A Picture Walk Through Time

Author Kirby Larson

Kirby Larson visiting the fifth grade students at Auke Bay School in the spring of 2016 where she told them about the origins of her idea for writing “Dash” and also about her research for the book. During a succeeding session she facilitated a writer’s workshop.

The gift Kirby brought to each of the students who attended her workshops!

Students busily responding to Kirby’s writing prompt.

Student reading her response to the prompt with Kirby’s encouragement.

Kirby also visited Harborview Elementary.

Karleen Grummett, Margie Shackelford, Mary Tanaka, Kirby Larsen, Julie Leary and Janie Homan celebrating Kirby at Harbor View Grade School.

Faculty and Empty Chair Committee members celebrating Kirby Larson’s wonderful workshops!


Author Jamie Ford

Jamie Ford, the author of “Hotel at the Corner of Bitter and Sweet,” visited Thunder Mountain High School to discuss his book with literature classes while focusing on his writing process.

Jamie discussing his work and process with students.

Examples of student work in response to “Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet,” classroom copies of which were provided by the Empty Chair Project.

Jamie Ford signing copies of his book after giving a book talk at the downtown Juneau library. Betty Marriott, a member of the Empty Chair Committee, is waiting her turn!

Mr. Ford posing in front of the Empty Chair display at the new Mendenhall Valley library.

Mary Abo standing beside the placard honoring her brother, John Tanaka, who was remembered by his graduating class with an empty chair at their 1942 graduation because John (and Mary) had been sent to Minidoka before he could graduate with them as their valedictorian. This display was featured at the Mendenhall Valley Library.

Jeanne Tanaka, John Tanaka’s wife, recently shared her memories of Minidoka with Jamie Ford.

Jamie Ford and Jeanne Tanaka sharing a moment of mutual admiration.

Mary Abo presenting Jamie Ford with a copy of Karleen Grummett’s book, “Quiet Defiance: Alaska’s Empty Chair Story.” In turn, Mary is having her copy of Jamie’s latest book, “Love and Other Consequences” signed by the author.

Thank You Ceremonies

The Empty Chair Project had quite a few people to whom they wished to present formal awards. These ceremonies follow:

The White Hat Hero Society

The White Hat Hero Society is comprised of gentlemen who have displayed heroic service to the ECP (Empty Chair Project) without monetary compensation. They include, but are not limited to:

Joe Heueisen

Jim Triplette

Roger Grummett and Jerry Godkin

Brent Fischer sans his white hat. (It’s up on a shelf in his office.) In this photo he and Margie have their right hands on all the paperwork that was generated while administering the grant the Empty Chair Project received from the National Park Service. We’ll be forever grateful that he and the City of Juneau took on our grant so we were able to realize our goals. Hooray!

Worthy Ladies

Joyce Hall received her “Helping Hands Necklace” for her efforts in folding and arranging cranes on tables, in strands and on one very important chair! Jackie Triplette was awarded a wizard’s hat and wand in appreciation of her magical endeavors while fascilitating another performance of “Within the Silence” at Auke Bay and Harbor View Grade Schools.

Our august awards committee bookending their latest nominees. The committee members are Karleen Grummett, Mary Abo, Alice Hikido and Margie Shackelford. Their guests, Jackie Triplette and Joyce Hall are featured in the center.

The awards committee at work again celebrating graphic artist Sarah Olsen’s contributions to “Quiet Defiance: Alaska’s Empty Chair Story.”

Karleen and Sarah…co-conspirators.


The Empty Chair Committee

An Empty Chair celebratory dinner. The menu came directly from the City Cafe’s menu of the 1940’s: Hot Pork Sandwiches with Gravy on White Bread; Applesauce; Mashed Potatoes with Gravy (of course); Canned Peas; and Apple Pie with Vanilla Ice Cream.

Author, Author!

Celebrating the publication of author Karleen Grummett’s book, “Quiet Defiance: Alaska’s Empty Chair Story” one sunny Juneau day!

Alice Hikido presenting Karleen with a celebratory chain of origami cranes.


Karleen with the pen Mary Abo presented to her on that memorable day as a remembrance that “The pen is mightier than the sword.” It was presented in the small wooden box in her left hand that has a lovely crane embossed on the lid.

              Working in the Schools

Margie and Mary working with classes of 6th graders at Floyd Dryden Middle School. Multiple copies of Karleen Grummett’s book, “Quiet Defiance: Alaska’s Empty Chair Story” had been provided by the Empty Chair Project.


The students were reading “My Indomitable Friend,” a story written by Margie about she and Mary’s friendship when they were children…a tale of two cultures and one enduring friendship.

    Spreading the News in California


Greg Chaney delighting in the fact that a showing of his “Empty Chair” documentary was sold out at the San Jose Japanese American Museum.

Margie, Greg and Mary stealthily bringing the Empty Chair story to San Jose. Karleen Grummett’s book, “Quiet Defiance: Alaska’s Empty Chair Story,” was also featured at the museum.


Margie and Alice receiving orchid plants as thank you gifts after a showing of Greg’s Empty Chair documentary at her church in San Jose.