Monday, July 23, 2007


Just a few lines from the University city of Moscow. After a rip-roaring weekend of fun. . .I have returned my daughter, S, to the place she loves.

Thurs. horrific bus ride. The good part, however was that I was adopted by 23 yr old kid and 70+ yr old woman. It was like having a whole new family.

Fri - drove to Moscow. Sat returned to my Dad's with daughter and shot the breeze with classmates - some I haven't seen in - goodness, since High School. Great time, but cut short by promises to meet family for dinner. (Actually, the family was my out in case no one talked to me). Had fun, but not enough time to catch up with some of the people I have missed. Told my husband that it was mostly the guys who spoke to me, but that hasn't changed since High School.

Sunday - Church at Silver Valley Girl's church, Birthday BBQ for my Dad with family, Driving daughter back to Moscow.

Time to sack out. Drive back to valley in the morning to hang out with my sister on her day off. No computer until - who knows when. I'm going through withdrawl, I tell ya.

PS. If anyone talks to Mike W, tell him it was my dad he spoke to at the Boat.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

North Idaho: Here I Come!

Leaving tomorrow via bus (not my favorite form of transportation, but if I want to go early. . .). Be in No. Idaho in the late evening.

Hope to see you all soon.

Monday, July 16, 2007

Summer of Love (according to some) '67

The Year: 1967
The Place: San Francisco (Be Sure to Wear Some Flowers in Your Hair) by Scott McKenzie

Some call it The Summer of Love. It was the summer I became a believer in the change. It must have been part puberty, and part maturity - but I needed S-P-A-C-E. I wanted to think about things and I wanted to be alone. I started spending my evenings on the front porch, or inside my dad's pickup, listening to the radio. I was beginning the process of brainwashing.

If you're going to San Francisco
Be sure to wear some flowers in your hair
If you're going to San Francisco
You're gonna meet some gentle people there

What was going on in San Francisco? Why was I in Idaho. Nothing was changing here, but in San Francisco, there was a movement that would change the world. I wanted to be a part of it.

All across the nation such a strange vibration
People in motion

This chorus hit me emotionally. Somebody was going to San Francisco. They were called the "flower children" and they were doing something that had never been done before. They were going to change the world.

There's a whole generation with a new explanation

People in motion people in motion

But hey, I was part of this "New Generation" I was a part of what was going to be "right" with this world. I felt empowered. I inhaled and meditated on the words. I was going to change the world.

Even though I didn't believe in "free-love" - I did believe in Love. Loving everybody. I soaked up all the "Love" Songs. I soaked up all the "live off the land" songs. I hated the establishment (what's love got to do with that?) and bought into the idea that poverty was superior to wealth. I wanted to be a liberated woman, in charge of my destiny. I would find someone who loved me, and we would live in a van and wear flowers in our hair. We didn't need jobs, or money, or position. We just needed love. Now, I just had to find someone who felt the same way.

Sunday, July 15, 2007

Pinehurst:: Seventh Grade


It was early in the school year, and may have been the first week. I was going somewhere, and needed to walk past the school. I was just reaching the breezeway, when I heard a "wolf-whistle." So I turned to see what was going on. A ninth grade guy, was standing by the doorway. He turned to his friend and said something about the "new" seventh-graders. I can't remember exactly what it was, but I had the distinct impression it was about my anatomy. I was mortified. (In those days you were.) I couldn't stand the sight of that kid from that day on, and if I went to the Tall Pine for lunch with friends, and any of the upper class men were there, I could not eat. I had to get my food to go.


In the seventh grade, at Pinehurst Jr. High, which was at one end of the grade school, I only had 3 different teachers. The first 3 hours was called "block" and it included English, Literature, Grammar, Writing, and Social Studies - or some combination thereof. Mrs. Clark was our teacher. She was a short lady who wore extremely high, high heels and a wig. She wasn't very old, but she must have had thin hair, because we never saw her without her wig.

I really liked her class. My favorite day was Friday, because we would play games and if we "won" we got a candy bar from her closet. I loved it when we took long words or phrases like "Merry Christmas" and had to make as many words as possible out of it in an alloted time. I usually won those contests! That's when I always picked a "Mountain Bar" - cherry or plain - it didn't matter. My second choice was either a Hershey Bar or something else chocolate.

