When Ira Glass, host and producer of the radio and television show This American Life, visited Boise in 2011, Boise State Public Radio, along with the Idaho Department of Tourism and The Story Initiative at Boise State University, presented “One Minute Idaho.” This was a writing contest open to anyone with an Idaho story to tell. Stories were to be no longer than 120 words and had to mention at least one Idaho location.
As it turns out, the submissions were testimonials of what people love about Idaho, and as such, we want to share these wonderful stories. We will periodically publish two or three in this blog throughout the summer. We hope you enjoy these firsthand “Idaho Adventures in Living.”
With Father’s Day just around the corner, these father-focused entries seemed particularly poignant.
Dad steers our ’76 Gran Torino station wagon into a clearing near the Secesh Summit. The car’s faux wood paneling is unconvincing against this forest backdrop. Dad pulls his toolbox and a couple of 2x4s from the car. He nails the lumber between two trees as a makeshift counter, to which he attaches our Coleman stove and our cooler (propped up on its end like a mini-fridge). As a finishing touch, he pounds ten nails into the tree near the stove for kitchen gadgets. Grabbing a beer from the mini-fridge, he parks his butt in a camp chair and admires his legacy to future campers—satisfied at leaving a slice of Idaho in “better shape than he found it,” as he would say.
Julie Wheaton, San Diego, CA
Together, my father and I “learned” Idaho. We both moved here in 1957—he, age 28, me, less than one. By age six, I shadowed his every step, walking the countryside near Moscow. After harvest, the rolling hills provided me the childish opportunity to collect spilled lentils in an animal cracker box. Wheat stubble made me learn quickly that I should never wear pedal pushers—the harsh stems left my tender calves scratched and sore. The undulating beauty of the Palouse hills is a patchwork quilt of green, gold, browns and stripes, edged with evergreens. Each of us chewed the end of a piece of grass, father and daughter, thoughtful and mindful of our surroundings, growing to love Idaho together.
Susan Matsuura, formerly of North Idaho