JPR – Bill Parker: Adopted Eskimo


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This United States Life

Bill Parker: Adopted Eskimo


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Host: It’s not every day you meet an Eskimo in California. I have to say that Bill Parker was not what I expected. I had the chance to interview him on a warm summer day. He was dressed in his traditional garb, and looked uncomfortable to say the least. What follows is his story… the story of “Bill Parker: Adopted Eskimo“.

Bill Parker: My name is Bill Parker: Adopted Eskimo

HO: I first wanted to know how he wound up in California, so I asked him “How did you end up in California?”

BP: Times were hard for my adopted family when we first moved from the frozen tundra to the balmy grasslands of Glendale. Our traditional igloos did not last long, and materials to build them were not as plentiful.

HO: I then wondered how they were able to earn a living in this strange, new land, so I queried “How were you able to earn a living in this strange, new land?”

BP: It was indeed fortunate for us that my family had a treasured recipe for “Agutuk”. It is a frozen treat made from snow, honey, antelope meat, and tundra berries. My mouth waters even now just telling you of the tasty ingredients. We were the first to open up a new store selling our ancestral goodie. The store was called “You Don’t Know It’s Not Agutuk”, and was an immediate failure.

HO: Although I had traveled around the globe, I had not yet encountered “tundra berries”. Curious about them, I next asked him “I’m curious about tundra berries – can you tell me more?”

BP: They are the magical berries that appear on the tundra shortly after a herd of antelope have passed. I would gather them and eat them with glee while my family joyously laughed. Ah! Memories of the halcyon years of youth!

HO: My time with Bill Parker: Adopted Eskimo had come to an end. I wished him a fond farewell and watched as his team of sled dogs dragged him across the asphalt parking lot to his little Agutuk shoppe in the foothills of Glendale, California.

Anncr: Next time on This United States Life – the rarely discussed phenomenon of “The Werewolves of Somalia“.

Native: Many was the late evening when we would entertain a pack of werewolves for dinner. Sure, it sounds like a party, but they have truly horrendous table manners! (howl) I told you to use a fork! And no howling at the table! (howl) Huhhhh, those damned werewolves…

Anncr: This is still JPR. Joe Public Radio.
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