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Ever wondered about someone you pass on the sidewalk, see in the grocery store, or heard mentioned in stories? This is our attempt to track those people down, and grill them, lightly.
Will you be my friend? Corrie Nash 041013 NEWS 2 Capital City Weekly Ever wondered about someone you pass on the sidewalk, see in the grocery store, or heard mentioned in stories? This is our attempt to track those people down, and grill them, lightly.

Photo By Don Nash

Corrie Nash poses with a deer she hunted.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Story last updated at 4/10/2013 - 6:20 pm

Will you be my friend? Corrie Nash

Ever wondered about someone you pass on the sidewalk, see in the grocery store, or heard mentioned in stories? This is our attempt to track those people down, and grill them, lightly.

It's hard to tell if Corrie Nash has a wily streak. She's accomplished at many things and seems to possess all of the positive characteristics for which one might strive. She's humble but adventurous, respectful both to herself and the world at large.

With the exception of the first six months of her life, which she spent in her birth country of South Korea, 30-year old Nash is a life-long Alaskan. She was adopted by a couple who were living in Pelican and had three biological children of their own.

They adopted two more children, also from South Korea and older than Nash, and moved their family to Haines when she was three.

Her parents were commercial fishermen and added a few charter boats to their fleet once they purchased a fishing lodge in Elfin Cove, around 1997.

Nash grew up hunting and fishing, activities ingrained into her soul to this day.

"In Pelican we lived off of deer meat and fish and rice and anything that came off a shelf," she said.

Her family was close. They went to church every Sunday, had a strict 7 a.m. breakfast and family dinners.

"Everything was pretty regulated," she said. "With six kids you have to be that way. We did a lot of family trips down south. Both my parents were from Seattle."

Nash's mother was a nurse and a quilter, and Nash picked up both her father's handyman skills and her mother's artistic ones.

"I dabbled in everything," she said. "Everyone tells me I'm a perfectionist. I have to do everything really well. I do a lot of art, photography. I try anything once. I attempted snowboarding."

Nash graduated high school a year early, as she skipped a year in order to attend high school with her closest sibling, Olen, who was four years her senior. Nash performed well in school, and received a full ride to college. She moved to Fairbanks for her freshman year.

She chose Fairbanks because it was some place new.

"I always liked to travel and had been to different countries," she said. "I knew I didn't want to be in Anchorage and had been in Juneau too much."

After a summer fishing out of Elfin Cove, Nash didn't return to Fairbanks. Her brother Olen had died in a fishing accident not long before she had enrolled in college.

"I liked the people and the school was alright," Nash said, "But I felt like I was lost."

She went to a massage therapy school in Lake Tahoe when she was 19. Nash started the first massage therapy business in Elfin Cove, and said it was pretty prosperous.

"I fished every day, then did massage at night," Nash said. "Basically, it's a little tiny town, but in the summer there are about eight lodges, so it's ideally one of the best locations to (have a) massage (business). You have a very wealthy clientele, and they're used to pampering; they've been fishing all day."

Eventually Nash enrolled in an interior design program in Portland, and her passion was naval architecture. A brilliant idea, really, as she's disciplined with a sharp mind and has a wealth of experience growing up on the water in Alaska.

After the design program Nash came up for a visit to Juneau, to watch her brothers play in the annual Gold Medal basket ball tournament. She had looked in to architecture and design opportunities, and during her visit had two interviews.

"I decided more than boats, I just wanted to come home," Nash said.

She's been working for Jensen Yorba Lott, Inc., a local architecture firm, for six years now.

"My first job was the Juneau International Airport," she said. "For the last three years I've been working on designing a high school in Kodiak."

Her work on the Kodiak project included interior architecture, space planning and master planning.

"Overall, how the campus is going to look," she said. "I went up there for 10 days to do a design charrette (where) you work with all user groups, get the feel of what they need, where the design is heading. It was an amazing building."

Nash has also worked for the Kodiak Island Borough on their Art in Public Places project, won a design contest for Alaska Brewing Co., bakes and decorates cakes for weddings and events, knits, quilts, and has contributed designs to the Aurora Projekt clothing company.

But she's moving on. She recently accepted a position with ASRC, a contracting company in Sitka.

"I feel like I've done Juneau," Nash said. "My employers have been really good to me. It's a tough decision to make. I still long line with my family every year; I still get a moose tag in Haines every fall, I was in Bali last year. I feel like I've earned that respect, they've been really good to me. It's tough to leave a situation that's so comfortable."

But, Nash added, "Opportunities come and go all the time. I'm 30, I'm single, I don't have a house. If I am going to make a change, this is the perfect time to do it."

Nash isn't the kind of person who believes one's life is spelled out.

"Life is more affected by the decisions that we make and the actions that we choose," she said.

This fall she'll be traveling to Kenya with an organization called Project Helping Hands, which provides services through traveling clinics around the world.

Nash described herself as "even-keeled" and relaxed, which she attributes to growing up with four brothers.

The one activity that's all her own? Bow hunting. When she was in her late teens, her family was at a sport show in California. One of the vendors had bows on display.

"I said, 'I think I'm going to buy a bow and be the best bow hunter ever,'" Nash said.

This was when she was in Portland. She bought a bow in August, set up a target in the back of her house, practiced for about a month and a half, and then killed her first bow-hunted deer that September.

"I don't know if 'opportunist' is the right word but that's how I like to live my life," Nash said. "I've been able to go on a lot of adventures, meet a lot of people and hopefully make a difference. I think it's important to love people and love life and keep smiling and take advantage of opportunities. I have learned that life is fragile but solid at the same time. We can hold on to the past and still move forward."

Amanda Compton is the staff writer for the Capital City Weekly. She can be reached at amanda.compton@capweek.com.


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