Marcus Meek has been dreaming of returning to Kodiak since he left at age 16. At 63, he has written and published a book about his memories from the Emerald Isle.
The book, titled “Elijah Horn,” centers on Meek’s experiences during the four years he spent in Kodiak, beginning in 1968. Meek was 12 when he first disembarked the Tustumena after a stormy voyage.
“If anybody in Kodiak wants to know what life was like in Chiniak in the ’60s, this will tell them,” Meek said.
While in Kodiak, Meek lived with his mother and stepfather in Chiniak, where he inhabited an abandoned bunker that dated back to the Second World War. Meek said that many of the abandoned bunkers were still intact at the time, with the beds still made. The book recounts his friendships, his adventures through the woods, and his struggle with an abusive stepfather.
Meek, who went by the name Mark Frisby while he lived in Kodiak, changed the names of the Kodiak residents about whom he wrote but said the stories are based on his lived experiences. The title of the book, “Elijah Horn,” is the name he chose for himself. Elijah is also the name of his adopted son.
A professional guitar player who now lives and teaches music in Idaho, Meek hasn’t been back to Kodiak since he left as a teenager. After leaving Kodiak, he joined the Marine Corps, worked as a welder and studied music in college. But he says he still retells his Kodiak stories to his students, who urged him to collect his memories into a book.
“Kodiak for me was the most hypnotizing place I’ve ever been. I’m always disappointed when I dream about the island and wake up and realize I’m not there,” he said. “If you’ve been there you’ll always want to go back — I’m a living testament to that.”
His book, published Oct. 16, is available from Amazon in paperback and Kindle form.