Dave Liebersbach

Profile Updated: January 10, 2014
Dave Liebersbach
Residing In: Chugiak, AK USA
Spouse/Partner: Lora Harbo
Children: Tamiah Liebersbach, born April 1990-Master's Degree ('With Distinction') in International Economics More…and Banking from London School of Economics
Samuel Liebersbach, born February 1997-Junior at Chugiak High School, Chugiak, Alaska, eye on Aeronautical Engineering (4.0+)
(I'm pretty proud of these two-can you tell?)
Occupation: Retired-US Dept of Interior, BLM & State of Alaska
Military Service (enter Branch or Name): US Army, 173rd Airborne Brigade, Vietnam  
Yes! Attending Reunion
School Story:

Peter Bartsch winning the 1963 homecoming game against Shasta High School with a game ending field goal.

I was driving south on 99/I-5 one night from Redding/Anderson with a group of 'classmates' hanging BAs out my mom's car windows (front and back) when I took a wrong detour/lane (I-5 was just being built and this was one of those transitions between 99 and I-5) on the hill just north of Cottonwood and ended up in the northbound lane on I-5 facing oncoming traffic/headlights at about 75-80 miles an hour-a near death experience (one of many) for all of us.

In our senior year a group of us (Jack Allen, Larry Bouette, George Fredson, Pete Catching, Peter Bartsch, myself and others?) undertook to teach ourselves to water ski-to include driving ski boats (we had two)-on the Sacramento River a couple of miles upriver from the bridge. During one of our early sessions Peter Bartsch had completed a flawless two ski circut of the stretch of river we used and came sailing in to land near the little beach we were using. Due to a slight miscalculation of his speed Peter was unable to slow himself enough to stop in front of the beach, so instead ran full speed onto the sand with both skiis still on his feet. Well the skiis stopped abruptly on the sand, but Peter continued up the beach spinning head-over-heels in a ball of sand and Swiss curses disappearring into the brush and trees above the beach of the little island we were using. Lucky for Peter he was not seriously injured because the rest of us were rolling around laughing so hard that we couldn't have helped him if we'd had to.

The players: Tony Carol and Larry Bouette in a VW Bug-Jack Allen, George Fredson and myself in Jack's Model A Ford.
The Location: Driving out the Lassen Park road from the ski area just approaching the junction with Highway 36.
The event: We were conducting a running snowball fight, the Model A in front with Jack driving, me on the right running board and George in the rumble seat throwing snowballs back at the VW where Tony was driving and Larry was throwing snowballs at us. As we came to the highway junction there set a car (driven by George Perkins of Mineral) stopped at the STOP sign! The road was snow covered and it was obvious that we were not going to be able to stop before hitting the stopped car. Jack put the Model A into a hard slide to the left and as we passed the stopped car its rear bumper brushed the calf of my left leg-remember I am still outside on the running board hanging on for dear life. We are now slidding across Highway 36 at 25-30 mph and Jack realizes I am about to end up between the 'A' and the 6 foot snow bank on the far side of the highway, so he cranks the wheel hard and reverses the direction of the Model A as we slam into the snow bank with the left side of the car. In the meantime the VW with Tony and Larry have no room to maneuver and, with us out of the way, they proceed to slide into the rear of the stopped car. Well there were some cuts and bruises, a bent fender or two, and a couple disgruntled people (in the stopped car), but no great harm came to anyone and we had another great story to tell.

March 24,1964 the great Alaska earthquake occurred, sending a tsunami down the west coast of Canada and the U.S. that arrived that night along the California coast. That day several of us from RBUHS were attending a 3 day human rights conference at Asilomar Beach State Park in Monterey along with hundreds of other juniors and seniors from schools all over California. Well, yada, yada, yada and that night when the police came to warn people of the tsunami (several people had already died in Crescent City) and clear the beaches they found scores of teenage couples in various states of disrobement scattered all over the sandune beaches at Asilomar-future RBUHS alumni among them. That is how I will always remember where I was when the Alaska Good Friday Earthquake occurred-being herded by flashlight with 50+ other partially dressed teenagers off the beach at Asilomar-you've got to love it.