In her class, we learned about prepositions. One day, I turned the tide on my enjoyment of her class. Now you have to realize I was a very curious student, and also very precise. If I was going to learn something, I wanted to learn it the right way the first time.

That day, she was teaching on the difference between the uses of "in" and "into." She said that one would use the word "into" when they were passing through a doorway or opening of some kind. I raised my hand to ask a question to clarify what she had just said. "So every time someone or something goes through a doorway, you use the word into?"

"Yes" she stated as a matter-of-fact.

"But you can't go into the outdoors, can you?" I asked trying to clarify her point.

She snapped, "Well, you don't have to act so superior!"

I was stunned. Did I act "so superior"? To whom? I was only 12 or 13. At the time, I was crushed, because she raised her voice and told me off in front of the entire class. Now I look back and wonder if she was intimidated by her students, and I just happened to hit on an exposed nerve.

My other classes were Science with E. Johnson, and Math and Study hall with W. Gilman. Now, Science class was okay, until we reached the chapter on reproduction. We were studying plants, but I thought that subject was "taboo" and was mortified that the word was in our books. One day when I was reading aloud, the word was there - right in the middle of my paragraph. I approached it cautiously, but when it was time to read "reproduction" I froze.

"Reproduction," Mr. Johnson said, as if I couldn't pronounce the word.

Quickly, I spat, "reproduction" and continued with the sentence. I probably turned 6 shades of red, also. Fortunately, I don't think any of my classmates noticed, as they had their heads buried in their books, afraid to look around.

My parents were somewhat concerned about me being in W. Gilman's class. I had known him my whole life, and they were afraid I'd call him "Wally" instead of Mr. Gilman, but I didn't. I was very respectful, even though he had dropped me on my head one time at Rose Lake when I was five. (He had given me a piggy-back ride down to the lake, and tripped. We both flew forward and I lost a chunk of hair out of my head. For a five year old, I was mad, and didn't want him to carry me ever again!) I didn't bring it up in class, however, or study hall either.

I don't remember if I had a study hall past the 7th grade. It may have been mandatory in 8th grade also, but I never took it in High School. I felt it was a waste of time. I wanted to get on with the schoolwork!


I was excited about being in Jr. High and getting to go to the dances. Some dances were held in the cafeteria, and some were held in the gymnasium. When they were held in the cafeteria, there was volleyball set up in the gymnasium. Most of the girls hated it when the dances were in the cafeteria, that meant all the seventh grade boys and some of the older ones were going to play volleyball all night, and there wouldn't be anyone to dance with. I don't think I was asked to dance more than once or twice each time I went, and sometimes not at all, but I still went because it was the happening place in Jr. High.

When a class "put on" (sponsored) a dance, members of the class volunteered to take care of the details. Some decorated, some "set-up" and some "cleaned-up." We also had volunteers who made cookies to sell at the dance, so the class could make some money. I used to make chocolate cake-like cookies with frosting on them. (The recipe was from D. Boje, who was an excellent cook, and raised a few great cooks). Those cookies were usually the first to go.


My seventh grade year, I was tapped for "Service Girls." Only 2 seventh graders were asked, and the positions were selected by a group of teachers or the principal or somebody "up there."
I felt honored and said, "Yes." C. Clemens was also a Service Girl and President that year. I was happy to serve with her and the other upper class girls. The other seventh grader was T. Cooper. Her mom was the school secretary, and I wondered if that is why she was chosen. I figured I was chosen for my grades. (Maybe we were chosen because we each lived about a block from the school! Now that I think about it, the Service girls that I remember all lived within the city limits and within 4-5 blocks of the school grounds!)

As a service girl, we got to wear cool green sweaters with Pirates on them - signifying our mascot - Pinehurst Pirates. They were similar to the cheerleader's sweaters, but their sweaters had a megaphone or a large "P" on them. We also had the "Girl's Service" insignia on our the upper part of our sleeves. I had to have a white pleated skirt made for me. I think it was Mrs. Weeks who did that. All she needed was my waist measurement. I wondered how she would know how many pleats to put into the skirt, but she did a great job. We also wore knee socks and saddle shoes.

