In South Florida's very midst lives a transplant who hails from the celebrated town of Wasilla, Alaska. A second-year medical student at Nova Southeastern University, his name is Harry A. Schultz IV, but he goes by "Buck." (Judging by the Palin clan, they're very big on colorful, one-syllable names up in moose territory.) Buck was kind enough to tell New Times writer Deirdra Funcheon everything we ever wanted to know about Wasilla:
How many traffic lights are in Wasilla?
Nowadays? We got a lot the past couple of summers, so I would say... a dozen.
Where do the cool kids hang out?
Ooh, there's a pool hall — Valley Billiards. There's also a grocery store parking lot where kids meet up to get all the juicy party plans.
Where are the parties?
In backyards and at abandoned airstrips.
How do you spend all those long, cold winter nights?
Drinking , mostly. The bar-to-church ratio is pretty high.
What, roughly, is the moose-to-human ratio in Wasilla?
I would say 1-to-2.
Have you ever met an openly gay person in Wasilla?
An openly black person?
And did you hear P. Diddy's rant that there are no crack addicts in Alaska?
What, besides the temperature, would be a big adjustment to life in Wasilla for a native of South Florida?
Decreased incidence of skin cancer. Increased incidence of tobacco chewing.
What about for an Alaskan moving to Florida?
All the not-white people. Culture shock.
When running errands in downtown Wasilla during midwinter, please rank the most convenient modes of transportation, in descending order: snowshoes, skis, dogsled, snowmobile, woolly mammoth.
Ha ha. Snowmobiles are not a joke. People really do use those, especially kids without a license. And I bet you could see a dogsled or two — Wasilla is the starting point for the Iditarod.
Do Wasilla residents feel more American or more Canadian?
They kinda have their own thing going on. They refer to this part as "the lower 48" and to Canadians as "those Canadian bastards."
Do you feel you have foreign-relations experience because of your state's proximity to Russia?
Yes, actually. There are a lot of Russian immigrants.
What do you love/hate about South Florida?
I love the bikini apparel, as opposed to the flannel.
How about Wasilla?
Up there, we have a saying: "You never really lose your woman; you just lose your turn." We all dated the same girls until they just married one of us.
Do you know the Palin brood?
I know only the eldest, Track. He was rowdy, kind of a screw-up in high school. A hockey goon.
Like John McCain?
Did people call Sarah Palin a MILF back when she was mayor?
Yes. Then she became governor, and they called her a GILF. They sold T-shirts saying "Hottest Governor" or something. They were quick to exploit her. Now she's a VPILF, I guess.
Have members of Wasilla Bible Church ever prayed for you?
Ooh — yes. I dated one of them.
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Was it awesome?
It was awesome, but I lost my turn.
Who are you voting for?
You know, most Alaskans like Palin because she's like "Alaska First." I think most people don't want her to vacate her governor role. I'm actually non-party-affiliated. I was a hardcore Republican — like, a Shiite Republican — when I left Wasilla. But since I've been in Florida for five years, they [his Alaska homeboys] would think of me as a laid-back hippie liberal by comparison. I'm not partisan. I'm probably going to write in Nader.