Okay-another story: This story envolves one of our classmates who shall remain undisclosed for now, but I will call him???Red. (For those-including Red-who try to identify this classmate, Red has attended all our reunions and lives in California. Red and I were close friends in elementry school but moved in different circles at Bidwell and RBUHS.) One night of our senior year Red and I were at an event where he consumed a fair amount of alcohol-he was lip dripping drunk!! Red knew he couldn't go home in this condition and my mother had always told me to never allow my friends to get in trouble if we could help them, so I took Red to our house to sleep it off. I put Red in my room sprawled on the bed and went into the living room to sleep on the sofa. As I drift off to sleep-about 1:30 am-there is a great commotion and crashing around in my room. I enter and turn on the light to find Red trashing my room in search of some 'unbearable noise' that is wreaking havoc with his pounding head. We stand silent a moment and I hear nothing, but Red is shaking and pointing at my electric clock and then I too hear the quiet whir as the second hand sweeps around. I unplug the clock and Red sinks back to bed to sleep until Grandma wakes him for breakfast. All ends well. (Who are you Red???)

Our senior year and a bunch of us 'guys' are staying up at Jack Allen's cabin in Mineral and skiing and .... One night several of us (myself, George Fredson, Tony Carrol, Gary Lotze and ???) find we are a little bored with 'night life' in Mineral and decide to drive to RB for the evening and Saturday night dance at Stout Hall. To make the excursion more interesting we pool some money as a bet on who will 'get lucky' and 'score' that night. After making complete fools of ourselves-as only 17 year old males can when they think they know how to impress girls at a dance-we drove back to Mineral with George being the winner of the money. As you can guess, it didn't take much 'getting lucky' for George to win. He 'scored' a kiss -just one.
(I may have a few more to add, so keep watch!)

Educational Background:

1964-65 University of California, Berkeley, Ca
1968-69 College of the Redwoods, Eureka, Ca
1972-73 University of Alaska, Fairbanks Ak (UAF)
1983-85 UAF
1988-UAF/B.S. Degree, Natural Resources Management (only took me 24 years!)

Work Background:

I preface this chronology by saying that my 'work background' is also a great part of the 'special things you've done' because I have never worked at a job or place that wasn't an exciting, great adventure for me (except for a week in 1965 when Jack Allen and I worked in a King Crab cannery in Sedovia, Alaska-we only took the work because we were broke, stranded and about to be hungry [$2.12 left between us]); and which I was surprised someone would actully pay me to to do-so follows part of my great life adventure!

-Summer 1963 & 1964: Firefighter, California Div. of Forestry-Red Bluff. Summer 1965: cannery worker, construction laborer, odd jobber-Seldovia & Soldaotna, Alaska.

-10/65-7/68: combat soldier, US Army, Long Range Recon Patrol, 173rd Airborn Brigade-Vietnam. (8/66-11/66: recovering from wounds and malaria-Camp Zama Army Hospital, Japan), Military Police/Criminal Investigator-Oakland Army Base, Oakland, CA.

-1968/69: After the army I worked as a firefighter and then forest fire truck driver for the California Div. of Forestry-Red Bluff, went back to school at College of the Redwoods-Eureka, and worked as a trail worker, National Park Service-Lassen Nat'l Park, Mineral.

-In December of 1969 I began 14 years of alternating between winter work (professional ski patrolman/snow cat operator/ski equipment salesman at Sierra Blanca Ski Area-Ruidoso, NM) or travelling (Europe-2 trips, North Africa, Peru, South Pacific islands, Mexico), and summer work in wildland fire mangement (smokejumper, fire dispatcher, supression equipment operator suppression foreman, fire mangement officer, field station manager) in Alaska with the US Dept. of Interior, BLM. (During the time employed with BLM I also led wildfire responses to the provinces of Ontario-1980, Alberta-1981 and Yukon Territory-1982 of Canada. Also during this period I spent my first full winter in Alaska-1972/73-attending college at UAF and experiencing my first -40^F weather. [We rented an apartment from Larry Bouette in Fairbanks.])