I was so excited, because I got to go to all the basketball games free! We took money for tickets and stood at the doors to show people where they could sit. It didn't bother me that we couldn't sit in the stands until the 4th quarter - if there was any room! We may have taken tickets for other events, such as dances, but I don't remember.

I was a "Service Girl" for all three years of Jr. High. My freshman year, I was the President of Girls' Service as well as class President. One time, I was called upon by the Principal to escort a kid from first grade to the clinic in Kellogg for his immunizations. We rode on a school bus, just the two of us with the driver. I was astonished that they trusted me enough to go with him "out of town," and see that he got his shots. The kid was a hoot. I think he talked the whole way there, all the time we were waiting at the clinic. He made voices and acted out some really funny stuff. I don't remember the trip back to school, but I thought about him later when I was substitute teaching and thought he must have been a handful for the teachers.

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Boating last Saturday

The Hunk sent me some pictures from his computer that were taken on our latest boating excursion. Too bad we didn't have any pictures of the 3 or 4 waves that washed over my head as we ploughed through some very LARGE wakes caused by the wind and GIGANTIC boats.

Here's The Hunk water skiing. Notice the lush (NOT) hillsides around Ririe Reservoir.

Next shot shows a happy Hunk in the water.

Lastly, the fat old lady, who is 1) not photogenic under the best circumstances, 2) who was nearly washed overboard by a giant wake on the way to this remote spot, 3) finds herself sitting on a dock in the hot sun with some guests who seem to be enjoying themselves, 4) notices her husband with the camera poised, and 5) asks the question on everyone's mind, "Are we having fun yet?"

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Immunizations: Then & Now

Pinehurst: Shots

Does anyone remember lining up for "Shots" - these were not gun shots, and not drink shots, but immunization shots. Everyone who was due for their shots were lined up and herded to the nurses office. There the nurse or two and a doctor would be waiting with huge hypodermic needles long enough to stick "clear through" a grade-schooler's arm. Some kids would start whimpering along the way, other's would wait until it was their turn, and pass out.

I noticed early on that a lot of kids dreaded those shots. I didn't. To me it was no big deal - a little pin prick, a band-aid, and it was over. I must have felt badly for the scared kids - especially the boys. They weren't supposed to cry or faint, but some of them did. I don't know when I started, but I would volunteer to go first. FIRST!

Some of the guys ahead of me would sigh "Relief" - because they didn't have to set the example for the rest of the class. It was the only time I was heroic. I'm not sure that anyone else saw it that way, but I figured if I went first, and said, "There's nothing to it." It would embolden the boys - after all, I was just a girl. It would also put me through first, so I wouldn't be there to witness the tears and fainting of any classmates who followed. (Especially the boys.)

Now-a-days, they don't give immunizations at school. I'm not sure why. Maybe they had to stop when they had to give up corporal punishment. Maybe it wasn't allowed, because it humiliated some of the kids and adults were no longer allowed to do that. Maybe the doctors got greedy, and decided it was best for them to charge an office visit and mega-bucks for each shot. The kids could come to them instead of them taking a day to hang out at the school for hours shooting hundreds of frightened, whiny kids.

Maybe they stopped because of the "free" immunizations clinics that sprung up all over in the '70s with the planned parenting freebies. Now, instead of a doctor doing "school" calls, he could let the kids come to him with their parents and all their siblings to get their booster shots. Now the parents could deal with their own kids passing out and crying. No more humiliation in front of their peers. No more nurses trying to drag the children close to the doctor. No more red eyes in the classroom. . .

Instead, the parents are humiliated. Have you ever gone to a county clinic for "free" shots? The worst one I ever went to was in California - San Bernadino County. I can't remember where it was located, but there must have been 30 people - mostly women and children, stuffed into a warm room about 10' x 15' all waiting for hours to see the doctor.

Now when mom's take their child to get an immunization, they have to drag along all the other babies and pre-schoolers in the family. This place was packed with crying, screeching, yelling kids. I thought I would lose my mind. I only had 2 with me; the under 1 yr old shot-ee and her 3 yr old sister. I checked us in, and looked for a seat. There were a few seats filled with people and stuff. There were bodies everywhere, and no place for an adult to sit down. Finally, someone got up to go to the back, and I was able to secure one chair for the 3 of us.

