Wade Bryson is a 26-year resident of Juneau. He is happily married to Christine and they have raised 5 children through every level of JSD and one graduate of UAS.
Wade is a successful business owner, Subway of Juneau, for the past 18 years. He has hosted Problem Corner for 11 years, and is now serving his full term on the Assembly 2025. Wade's priority is doing any activity that allows him to spend time with his children. Activities like mountain biking and Frisbee golf are some family favorites. His young adult years were spent in the tourism industry and most summers he ran train-raft guides for ATA.
The family parrot named Ariel has provided commentary on all zoom calls especially when Wade is speaking.
Wade is an extraordinary spokesman for our Alaskan community and it is an honor to have him as one of the 2023 Juneau Fourth of July Parade Grand Marshals.
Would you like to be a Grand Marshal in our parade this year? That was the question put to me by parade official Daymond Geary.
Although it assaults my humility, it is an honor that was difficult to decline. I think of others who are far more deserving of such an honor. I’ve often thought that the likes of Bruce Bowler and Seadogs, all of the dogs and their handlers, would make for great parade marshals. The heroes of Juneau Mountain Rescue would be another choice.
But the theme for this year’s parade is “Voices of Alaska.” I have been one of those for over 50 years. I’ll join the likes of former coworkers and grand marshals Dennis Egan and Sharon Gaiptman. Another deserving to be a Grand Marshal is my long time KINY Radio sidekick Kelly Peres.
I was born April 6, 1948. I suspect I was conceived over the 4thof July in 1947. I knew a draft notice was on its way in 1967 so I foiled those plans and enlisted in the Army. Following training as a broadcast specialist at the Defense Information School, I thought I was headed to Vietnam. The Army chose a two-year overseas assignment to Ft. Richardson, outside Anchorage, instead. I consider that occasion as one of the most fortuitous ones in my life with the exception of meeting my wife Jan.
Following my honorable discharge, I chose to remain in Alaska. That ranks among my very best decisions with the exception of proposing to Jan.
I spent 15 years in Anchorage working in radio and television. KTUU TV asked me to travel to Juneau to cover the legislative session in 1984. Following the conclusion of the session I returned to Anchorage just long enough to pack my bags and move permanently to Juneau. That was another of my wise decisions.
I spent some time working for the state until I had an opportunity to return to radio at KINY to work with the likes of Egan and Peres. That was another good decision.
I’m now 75 and must admit I feel old when people approach me to say they grew up listening to me on the radio. It’s so gratifying when they say nice things about my work and thank me for my contributions. But I tell them I was just doing my job to the best of my ability.
I was honored in 2019 by being inducted into the Alaska Broadcasters Association Hall of Fame. The following year the Juneau Softball Association inducted me as a Pioneer in its hall of fame. Ever since then, I wondered what hall of fame might be next . Well, being nominated and accepted as a grand marshal for this year’s parade ranks right up there with those other honors.
I must share a couple of memories about past Juneau parades. My favorite came in 1987 when Juneau honored the remaining survivors of the USS Juneau sunk during World War II in the Pacific. In addition to the five survivors, the son of the vessel’s captain and the PBY pilot who disobeyed orders and rescued the sailors also participated in that parade . Those men were so touched by the outpouring of appreciation displayed by Juneau and its residents. There were tears in their eyes..
Other favorite parades for me were those in which the Yankee Doodles marched. I sponsored the event for several years. My inspiration was my doodle dog Rufus who also doubled as a personality on KINY. We always were voted the Best Pet entry since we were the only pet entry most years.
In other years, I would narrate the Declaration of Independence for broadcast at the beginning of the parade. I was filled with the patriotic spirit as I recited the esteemed document. Some complained that it was too long, but so were the British transgressions outlined by Thomas Jefferson when he penned it.
Another fortuitous thing in my life is being an American citizen. All I can say about that is “God Bless America.” In all of man kind, there’ been nothing like it.
In conclusion, my advice is to thoroughly enjoy the day. It will be the only July 4, 2023, you’ll ever have, so make it a good one and be safe.
Ernestine Hayes is a member of the Wolf House of the Kaagwaantaan clan whose family has made Juneau their home for more than seven counted generations. Sheetka Kwaan by way of Klukwan, she is mother of three, grandmother of four, and great-grandmother of three. She makes her home near the Juneau Indian Village where she was born and raised.
As an active Juneauite, Ernestine has earned honors and distinction in several areas of the community!
UAS Professor emerita
United States Artist Fellow 2023
Rasmuson Distinguished Artist 2021
Alaska State Writer Laureate 2016-2018
Aware Woman of Distinction 2015
Current Cultural Literacy Specialist for Sealaska Heritage Institute