Alaska writer, speaker, humorist, activist Barbara Brown Barbara Brown
4071 MacInnes Street
Anchorage, Alaska 99508-5129
(907) 563-2712
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You can also find Barbara at these sites:

"Hold this Thought"

About "Hold this Thought"

The Best Women's Travel Writing 2007

Storytime in the Garden

Alaska Botanical Garden Storytime

On-Stage, On-Air, and Out Loud
Theater, Radio, and Event Host

Hold this Thought logo

"Hold this Thought" -- a daily, one-minute thought...
        broadcast on public radio, by podcast, email, and website.

Daily one-minute thoughts designed to inspire reflection and conversation. Thoughts from literature, history, culture. Multi-layered, interesting thoughts designed to stimulate paying attention and looking beneath the surface.  Thinking minutes that linger for the rest of the day.

Come visit us at, submit your Thoughts, join the conversation, add to the thoughtfulness in the world.

Barbara, in her play "A Little Bit Pregnant"

"A Little Bit Pregnant," and "My Friend Is Coming"
written and performed by Barbara Brown

Barbara Brown's biological life cycle of the female body began with "A Little Bit Pregnant," the hilarious and heartbreaking account of infertility interventions. Now it's back to that milestone of womanhood, "My Friend Is Coming." We hope for it, pray for it, count days for it — and then we pad it, plug it, hide it, and curse it. An evening of doing battle with our bodies.
      —Anchorage Press

"top-notch ... spirited ... thoughtful and entertaining theater."
      —Anchorage Daily News

Water Slide, Portsmouth, NH

The National Waterpark Tour – The Beginning
"Once you purchase the plane tickets, the trip has to happen...."

Part 1: Download and listen (4.2 MB, mp3)

This begins the 10,000-mile, 2˝-month road trip my daughter Sophie and I took crossing the United States ... via waterparks. By trip's end, we'd visited 24 waterparks, trashed 3 bathing suits, and only had 10 stitches to the head (mine). Along the way, I broadcast commentaries of our saga on public radio. Here – for the first time – the Waterpark Chronicles!

Sophie in an Innertube on Jekyll Island, GA

The National Waterpark Tour – Nickel and Dimed
"Three waterparks in one week, and I'm already confused...."

Part 2: Download and listen (5.4 MB, mp3)

Yes, some waterparks are now charging for the inner tubes. Imagine going to a restaurant and being told the meal is $20, but the silverware is $5. Oh, they'll provide free silverware, but that will be kept in limited supply so you have to wait for someone to finish using their fork before you can eat....

Jolly Roger MasterBlaster

The National Waterpark Tour – License Plate Fugitives
"Face it, even the best Alaska car is a Lower 48 beater."

Part 3: Download and listen (4.9 MB, mp3)

Sophie is very proud of her Ontario and Quebec, but she doubts she’ll ever get a Hawaii. License plates, of course. The preferred game of I Spy in the cross-country highway game. Every now and then, Sophie imagines what it must be like for some boy or girl to spot our Alaska license plate. Maybe, she says, they were giving up hope of ever finding one and then, suddenly, there was our car.

The National Waterpark Tour – A Good Ride!
"You end up beached and bewildered till you realize, “Now that was a ride!” and you race in for more."

Part 4: Download and listen (5.1 MB, mp3)

There are thrill rides and long rides, fast rides and interesting sensation rides. We’ve ridden our first black tube rides where everything that happens is a total surprise. In Portsmouth, New Hampshire, they introduced us to riding down backwards, and at Splash Mountain, they put bumps in the chutes to make rapids.


The National Waterpark Tour – In Sickness and In Health
"The bottom line is ten stitches in my head; pain only when I smile, frown, or wiggle my ears...."

Part 5: Download and listen (4.8 MB, mp3)

Sophie shouted, “Mommy, Mommy! All your hair dye came out.” I realized my blue bathing suit was red and my skin was stained a curious shade of … rust. I smelled like blood. I was a blood fire hydrant.


The National Waterpark Tour – Introducing the Amateur
"I went over that edge, positive I was launching into thin air in full sight of the concrete I’d splatter on."

Part 6: Download and listen (4.8 MB, mp3)

An upside-down, corpse-looking Tim came out the bottom. I only knew it was him because it was wearing his yellow swim trunks. He was face down. As he got up, the lifeguard said, "Did they let you go down like that?”

"I flipped over like that,” he said. “I came down this stupid thing on my face. I’ve had enough waterpark.”

Three rides and he called it a day. Can you believe it?


The National Waterpark Tour – Exhilaration!
"I whipped off my helmet, shook my head. I could have been 007 or the Bionic Woman, Evil Knievel or an Amazon Queen."

Part 7: Download and listen (4.1 MB, mp3)

Right there, I encountered fear of success: if I stayed afloat, I’d have to keep going around that huge lake. If I pitched out, I could swim to shore and leave it all behind. I wasn’t just fighting the rope; I was fighting something in me that didn’t want to do something that scary. I would decide to tip over – and then I’d apply my weight and make it through the next buoy. Against my will, I was riding that stupid lake.


The National Waterpark Tour – Crime & Ethical Dilemmas
"Who would steal at a waterpark? Who would steal my wallet and credit cards, camera, and belongings?"

Part 8: Download and listen (5.7 MB, mp3)

If the tubes are $4 to rent and you pay a $2 deposit, could I stand at the return line and give people $2 for their tubes? They get their deposit back and I get a tube for half-price.  Is that a crime?


The National Waterpark Tour – Waiting on Line
"Sophie and I have waited on a lot of lines this summer – less than we imagined but more than we’d put up with if we weren’t waiting for a waterslide."

Part 9: Download and listen (4.7 MB, mp3)

The worst lines of all are those for scary rides. At Rapids Waterpark in West Palm Beach, Florida, I reconsidered my decision every step of the 120 leading to the top. Breezes blew, the structure seemed shakier, and the ground got further and further away. As a total ride package, it was pure terror.


The National Waterpark Tour – Looking Back
"Mostly we learned, There's no place like home."

Part 10: Download and listen (5.6 MB, mp3)

In places where temperatures ran to 110˚, beach indexes announced that skin will start to burn in only 17 minutes, and you couldn’t walk to the car without working up a drenching sweat – in places like that, people still ask, “How can you live in Alaska? That’s such a hostile climate.”



This site created at Alaska Writers Homestead

Unless otherwise noted, all material is copyrighted 2006 Barbara Brown, all rights reserved.
AlaskaWriter illustrations and site design copyright 2003, 2004
Sonya Senkowsky and AlaskaWriter. All rights reserved.