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This Breakup Is the Talk of the Town
Michael Finkel
May 18, 1998
When the river thaws in Nenana, Alaska, a pile of money changes hands
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May 18, 1998

This Breakup Is The Talk Of The Town

When the river thaws in Nenana, Alaska, a pile of money changes hands

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When the ice finally cracks and the Tripod lurches, the siren is triggered. Everyone hurries to the river to witness the final moments of the contest. "If you're in school, you play hooky; if you're sick, you get well; if you're working, you quit what you're doing," says Forness. "Not a lot goes on here—basically, this is it. Once the ice goes out, it's pretty boring around here again."

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