first broadcast Tuesday, January 31, 2012
Running dogs with his uncle – legendary musher Herbie Nayokpuk, the "Shishmaref Cannonball" – was a highlight of Davis's youth. He even accompanied his uncle to Nome and helped tend the dogs during a 1958 race sponsored by the Nome Kennel Club. He says the link between man and dog is something special, something that saved him more than once during those solo hunting trips around Shishmaref over the years.
As a young man, Davis began a career in law enforcement that would take him from Shishmaref to Nome, from Barrow to Anchorage, working jobs in corrections and airport security, as well as years with the Nome Police Department and working security for the pipeline in the 70s. He has tried to raise his children and grandchildren with a traditional lifestyle, but he says kids today are growing up in "two different worlds": one of western culture and one of traditional culture. He reflects on his youth, and how working as a community, and respect for elders, helped him become a man, a father, and a grandfather.
Religion, Davis says, should be an essential part of everyone's life, and he links the turn away from religion seen today to issues that threaten traditional lifestyles in Shishmaref, as well as the village's sense of community. And he says the need for unity goes beyond the local level: he thinks it needs to happen on a national and political level as well. He likens that need for unity to his old hunting days. He may have enjoyed hunting alone in his youth, but he encourages his kids and grandkids to go hunting together today: working together, helping one another, making everyone's efforts easier and more successful.
Davis Sockpick was interviewed in November 2011.