Eskimo boys grow fast in the rugged cold weather of Greenland, and that was the case with Yaki. His heroic deed while hunting on the ice cap near the North Pole brought praise and honor from his father.

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In January of 1950, I toured the American air force bases in Newfoundland, Labrador, and Greenland, playing trombone with the Bobby Byrnes Band. Traveling by airplane was a new experience and exciting for a 19 year old. While in Greenland, a captain asked my best friend Johnny Bova and I if we wanted to go hunting on the ice cap the next morning. We accepted, and it seemed like we had barely gone to bed when he woke us up, and asked if we were still interested in going. We both replied yes! A sergeant came along carrying a large canvas sack that held rifles. Our objective was to shoot ptarmigans, a white bird native to the area, which turned brown during the summer. During the hunt, we shot a total of 31 birds, that the chef turned into a delicious gourmet dinner that night at the officer’s club.


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