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Jon Rukavina
August 12, 2009
Votes: +4

a few memories of the Big I during the pipeline days

Glad to see this web site and comment area.
I was a regular at the Big I during the pipeline days and knew people like Ham bone, Jack and of course Hap.
This year met Hap's sister through the Arctic Cam site at the News Miner, and because of that, found out I was the only one who'd taken pictures of any of Hap's stage productions; I shot Pipeline Fanny for Hap in July '78. I was shocked and proud at the same time!
Last time I saw Hap was in 2003, on a visit to Alaska to say farewell to a terminally ill friend. I always stopped in on my visits to Fairbanks to raise a glass to the old days.
I live in Eagan, Mn. now.
Hap, rest in peace.

December 23, 2009
Votes: +2


John, glad to see you're open there amid all the construction around you. Any chance you can get a group of patrons together to wave into the live News Miner webcam? Thx

Beverly Nelson
February 02, 2010
Votes: +0

Hap Ryder's Sister

smilies/cheesy.gif Happy Birthday Hap.
Gone but never forgotten.
Hap and Jack together forever in God's care.
God Bless you both and may you both RIP.
Loved and missed forever.
Hap's Sister, Bev

February 16, 2010
Votes: +3

always thinking avout Jack and Hap

I was there 1977.I lived with my uncle Bab Bigovich. He was very good friend with both of them. I loved them as my family. I remembered that Hap tried to learn my language. They are always in my mind. God Bless you both.
Regards Melita

Steve Burkholder
February 28, 2010
Votes: +4

1970 - 1973 memories

I was the night bartender at the Big I during most of those years. I was just a kid then as you could drink in those days at 19. Was during the middle of the pipeline so there were lots of characters in town. Used to close the bar down about 2 am. Then a bunch of the regulars would play dice (4-5-6) until the wee hours.

I remember one time at the fairgrounds, there was an ice cream parlor. Hap liked ice cream and they had some sort of bowl where you could buy something like 25 scoops of different flavors all mixed into that bowl. A couple of us got together and bought Hap a bowl, and damned if he didn't actually eat most of it.

There were a couple of rooms up above the bar. Jack used to let some of the old timer prospectors who came to town once in awhile to get supplies, stay in the rooms for free. He was a good soul.

August 06, 2010
Votes: +0

Doubble Tapp Band

Hey guy's!!
We're Doubble Tapp, A 3 piece Rock and Roll band that plays 60's and 70's Rock Music. When can we start!!

Gary McElhennon
September 04, 2010
Votes: +0

Growing up with The Big I

Having spent a number of years of my childhood in Fairbanks due to my father working on the pipeline and as the big i was a popular gathering spot for the irish community (altho' i don't recall it being an irish pub back then) we spent many a time on those premises and i would like nothing better than to sit up at the bar and have a beer 'cos all i could do back then was sit at the donkey kong table and drink shirley temples and it would be nice to show my 3 daughters where i grew up Alaska being some difference compared to Ireland and perhaps run into any of the irish fellas from the old days.

Alaska Red
August 14, 2011
Votes: +0

A question on when the first Nevada Bar opened.

This site claims that the Nevada Bar first opened in 1958. I have a book that shows it first opened in 1938. Is that a typo or what? TIA

May 24, 2012
Votes: +1

de-construction blues

Looks like more of the never ending road and utilities construction.

Hopefully will end soon and you'll get your parking lot back.


June 20, 2012
Votes: +0


It's a shame what a big EyeSore the bar has become. It is one of the ugliest places in town now and I don't plan on spending another red cent there in support of the monstrosity that it has become. Would it kill you to class the joint up some?

November 29, 2012
Votes: +0

Mural on the outside wall

Hi John,

There's a blog on the Newsminer ArticCam suggesting we write you about having you put mural on the outside wall facng the camera. The cam is redirected at the new Xmas tree location

That would be great, even if it's just an Xmas season mural.

Hundreds of us look at the cam daily.

June 08, 2013
Votes: +2


Hi, I met my husband, Marty, in Fairbanks, in 1973. He was a surveyor for the pipeline. We often went to the Big I & enjoyed talking to Jack Sexton. He was a true gentleman who always had kind words to say about everyone.
My husband tended bar, part time, for the charismatic Bryan West & his lovely wife, Norah, at a couple of their bars. Fairbanks was a lively and fun place to be. We met many interesting characters along the way
& both have wonderful memories of our life there.

Best regards to the people of the Great City of Fairbanks!!~

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