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Small Alaska communities are the state's backbone. Economically, if they're strong, then so, too, is Alaska.

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The fall back position might be the best to take this weekend.

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Shane Raymond Sooter, 59, died Oct. 24, 2014, in Ketchikan.
Robert ‘Rod’ Orwin Davidson, 68, died Oct. 21, 2014, in Tacoma, Washington
Mary C. Smith, 93, died Oct. 19, 2014, in Ketchikan.
3/18/2013
Age and experience

... Often overcome youth and skill, or so goes the joke so dear to the hearts of those of a certain age.

Still, we can't help but grin at the outcome of this year's Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race. The winner, Mitch Seavey, is considered "old" at 53. He is in fact the eldest winner of the iconic race.

What tickles us, though, is that a year ago, it was another Seavey who won the Last Great Race. Dallas, speaking to reporters afterward, owned as how it took youth and energy to win the race nowadays. At 25, he was the youngest ever to win the race.

Seems poetic that the old man topped him, doesn't it? Congratulations to the pair for their persistence and talent.

We can't let the race go by without a shout-out to our own Angie Taggart, the most positive role model we can imagine. We take proprietary pride in Angie's top-50 finish. She came in just before midnight on Friday, 48th place. Go, Angie!

And, just for the record: Hey, Mitch? 53 is a dawdle. Mush on!