I am not fond of my kids playing on the floor of a public place with a hundred other snotty nosed children. We came to prevent disease, not to pick it up, but the odds were against us. I mean, there were kids drooling and sneezing and wiping their noses on anything available, then touching, touching, touching everything and everyone within reach. I tried to keep my two as close to me as possible in the over heated room. (There should have been air-conditioning, but either it wasn't working - or the combined bodies with all their BTUs stuffed into such a small space was over powering the system.) It was sticky and fragrant, but not in a good way.

We waited and we waited. More people came, but no one left. I think the doctor and nurses had all gone to a leisurely lunch at a posh restaurant with great air-conditioning and quiet ambiance. They were sipping on cool drinks and taking small bites of gourmet cuisine and chewing and chewing and chewing each bite. I went up to the little window and asked, "How much longer?"

"You'll just have to wait your turn."

Fortunately, the girls had held my seat. I sat down and let them wallow on my lap. It was hot. I was tired. No one was moving out. More people were coming in. Finally, one large family went back, and others quickly scooped up their territory. And we waited.

We were there about an hour and a half before we were called back for the 5 minute procedure. Why did it take sooooo long? I had a migraine, and I determined then and there - that I would NEVER, EVER, go to a public immunization clinic again.

I was so determined to avoid that place, that my youngest got behind in her immunizations. I even had a doctor chew me out when I went to catch her up before vacation. I don't know why some people chew you out - after you have decided to do the right thing. I mean, I was there, in his office for her to get her shots, and he's chewing me out! So, we got her boosters, and I changed doctors. From that time on - I avoided the clinics. . .until we moved to Idaho. At least the clinic here is spacious, and you can't get lost in the crowd. The wait is only about a half-hour, and they don't chew you out for coming. Regardless, most of the immunizations we have obtained have been in a private doctor's office. Sure, they charge a lot more than a clinic, but we are paying for the ambiance.

Friday, July 6, 2007

Smelterville: Frontier Days

Photo was taken (prob by my mom) behind the Wayside Market in Smelterville - circa mid-1960s. Left: Iona Huber, Center: Hazel Noyen, Right: Ralia Berry .

Frontier Days started as a celebration of the Wild West and the town of Smelterville. Since my mom worked in Smelterville, we would go to the festivities when we were young. There was always a carnival that came to town, with all the cotton candy, hot dogs, games, rides. It was really something for a kid to look forward to. In the early years, the employees of the various businesses dressed up in Western attire and everyone got into the mood of the Wild West. Sometimes the Old Time Fiddler's would play in one of the metal buildings near the Carnival on Washington Street.

During the day, the arena hosted various equestrian events, such as barrel racing, but on one night the highlight would be the Demolition Derby. Local people would paint their junker cars and enter them in the contest. The cars would be crashed into one another in an every "man" for himself bumper car [sans bumpers] contest. The last car running would be the winner.

As I got older, I went to the Frontier Days activities with my friends. I attended the horse events one year when Cheryl Spoor competed - probably in '74, as we had become friends at NIC during her first year. I think that was the same year, I accidentally dropped my pocket Bible in the middle of the Carnival area, and a classmate (whom I had once has a crush on) saw me pick it up. He said, "I don't talk to people who read the Bible." It hurt my feelings, but I felt even worse for him. I wondered what had happened in his life to give him such strong feelings against the most published and read book of all time.

Nineteen seventy-four was also a year of great change in my life. I had become a Christian in May of '73, but by the summer of '74 I no longer drank. It really gave me a different perspective on life in the Valley. Events that had one been "must" be there and participate had deteriorated in my eyes. Smelterville's early Frontier Days of the Wild West were gone: it had degenerated into a city-wide drunk.

Tuesday, July 3, 2007

Pinehurst: Sixth Grade (2)

Someone wrote me an email that had nothing to do with this post, but I had some flashes of memory that made me think I could do part II.

My favorite song in the sixth grade was "Yesterday," by the Beatles. I learned it quickly, and the words ran through my head all the time. I sang it in the bathroom one day, when I was alone, and thought to myself. . .someday this is going to be yesterday for me. I will probably look back and think about this time and the fact that I don't (didn't) have any troubles. I will probably wish I was a kid again. (I don't, but it was interesting to me that I marked time with such moments knowing that I would remember later what I was thinking and how I felt at those moments. Also knowing, I could never go back.)

