In this lively autobiography about the Short family in Alaska, a cheechako is a greenhorn. Pap Short, a nonconformist, once lived in the Arizona desert. He decided to take his wife and three sons to Alaska in 1946. He settled them in Sunrise Harbor, miles from human habitation. He bought a 22 foot, steel-hulled life boat and converted it into a fishing schooner. A new friend instructed the sons and soon they started following the various fish in season and often made $200 per day for their catches. At the end of the fishing season, they took up hunting and after that, trapping mink. Filling out the narrative are stories involving dangerous bears, a baby seal named Enrice and the lore of man against the Alaskan elements. Short genuinely captures the feel of living in a day that is only six hours long but demands twelve hours work.