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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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Robert ‘Rod’ Orwin Davidson, 68, died Oct. 21, 2014, in Tacoma, Washington
Mary C. Smith, 93, died Oct. 19, 2014, in Ketchikan.
5/1/2014
May Day

Ketchikan needs a maypole for a day like today.

This might not be a remarkable day for some, but for centuries May 1 has signaled the start of summer — despite it being most definitely in the spring season.

Maybe it will be just that here, where the temperatures have continued to cling to winter cold instead of spring warmth.

May Day means that it's time to bid winter goodbye and welcome flowers, green grass, baby animals and the like.

It's a day to welcome the sun, which is forecast for Ketchikan today, and if it shows its face, the town will be happy to see it.

The maypole? It's part of a well-known, historic and traditional maypole dance. People used to dance around a pole with ribbons attached. They held one end of the ribbons, and as they danced wove patterns with the ribbons around the pole.

It would be fun for Ketchikan to have a May Day dance, with or without the maypole. But, more than anything, the sun would be most welcome.