Glacier Valley Gazetta
A Glimpse into the Past
By Marc Donadieu
Glacier City Gazette
Glacier City Gazette (GCG) is sad to say Polka Dan Zantek has recently passed away. A Hall of Fame Concertina player, he was a legendary part of Girdwood musical history since the late 1950s, including recent Ocktoberfest sets at Alyeska Resort. Let’s all raise a glass for Polka Dan!
The pages of Glacier Valley Gazetta are a fascinating look into Girdwood and the Turnagain Arm region 52 years ago.
On page 1 of Vol. 1, No. 4, Aug.-Sept. 1967 issue is the front page, front article and photo announcing Dan Zantek’s bid for Borough Assembly, likely written by Editor Hugh Cruikshank, Jr., Zantek’s favorite bartender and friend.
GCG revisited the 8/28/17 interview with Zantek, which took place exactly two years to the day this issue was published. Zantek explained how he became the candidate as part of a bar bet.
“What happened was we were at the bar and everybody was bitching about this guy Fischer and politics in general. I’d say, ‘You can’t just bitch about it. You’ve got to do something.’ So there were about 12 of us at the bar, and everybody had a beard except Patty. We flipped the coins, and it was between me and Hugh [Cruikshank, Gazetta Editor], and I lost. That’s why I’m on the newspaper [front page].”