TITLE: “Dear Cora”
AUTHOR: Cora Holmes
We “met” Cora and her family in her first book, “Good-Bye Boise...Hello Alaska.” After readers flooded her with questions, comments, and pleas to publish another book, “Dear Cora” was written and published. It is filled with passion, honesty, and humor while she continues to lead a difficult life in a very isolated area in Alaska. The 1,200 miles of coastline supplied everything she and her family needed. Their nearest neighbor was 85 miles away and the nearest hospital was 800 miles away. The Bering Sea was their front yard!
Cora selected the most asked questions from readers and answered them in this book. She donates half of her book sales to people she has never met and keeps half to pay for supplies for the family. Most of their supplies were destroyed when the boat ran into a storm and remember they get supplies only once a year delivered to them.
Daily chores kept Milt and Cora busy and apart during the day, but together they enjoyed beachcombing and fishing. Because of a rare sarcoma Cora’s right hand was amputated but it never slowed her down from the hard tasks to be done in order to survive this type of life. She kept her sense of humor throughout the long six months of chemotherapy. Their dear friends in Unalaska pooled their money together and bought Cora her first artificial hand. Milt modified the hand carders for her so she could prepare wool for spinning and later for knitting.
Often asked questions were: How do you catch a wild mustang? How do you make money for supplies? What brought Milt to this isolated area in the first place? Have you ever run out of supplies? How often is there sun? What animals live on the island? How do you keep up with news? What do you do if sick or injured? How was your son set on fire?
One highlight of her story was their trip to California to attend and participate in their son’s wedding. Young Randy and Jennifer had met in Unalaska Village when he was doing a construction apprenticeship for a local contractor and she was there while her dad was a visiting minister. Since they seldom leave the island this was a very special event for Milt and Cora, so pick up the book “Dear Cora” and continue to learn more about her fascinating life on the Aleutian Island of Alaska.