Somewhere in Alaska: the entire male population

The entire male population was instantly marshalled.

It was sadly explained: every year the village was attuned to this event beginning suddenly and without warning. When it did, there was no time to waste. A substantial percentage of every fishing family's yearly income would be made (or lost) over the next few days.

Virtually all able-bodied men would be gone, working the fishing boats until the staple fish stopped running, period. Most wives would be nervously camped at home, fully aware of the intense, dangerous work seething out on the boats.

Our gig was a guaranteed wash-out. The best we could hope for was a small crowd of nervous women and their children.

We were crushed and cursed our rotten luck. As showtime approached the Community Center was cavernously empty. Apologies flowed freely and sincerely; there was a feeling that we were all in it together.

Selfishly, we knew we weren't financially hurt; we were working on a guaranteed fee. The same could not be said for the radio station, which hoped, all public service aside, to make money on the show. Because of the halibut, they would be in the red, and by not a little.

Next: We played the best we could...

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