-1983/96: At the age of 36 I began my first year-round employment (except for the army), working for the USDI, Bureau of Land Management (BLM), Alaska Fire Service, Glennallen District and Arctic District-all in Alaska. During this time I served as the Fire Management Officer at McGrath and Galena, the Fire Coordination Center Director in Fairbanks, District Manager at Glennallen and Director of Renewable Resources for the Arctic District. In the winters I taught night classes in Fire Management for the Natural Resources Department at UAF and Tanana Valley Junior College in Fairbanks. During this 13 years I also led Alaska's National Type 1 Interagency Incident Management Team in response to major wildfires in Alaska, Washignton, Oregon, California, Nevada, Montana, Idaho, Wyoming and South Dakota; and in reponse to the Exxon Valdez Oil Spill and major flood events in Alaska. (I also managed to finish college and get my degree during this time.) In September of 1996 I retired from the BLM at the age of 50 with 29+ years of service.

1996/2007: In September of 1996, after a weekend of retirement from the federal government, I began a 10 year career with the State of Alaska as Director of the Alaska Division of Emergency Services (the state counterpart to FEMA) and later-post 9/11/2001-the Alaska Division of Homeland Security & Emergency Management (the state counterpart to the Department of Homeland Security). (This position was by appoinment of the governor[s] of Alaska.) Our agency responded to fire disasters, floods, avalanches, fuel shortages, search & rescues, earthquakes, high wind and severe weather events, and whatever else threatened the citizens of Alaska. From April of 2004 to September of 2005 I served as the President of the National Emergency Management Association (NEMA). I retired from the State of Alaska January 2, 2007.

I am still retired and will stay retired!!! I serve as a volunteer with the American Field Services (AFS) Student Exchange Program (the same program that brought Peter Bartsch to Red Bluff), Alaska Chapter and every few years I serve at election polling stations.

So, I didn't quite stay fully retired. I just completed (re-retired 8/21/2010) a short stint of intermittent employment-5 months-with the U.S. Census Bureau. I worked for their office of 'Remote Alaska' travelling to places like Wainwright (Arctic coast) and Akutan (Aluetian Islands)-and a lot in between-counting and interviewing people for the 2010 census. Great fun, easy work, travel across my favorite state and I was even paid to do it!!

Special things you've done:

-Met my love in 1984 while attending UAF (we had classes together) and we married in 1989 and had two great childern-Tamiah and Sam.
-Summer 1965: Hitchhiked from Anchorage, Alaska to Red Bluff (down the Alaska Highway) via Denver, CO (that is where one loooong ride took me) in 10 days. (Jack Allen, my travelling companion that summer, left Anchorage 2 hours ahead of me-we split to travel home because we felt we would have a better chance of catching rides-and arrived 7 days ahead of me! Now there was a ride.)
-Parachuted from airplanes (Army Airborne-GA & Smokejumper-AK) and helicopters (Vietnam).
-Sailed 32' cutter rigged sailboat from California to the Marquaesa & Tuamotu Islands and Tahiti with Jack Allen and two 'friends' in 1977.
-Travelled through the Sahara Desert (Tunisia, Algeria, Morocco) with Peter Bartsch in 1981.
-Rode a cammel in the Sahara Desert (Aoulef, Algeria).
-Travelled behind the Iron Curtain to Dresden, East Germany in 1982 with a wanted Czech defector and smuggled her family heirlooms out to West Germany in the door pannels of my car. (Bananas and Czech beer made a great gift for the East German border guards-they looked no further!)
-Travelled through Turkey by bus-spent Christmas Day 1984 on coast of Black Sea (Trabzon, Turkey).
-In 1987 Jack Allen and I trailered a 14 foot sailboat behind a VW pop-top camper to San Carlos (SC), Mexico which is just north of Guaymas in the state of Sanora and on the mainland (east) side of the Sea of Cortez/Gulf of California. (SC was the filming location of 'Catch 22'.) We sailed the boat in the gulf along the coast north from SC for two weeks of wildlife/bird watching, hiking, camping and meeting local fishermen and their families. A great time was had by all!-Jack and I.
-In late Febuaury/early March, 1979 I spent a month travelling by train and bus through Peru. I had gone there to find Peter Bartsch, who was also travelling in Peru, but we never connected; although I did get to have lunch with the Swiss embassador to Peru and his wife when I showed up at his home asking about Peter. I met some great French girls (in the hot pools of Aquis Calente), traveled with a Swiss couple and some Germans, drank a lot of cheap ($1/bottle)rum and chewed a lot of hash leaves. The 'highest' I got was drinking Peruvian beer while crossing the Andes through a 15,000+ ft pass on a narrow guage railroad.

