Bear Paw About Larry

Young Larry

Log cabin. Snowed in. Pregnant young woman. Deer Park, Washington. Baby boy.

A month after the bombing of Pearl Harbor I joined my sister Laura Lee and our parents Vivian and Larry, thanks to my great-grandmother Clara Kralman's midwifery. A little over a year later Lana Lynne completed our family. Before long my father left us.

Vivian worked in the war effort in Everett, building Liberty ships and B-29 bulkheads for bombers at the Boeing plant. When she became ill, Vivian and the children moved to her parent's dairy farm.

Within a few years she met and married Chuck Jenkins. His love of hunting and fishing whetted my appetite for camping, hiking, hunting and fishing. Charlie spent hours playing catch and hitting fly balls to me, opening the sports arena for me.

I attended grade schools in Seattle, Kelso, Everett, Spokane and Walla Walla where I played football, basketball and baseball. Halfway through the eighth grade we moved from Walla Walla to Clarkston where I became more independent, hunting and fishing with friends.

I was a member of the football, trampoline and badminton teams and participated in the school newspaper and yearbook as well as drama and student government before graduating from Charles Francis Adams High School in 1960.

My college years were spent at Warner Pacific College in Portland, Oregon (played basketball) before transferring in 1963 to Linfield College in McMinnville, Oregon, where I received degrees in English-literature and education. At Warner I met Pamela Diane Timmons. Struck by her auburn-haired, hazel-eyed beauty, I later asked her to marry me.

We wed in Newberg, Oregon, August 28, 1964 prior to my senior year. In 1966 I accepted an offer to teach English and reading at Anchorage's newest school, A.J. Dimond High School. During my first years there I coached the cross-country running team and assisted Don Frantz with the wrestling program. I enjoyed teaching at Dimond for 26 years; my coaching also included football and track.

In the winter of 1967 Pam informed me that we were going to be parents and on September 25, 1968, Ginger Diane was born. Within a year and a half Jill Rose joined our family (May 7, 1970). On our 9th anniversary in 1973 our third child, Benjamin Chane, was born. By now our family had moved from Spenard to south Anchorage where we built our home "out in the country."

Larry and Pam

I began ground school in hopes of earning my private pilot's license. I passed the written exam in the spring of 1993 and began flying with Heidi Ruess and her son Rick of Arctic Flyers May 18, 1994, passing my check ride with her April 9, 1995. In March 2003 I began rebuilding a wrecked Super Cub thus fulfilling my dream to own a Piper Cub.

During my effort to entice publishers to edit a book of Alaskan adventures about prospectors, pioneers and pilots so that I'd have a text book for my literature of the North classes, I was asked to write a book of Alaskan bear stories. I began compiling stories in January 1975, continued teaching, husbanding and fathering, working with young people at church and starting a 2400-square-foot addition to the home we built in 1970. That book, Alaska Bear Tales, was completed in 1980 and sent to the publisher, reaching the public in May 1983. It is in its 19th printing.

Norm Bolotin of Laing Communications asked me if I'd consider doing a second bear book, resulting in More Alaska Bear Tales in 1989 (10th printing June 2003).

Within a few years another publisher, Kent Sturgis of Epicenter Press, asked me to produce an adventure book which resulted in Cheating Death in 1994. While in Los Angeles with Kent promoting that book another publisher, Ludo Wurfbain of Safari Press, asked me to compile yet another bear book; and Some Bears Kill was released in 1997. During the winter of 1996-97 I wrote an Alaska adventure romance called Trapped! which Cliff Cernick graciously edited and motivated me to pursue publication.

In September 1998 Stephany Evans agreed to be my literary agent, selling Danger Stalks the Land to St. Martin's Press two months later, and released in November 1999.

Then I wrote some of my favorite bear stories, self-published and released Bear Tales for the Ages in April of 2001.

Larry Kaniut

My latest work is another family effort, Alaska's Fun Bears, self-published and released in April 2004. It is a coloring-activity book designed to encourage adults to work with their favorite children. And I'm always gathering stories about man's indomitable spirit. Some of my projects include two bear books (one a survival manual; the other, non-violent stories); flying stories; other adventure books and numerous novels, including one about Jesus Christ.

After 40 years in Alaska Pam and I continue to harvest the waters and hills for berries, fish and game...mastering some great recipes such as salmon patte and smoked salmon. I also enjoy hunting, hiking, volleyball and flying.

Several summers I worked construction, carpentry, commercial fishing or assistant guiding. I've also done a little trapping and prospecting for gold.

My other activities include moving hay into the barn for Pam's horse, gardening, shopping for Pam, remodeling our home, encouraging others to write, signing books, teaching classes and sharing in the writing process through classes and workshops.

With all the plans and projects we're developing I plan to live to be at least 100 years old!