Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Another review of the book

From LibraryThing:
One of the jobs I wanted to work at when I was younger was to be a Lighthouse Keeper, the other was to be a bush pilot. Never got to be either of them, but in Jorgy I get to at least read about what it would have been like to be a pilot in the wilds of alaska and canada. I have read a number of narratives like this, but I think this is one of the best. Captured therein is a sense of time and place that no one else but an experienced pilot of 85,000 hours of flight time could do. His time in the air extended from 1943 to 2001...an amazing accomplishment in my eyes...and in many a pilots experience. Reading Jorgy is a pleasure for me, his writing is like his flights...no fuss, no muss, quick and to the point. A great read!!

One point: Many of the reviewers mistake the writing for Jorgy's—Jean Lester is the actual writer, but Jorgy is the speaker. Lester took great care to keep his words and voice, but it is her narrative. That she is invisible to the reader is an amazing accomplishment, one that few memoir writers are able to do so well, and demonstrates just how good a writer she is.

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Jorgy and Jean Lester to participate in 3rd Annual Alaska Book Festival

The theme for this year's Alaska Book Festival is "Historically Alaska", and, appropriately, Jorgy's memoir is to be one of the featured titles. Jean and Jorgy will be reading from the book and answering questions from the audience during the aviation readings panel along with Dermot Cole on Friday, June 12, at Pioneer Park at the Exhibit Hall at 3:30 to 4:30.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Article in First Alaskans on Native pilots

Alex DeMarban has written an interesting piece on Alaska Natives in aviation, "Lost in the Wind," appearing in the April/May issue of First Alaskans. He sums up beautifully in the first sentence: "Alaska Native aviation has a rich history, but you probably don't know it."

The article interviews Jorgy and Wilfred Ryan, Jr. and talks about the Alaska Aviation Heritage Museum and its hope for getting funding for an exhibit on Alaska Native pilots.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Two more reviews from LibraryThing

Varroa says this about the book:
A very interesting biography. While other Alaskan pilot biographies focus just on flying adventures, this one presents just as fully a history of aviation and a history of Alaska. There are loads of photos as well: cultural, historical, and aeronautical.
Sdmcrae notes this:
The tone and style of this book, which is pretty laid back, belies the risks Holger "Jorgy" Jorgensen took as he pursued a career in aviation in Alaska spanning approximately 55 years. … Some have commented this book is a little too laid back for them. But I think, if your interested at all in aviation, Alaska, or especially the combination, you can think of reading this book as sitting down on a cold night next to a pot-bellied stove and listening to a gifted raconteur rattle off one story after another.

Little League coach

A new review on Amazon from E. cassellius:
I've read the book and it is a first class read of an accomplished Aviator and a great man. I found one omission I would like to add to Jorgy's biography. He coached me in Little League baseball in Alaska in the 60's. Thank you Holger Jorgenson....

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

And another review: Curling the hair of the FAA

Here's another one on Amazon by pilot Mike Meiser of Anchorage:
Jorgy is an unembellished look at Alaskan Aviation through the eyes and actual words of Holger Jorgensen, one of Alaska's most respected pilots. It takes the reader through the ending days of the Nome Gold Rush to the coming of the jet age. If you are an aviation enthusiast, a history buff, or you'd just like to meet an amazing Alaskan Eskimo Pilot who touched many, many lives, this is a must for you! ... Jorgy traces his rough beginning in the gold mines to the left seat of jets and turboprops, flying all over the world. Don't expect him to pull punches or mince words. That wouldn't be Holger. For example: suffering macular degeneration late in his life, he talks of flying blind (in more ways than one) on his last flight, a tale that would curl the hair of an FAA inspector.

Good thing there's a statute of limitations!

Jorgy's life story follows the coming of age of commercial aviation in America's flyingest state, Alaska. Holger Jorgensen's leadership and mentoring changed Alaskan aviation and the lives of those he touched for the better, and forever. I heartily recommend this excellent book.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

New review on Amazon: a keeper

A new review on Amazon is titled "What is really exciting about Alaska:"
Back when I traveled the world while home schooling several kids, when we landed into a new country, we learned to head to the local library (or it's equivalent) for advice. "What are the stories about this place we need to read? What will orient us to this country, its landscapes and and weathers, the people who have lived here long and ones who have come lately? What stories do you recommend?"

"Jorgy" is just such a keeper. The story begins with his hybrid parentage, Eskimo mother and Norwegian gold miner father, and the challenges of village life on Alaska's Seward Peninsula prior to World War II. Rich in details about kid's games, schooling, methods of hauling water and wood, hunting, fishing, and mining work, we also get to see the prejudice he experienced from both cultural wings of his heritage and the effect of his mother's remarkable work in independently raising five children after his dad's death in a mining accident. Jean Lester does a remarkable writing job throughout--her perfect invisibility --allows us to simply listen to Jorgy's unfolding story. From the glamor-and risks- of early aviation, wartime changes and post war possibilities via the GI bill, at each step, we see this young village kid making step by step choices into an extraordinary life. Hollywood would be hard pressed to match the appealing glamour we see in many of the photos of Jorgy, his wife, family and of course the many handsome airplanes, but there is grit throughout which underscores the inherent drama of early bush and commercial flying.
Now that's a review!