I didnít do were give shots and give medication. I took care of cancer patients, burn patients, broken leg patients and working in different wards in the hospital. I too care of eye and ear surgery patients too.


For the first year I worked as a bilingual aid I didnít know what I was doing. I didnít have any materials. A lady came from the University of Alaska and helped me learn to teach the students. She taught me to use pictures instead of the written language. To keep our language, itís important to do the written language in school.


Both my mother and father were born here in Port Graham. My grandfather on my motherís side was probably born in English Bay. But his father, Demetri Moonin, was the son of John Moonin who originally came from California as a priest.


My grandmother on my motherís side was born in Seldovia. Her mother came from Karluk. Her maiden name was Choongna. When I was in Kodiak I learned that there was a saint whose last name was Choongna too. He was from Karluk. He might be a distant relative of ours that they made into a saint.


On my fatherís side, my grandfather was one of the first people who moved to Port Graham from English Bay. They were building a cannery in Port Graham. The Meganack family originated from Tatitlek area. From Tatitlek they moved to Yahlik and from Yahlik to English Bay.


From what Iíve heard the reason John Moonin the priest moved to English Bay was because the church center was located in Kenai. Yahlik was too far from Kenai. So he moved to English Bay which is closer to Kenai.


My grandmother on my fatherís side was a relative of Nick Mooninís wife, Martha. Their last name was Maha. I found out about someone who recently died in Kenai. Her maiden name was Maha. I met her at a bilingual workshop.


We seem to have relatives all over. I donít know who most of them are. Maybe one of these days Iíll be lucky and get to Tatitlek area and look up some of our relatives. I met a guy who was at the convention last year. He had heard stories about my great grandfather John Moonin, who was originally from California, was a Native American. My grandfather was very Indian looking.


Copyright 1981,Kenai Peninsula Borough School District.All rights reserved

Volume 2