Talkeetna Bachelor Auction

I’ve wanted to go for years, but I finally got there: The Talkeetna Bachelor Auction. Nowadays it’s a little more fancy with more hoopla than in former years–sexy music on cue as the guys strut the catwalk. It’s not held at the bar any more. Now it’s in the new community arts and theater building, the old hangar. But the spirit is still the same: it’s done in the spirit of fun and celebrates the traits of the quintessential Talkeetna man.

Never, ever have I seen a grizzled, straggly haired 70 year old take to the stage to Too Sexy For My Shirt and then do a pretty convincing strip-tease, if you can get past the saggy tummy and man boobies in glaring day-glow white. He may yet find his perfect mate to help him start a sustainable commune lifestyle above the Arctic Circle–he clearly has several good years left in him and has a few moves to please the ladies, from those hip thrusts he showed off. He fetched $135 and was given a rousing ovation for sharing his talents with us.

Amongst those looking for “a special lady with a full set of teeth” or “my soul-mate who has a boat, and a motor,” there were a mix of fine-looking young men, accomplished and interesting prime of lifers, and then the older gents. The night’s top bid went for a silver-haired fellow in a Western jacket and cowboy hat. When asked why women should bid on him, he replied that he was a conductor on the Alaska Railroad, had been for 44 years, and retirement was 25 days away. Those gals were lining up for a chance at that pension! His bidder won a date with him for a whopping $1150.

It wasn’t quite the laid-back affair I had heard about. Now everything was spiffed up quite a bit. They had the two gay guys in town do the theatrical lighting and the music, and the woman taking tickets primped for the event. She was wearing a set of Carhart’s coveralls and bunny boots to be next to the cold entrance, but then had her hair pulled back pretty and was wearing the most delicate, perfectly-sized strand of pearls to accent her outfit.

It was pretty evident who the townies were, in their women’s Carharts and boots, and then the entourage from Anchorage who’d caught on that this made for a fun Girls’ Getaway Weekend. There were about 100 women in cocktail dresses and plunging necklines, teetering around in pointy heels (I have no idea how they made it from their cars into the building). You could tell them by their clothes, their shiny hair, and their straight teeth, kind of like how you could tell Americans by their straight teeth and perms when I lived in Europe in college. At the end of the event, they suited up, putting on their celery and cerise Patagonia and Northface (clean) jackets to giggle their way along the main street.

It was very, very fun evening, and just that right mix of wierd and odd in an Alaskan way. See . Just like the saying up here, The odds are good, but the goods are odd.

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