Volunteering at the "Blessed Beast and Birds" holiday store for Bird TLC and The Alaska Zoo, I've have gotten to meet all kinds of people. Located on the second floor of the Dimond Center Mall, we've received a lot of attention. Most of the attention has been good, none has been bad and some has been kind of different.
Having been born in a large east coast city, I've dealt with all kinds of people, good and bad. The same goes for the twenty years I spent in the Air Force. I decided to retire in Alaska over ten years ago. This great state has everything I wanted my family and I to have or be around or not to be around. During this time, like most cities, Anchorage has grown a lot during that time.
If your not in Alaska, we say your outside. "Where are you going? I'm going outside. Well, I'm staying inside where it's warm. No, I'm going to the lower 48.
You know your in Alaska, when the young kids at the mall are fascinated by the escalator. We don't have that many escalators up here. Our store is on the second floor, like I said, right by the escalator. I've seen people almost fall onto or off of the escalator because they noticed one of our presentation birds right as they got on it or was getting off. "I was shopping for a present for grandma when I noticed this big bird on this ladies arm".
The store is huge, at least by our standards. One third of it we have set up for presenting Bird TLC's Education Birds and animals from The Alaska Zoo. You can see into the presentation area through these large glass windows. You can also come inside so they can sit down and hear the presenter talk about the bird or animal. Almost everyday from 1:30-2:30 and then again at 5-6 we have a presentation. It's gotten so popular that we're handing out schedules and people are checking back to see if a particular bird is coming or not.
You can tell from the crowd who's the bird fancier and who's not. Some people sit for the whole hour asking questions and taking pictures. Others sit for a few minutes and then they are on their way. Some people know exactly what kind of bird it is and make comments during the presentation. Others haven't a clue it's a bird. But that's why we're there. To provide avian education to the public.