My Life, My Words: Alan ‘Chako’ Holmes — No place like the outdoors
February 7, 2011
"I was born in Alaska and that's where my name Chako (came from.) It's a nickname, but I don't go by my real name, and it's just stuck with me ever since. I moved down there (to New Mexico) when I was six months old and had been in the desert all my life until I moved here five years ago.
"An Air Force base was where I was born and we flew to New Mexico right after that and been there ever since until recently.
"I don't know why I stayed there so long. I don't miss it one bit — the crime and the gangs. Here, I don't even know where my house keys are. You leave a truck open, it's still there when you come back.
"(I lived in the) southern desert of New Mexico, Roswell, you know, the aliens? Yeah, that's where I'm from. No, I haven't seen any. That's the first thing people ask.
"I lost my job down there in New Mexico. My best friend's lived in Hayden for 20 years, since high school, so I came up here and got to work. I actually got here Friday and was working on Monday morning for an excavation company. I found out I didn't like shovels.
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"You give me a fishing pole, you won't see me all day. That's what I'm trying to figure out for tomorrow is where I'm going to go fishing. I'm trying to round up some people. Some of my friends say, 'Ah, we're busy,' or 'I got plans.' I'm like, 'Nah, let's go fishing.' That's why you move up here. I mean hunting, camping, fishing, all that stuff.
"I went (fishing) here and there when I was younger, but I never had a dad to show me all that. So I started getting into it, had kids and was like, 'Let's go.' I just love it now.
"The good thing is that there are at least lakes here for (fishing). Where I was from, you had to drive 100 miles to a semi-decent lake even. It's a desert, you don't have water in the desert.
"I like going up the Flat Tops, hiking up to those lakes and stuff up there. That's always fun. Get away from the people. It's like everybody goes to Elkhead over here. I'm like, 'Ah, I don't like Elkhead.'
"I love the snow, cold ain't bad, except when it was like negative 35 the other morning. My fingers were frozen.
"People think I'm nuts. I'll work (outside) all day and I'll go home and ride in a snow machine or be outside shoveling, doing something. People are like, 'It's negative something,' and (my response is), 'And? I'm dressed.' I'm just a real outdoorsy person, I don't like being inside."
— Interview by Scott Schlaufman
Cable technician for Bresnan Communications