The second thing I remembered about 6th grade were the Christmas trees we made out of milk cartons and laundry soap. We added water and green food coloring to the laundry detergent (soap flakes?) so it became a thick paste. Then we covered the milk cartons in the goo and let them dry. After they had dried, we stacked them beginning with a large circle, and each successive circle being a bit smaller. It seems like we just made one big tree, but we may have made individual trees. I just remember the smell of the soap, the minty green color and Christmas all lumped together.

The third thing I remember about the sixth grade were the math contests we had at the board. Two students of similar intellect were asked to go to the board, Mr. Turner would give us a problem to write and solve. Whomever solved it first was the winner. One time I was called to the board with G. Carver. Now I had known him for a number of years (6), but had never been in the same class with him. I knew a lot about him, as we were friends, and I decided to use my knowledge to my advantage.

We were standing at the board with chalk in hand when Mr. Turner gave us the problem to work. I wrote the problem down, then reached up and scratched the chalk board with my fingernails. While G recoiled at the screeching noise, I worked the problem. It was sinister, but successful. I won that contest.

Sunday, July 1, 2007

Pinehurst: Sixth Grade

Some of my readers are weary of my travels, so I will resume my incredibly long and uneventful years of schooling.

Male Teacher

In the sixth grade at Pinehurst elementary school, I had my first male teacher: Mr. Turner. I thought he was very old, but he was probably in his late 20s. In those days, teachers had to dress-up for school, and so while the ladies wore a variety of dresses, Mr. Turner wore a suit, jacket and all. He had an easy-going style, but was a no-nonsense kind of guy when it came to the boys acting up in the class.


I think they put all the problem kids in that class. Not that all who were in there were difficult, but we did have our share of second-year sixth graders. (Or Super-Sixth graders as my kids would say - if grade school kids were held back these days. They do call the second and third year Seniors "Super Seniors.").

We had at least one kid who was very poor, and also not so swift, I'll call him J. Then we had one Super Sixth-grader who was nearly too big for his desk, I'll call him B. Then there was another Super Sixth-grader who was pretty average - except when we had a substitute teacher - then he went psycho. (One substitute, a retired school teacher, locked this kid in the closet and called the Principal to remove him from class.)

Now J had red hair, and used to tease me unmercifully during recess. Once he threw an orange at me, and it exploded into the back of my coat. He got reamed for that. I got back at him (as I was vindictive then) by gathering together a "gang of girls" and we beat up the boys. It became our favorite recess activity. He was one of my favorite targets for my girls to "get." (Poor use of leadership skills during a time when the girls were actually bigger and stronger than some of the boys.)

Super-sized Boots

B, was a hoot. One day while the teacher stepped out of the room, B. was sitting in his desk (his knees scrunched up under the writing surface) and he began to sing "These Boots were Made for Walkin'" by Nancy Sinatra. When he got to the chorus, "One of these days these boots are gonna' walk all over you" - he'd point at someone. Then he said, "My boots are going to walk on you, (and point at someone), and you (and point at someone else), and you (same indicator). Then he looked at J , pointed and said, "But not you, cause you'd get 'em all dirty." For some reason, as much as I am embarrassed to admit, I laughed.

Teacher's Helper

I used to work fast and well in sixth grade. I was always trying to be the first one done with all my work. Mr. Turner rewarded me often, by allowing me to write things on the board for him. The kids probably thought I was teacher's pet, but he also let others do things around the classroom when they were done with their work.

Birthday Cupcakes

One of my favorite things about Mr. Turner's class was the way we celebrated our birthdays in his class. There wasn't a big party or a lot of hoopla, but on each child's birthday, he would present him or her with a special Birthday Cupcake. The cupcakes were homemade by his wife, and she would frost the girls' cupcakes with pink frosting, and the boys with blue. Each cupcake had a single Birthday candle in the center, which was lit. When he brought out the cupcake(s). We'd all sing "Happy Birthday" to the lucky recipient(s). I waited a long time to get my cupcake, as my birthday was after Christmas break.

(Can you imagine homemade treats and a lit candle - what were they thinking?)