They built Alaska on whiskey and dynamite

Tuesday, 14 November 2017, 01:55:11 PM. Married for a year, then apart for 50 and now back together again, Jerry Smith and Kristie Hocking have lived a full Alaska life.
Jerry Smith and Kristie Hocking have more grandchildren and great-grandchildren than will fit in their Anchorage house. Which is interesting, because they haven't yet celebrated their second anniversary. They were married in 1958 but divorced in 1959. Then, in 2009, she found him again on the internet. "I told her she had the right to kill me," Smith said. "I had some rusting butcher knives, because I didn't want to die too swift." "He was hilarious on the computer," she said. "I said, 'I don't remember you being that funny.' He said, 'I don't remember that, either.'" Hocking was living outside Alaska at the time, but decided to visit. "I knew he wasn't an ax murderer," she said. "I kept that covered up," Smith said. A faded wedding photo from the Moose Lodge in Palmer sits in the living room — a relative fortunately kept it—but there is no updated color version. "At this point, who needs to get married?" Hocking said. "It would just ruin our finances," Smith said. Including that first marriage to each other, Smith has been married a total of five times and Hocking six times. "We're not very good at it, let's put it that way," Smith said. Buy This Photo A photo at Jerry Smith and Kristie Hocking’s home shows their marriage in 1958. (Marc Lester / Alaska Dispatch News) When I asked what caused that first divorce, Smith gallantly said, "I was certifiably insane." But I suspect alcohol and wild living had something to do with it. Smith quit drinking 32 years ago, near the end...Read more
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