a dramedy. Or maybe a comerama."
is a cocky New Yorker who signed away a slice of his life to the
State of Alaska. He agreed to work there as a doctor for four
years. In return, the state agreed to give him $125,000 to get
through Columbia Medical School. When he arrived in Anchorage,
eager to move into a new condominium and set up some semblance
of a cosmopolitan life, the state fathers told Fleischman they
had other plans for him. They were sending him instead to
Cicely, Alaska, population 839. One long, jarring plane ride
later, he found himself among the most improbable group of
Minnifield, former astronaut and Cicely's
patriarch; Maggie O'Connell, plane pilot; Holling Vincoeur, the
tavern owner, Chris Stevens, KBHR's disc jockey; Shelly Tambo,
former Miss Northwest Passage; Ed Chigliak, shaman and
filmmaker; Marilyn Whirlwind, Dr. Fleischman's receptionist; and
Ruth Ann, the storekeeper.
A Kodiak Moment
the death of his brother, Maurice, the last male to bear the
name "Minnifield" decides to adopt someone who will
carry on his legacy. After careful consideration he decides
Chris Stevens will become heir to the Minnifield Empire.
For 6 years (1990-1995), Barry played the crusty former NASA astronaut who
dreams of Cicely becoming the jewel of a future Alaskan Riviera.
Maurice orbited the earth in a NASA capsule. Outer space, his
home state of Oklahoma and his adopted Alaska are probably the
only places big enough to contain Maurice's ego and ambition. He
came to Cicely about 20 years ago and bought the local radio
station, KBHR; the local newspaper, and 15,000
opportunity". Now he drives through Cicely's snow-covered
streets in a 1960 gold Cadillac convertible given to him by a
Houston car dealer in appreciation for orbiting the earth.
needs so much breathing room that when he drives his
Caddy around town, he keeps the top down, even in the winter.
When he sweeps his hands around the virgin forests he sees
"Burger Kings, 31 flavors, resorts, mini-malls."
Click to visit
by Barry: "Maurice is only happy on the edge of
civilization -happy in the space, happy in the wild. He has a
Ph.D. in aerospace engineering. He's the best traveled person in
the world because he's been out of this world. He's very
literal-minded, but he would love to be instinctive. That's the
part that's missing. He's in anguish over the fact that it's