49 Voices: Davante Owens of Anchorage

This week we’re hearing from Davante Owens, a UAA student who graduated high school in Anchorage and originally attended college and played football in Minnesota. He later came back to Anchorage to finish his studies after joining the Army. downloadaudio:

Davante Owens (Photo by Wesley Early, Alaska Public Media)
Davante Owens (Photo by Wesley Early, Alaska Public Media)

OWENS: My name is Davante Owens, and I’m currently a student at UAA.

So I was born and raised. After high school, I graduated and I went to go play football in Minnesota. I came back and realized I didn’t have the money for school, so then I joined the Army and I trained in two different states other than Minnesota: Missouri and Virginia. Then I came back. And in those three states that I ventured out, I realized that Alaska’s better.

It’s beautiful. I mean, the snow, the mountains, you can’t really… can’t really beat it (laughs). You really can’t. I love snowboarding, sledding, anything to do with the snow. Going down the mountain, you know, flying twenty miles an hour, or if you got a wax board you’re going faster, but you got the wind on your back and you’re just… I don’t know. It feels good and you don’t get that much anywhere else. I mean, you can go somewhere else, but you don’t get the scenery that you get in Alaska as well so… yeah winter makes me feel like an Alaskan (laughs).

I guess summer you’d say hiking. My mother likes to berry pick, so berry picking is on the list as well (laughs). I mean anything outdoorish; you can’t beat that.

Only in Alaska, you can walk out the movie theater and walk straight into a bear. A big bear, I mean, right in front of your face. (I) walked out of Tikahtnu movie theater, me and my girlfriend, and freakin… there’s a bear right there and she’s like; she pushes me and I’m looking over there, “What? Why are you pushing me?”… And (I) walked the other direction. So yeah, I mean. You’re gonna run into bears; you’re gonna run into moose, like, I never ran into so many animals in any other state I’ve been in.

The one main thing that people always tell me about, that they don’t want to come up to Alaska ‘cause “Oh there’s so much snow.” It’s not that bad (laughs). It really isn’t, and once you experience one winter, at least, just one. Just try one winter. If you don’t like one winter… I’ll give you that but, it’s just winter. You have to survive (laughs).

After I finish school, I have a plan to go active and actually travel. After I retire, I plan on settling here because Alaska is a beautiful place to live. So… that’s my plan. I’ll get a retirement home in Alaska (laughs).

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Wesley Early covers municipal politics and Anchorage life for Alaska Public Media. Reach him at wearly@alaskapublic.org.