By Dimitra Lavrakas
For Senior Voice 

A retirement to remember in Skagway


Dimitra Lavrakas photo

Carlin "Buckwheat" Donahue, left, and his retirement well-wishers at the Red Onion Saloon in Skagway.

Honorary plaque in arms, retiring Skagway Convention and Visitors Bureau Director Carlin "Buckwheat" Donahue regaled a crowd of well-wishers at the Red Onion Saloon on May 1. After 16 years in the position, Donahue can look back at countless plaque presentations to cruise ship captains on their ship's first docking in Skagway, years of seeing hundreds of thousands of visitors using the visitor services the bureau provides, but most importantly, 29 years of the Buckwheat Ski Classic, a cross country race touted for "the lazy and infirm – and the very few who are fast." Legend has it the race was invented, as so many events are in Alaska, on a dark winter night in a bar on a napkin, with the hopes of bringing more women into town. Donahue is also a well-known presenter of Robert Service poetry throughout Alaska.


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