(More to Come)

Favorite Vacation Spot(s):

Kodiak, Alaska/Puerto Vallarta, Mexico/Maui, Hawaii/Lugano, Switzerland/ship cruises-anywhere

Favorite Movie(s):

Band of Brothers-HBO TV movie series
The Great Debators

Favorite Book(s)

Caravans-James Mitchner
Slow Waltz In Ceder Bend-Robert James Waller
High Plains Tango-Robert James Waller
The Killer Angels-Michael Shaara
Lonesome Dove-Larry McMurtry
The Milagro Beanfield War-John Nichols
The Sound of Thunder-Wilbur Smith
The Old Man and the Sea-Ernest Hemingway
All of Patrick O'Brian's works
East of Eden-John Steinbeck
The Long Valley-John Steinbeck
Time Enough for Love-Robert Heinlein
Lord Jim-Joseph Conrad
Kim-Rudyard Kipling


Living a full and satisfying life-keeping the glass full even if it means spilling a little here and there!

"Everything in excess! To enjoy the flavor of life, take big bites. Moderation is for monks."-Robert Heinlein, 'Time Enough for Love'

"Certainly the game is rigged. Don't let that stop you; if you don't bet, you can't win."-Robert Heinlein, 'Time Enough for Love'

"...fine line between eating smart to live longer and boring oneself to death."-James Patterson, 'Cross Fire'

The following are favorites from fortune cookies:
-'There is always time for you to try a new path in life'
-You may lack ambition, but not the ability to succeed'
-'A zesty partner can help you in your efforts to get ahead.'
-'Romance and travel go together.'
-'You have a flair for adding a fanciful dimension to any story.'

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Dave Liebersbach has a birthday today.
Jun 25, 2020 at 1:33 AM
Dave Liebersbach has a birthday today.
Jun 25, 2019 at 1:33 AM
Dave Liebersbach has a birthday today.
Jun 25, 2018 at 1:33 AM
Dave Liebersbach has a birthday today.
Jun 25, 2017 at 1:33 AM
Dave Liebersbach has a birthday today.
Jun 25, 2016 at 1:33 AM
Dave Liebersbach has a birthday today. New comment added.
Jun 25, 2015 at 10:35 AM

Posted on: Jun 25, 2015 at 1:34 AM

Sep 04, 2014 at 3:59 PM
Aug 28, 2014 at 11:00 AM
Jun 20, 2014 at 12:40 PM

Happy Birthday David,
Well our 50th is almost here. I think that it is going to be a great time. I have enjoyed reading all that you have done in your life. I look forward to seeing you at the reunion.
Happy Birthday! Judy

Jan 21, 2014 at 10:04 AM
Jan 10, 2014 at 10:11 AM
Dave Liebersbach updated profile. View. New comment added.
Dec 25, 2013 at 3:47 AM

Posted on: Dec 22, 2013 at 8:06 PM