“You got a pen? I have something to tell you.”
It was a Wednesday afternoon, and Steve Phillips was sitting with a half dozen other people on a retaining wall in front of Credit Union 1. I was walking down Mountain View Drive. And I had a pen.
We moved to the stoop of the church next door. Phillips told me a story that began in the southwest Alaska community of Perryville: He talked about drinking his first beer at his father’s table, commercial fishing along the Alaska Peninsula and graduating from high school. He talked about joining the military, traveling the world and watching friends die. He talked about coming back, drinking more and camping out in the woods around Mountain View. And then he talks about going into treatment at the Ernie Turner Center, because after all these years, it’s time for a change.
“I can’t do this anymore,” he said.