Interview: Joyce Hines

Joyce Hines traveled a long way before settling down in Mountain View, and she plans to stick around.

Born in Trinidad, she married a soldier and came to America on a U.S. Army transport when she was 19. The trip took 11 days by sea. She lived in New York, Texas and California, and raised seven children along the way. When one of her sons joined the Army and was stationed in Anchorage, Hines came up to visit him and decided she didn’t want to leave.

“I thought it was the country,” said Hines, who lives in a two-story house on Tarwater Street and celebrated her 83rd birthday last week. “I said, ‘Oh boy, I’m at home.’ Not a bunch of traffic. And it was quieter than living in California.”

Mountain View Post: Did you ever think about moving out of the neighborhood?

Joyce Hines: No. When I moved here, I stayed here. My daughters came after me, since I’ve been sick, but I told them I’m not going. I’m staying right here. I’m not sick in bed, but I’m on dialysis — go about three times a week to dialysis. But I do have high blood pressure; all those kids, you see. And I worked with kids.

Post: What kind of job?

JH: Most of my job in Alaska is volunteer. I volunteered for the kids’ after-school program. I babysat — had 15 kids. That’s why I kept the house; made a living.

Post: When you first moved in to this house…

JH: It was a mess. It took me three months to move into it. People here used to sell dope, and they would just throw their trash out the back door. And now people bringing their stuff and leaving it with me, and they ain’t coming back to pick it up. They think I have a big house. It’s a four-bedroom house.

Post: You’ve been here for about 25 years now.

JH: A murder was committed right in front of my house. Shootings and all kinds of stuff, but I lived through all that. It used to be rough in Mountain View. But Cook Inlet, building all these houses, it’s nicer.

Post: What made you stick it out?

JH: It was quiet. You know, it wasn’t noisy. Not all the traffic, like going to L.A. I lived in the valley, and it would take you two hours to drive 10, 15 miles.

Post: What do you think of the changes that you’ve seen here in the neighborhood since you moved in?

JH: It’s very nice. It’s somewhere that you could move in to, be happy to move in to. It’s not all these street-corner gangs and these guys with their hats backwards. You hear about them, but you don’t see none of them around here. People want to move to Mountain View now.

Post: What changes would you like to see next?

JH: Maybe some signs for the school zones so the traffic wouldn’t fly by. Or some speed bumps. I think they only have them on the first street, by Mother Lawrence’s place.

Post: Last question — what advice would you give people?

JH: They need to mind their own business, and quit getting in other people’s business, and if you meet somebody, don’t get over-friendly. And don’t visit too much. I don’t visit too much.


Joyce Hines holds a photo of herself, her son and his wife on their wedding day. Hines followed her son to Anchorage from California nearly 30 years ago.

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