Growing Up Wallace, Memories of the way we were, my story, and anything else that crosses my mind.

Monday, September 9, 2019

The Right to Bare Arms

With all of the arguing back and forth about the 2nd Amendment, I decided to repost a blog that I did tongue in cheek several years ago. Here is the lighter side of a serious and divisive issue.

The Supreme Court Ruling yesterday seemed to uphold the 2nd amendment right for the people to bear arms, but I for one, think that this ruling did not go far enough. I have been baring my arms for years, and so have millions of others. I did not know that was even an issue before the Court! Don't we have many more important issues than the right of Americans to wear short sleeve or sleeveless shirts?

So, where do we as a society draw the line.? We have become a nation of crack addicts. Several days ago I was in the parking lot of Stein's in Osburn sipping a mocha when a young lady got out of her car parked next to mine. She evidently dropped something, and with one swooshing sound she bent over to retrieve the item. She was wearing some very loose-fitting lounging pants with nothing on underneath them. Right before my virgin eyes, there was the full moon staring me right in the face. This past Tuesday my wife and I were sitting down in the Gondola Village in front of the Wildcat Pizza sipping some cold drinks. Across the way, a young man stood up, bent over, and there again, was the full moon. Now, I ask you, does the 2nd amendment give us the right to bare butts? I think this should go before "Your Honors", and let them sort that one out!

How about the right to bare navels? Recent trends seem to indicate that every teenage girl between the ages of thirteen and seventeen feels it is their constitutional right to bare theirs.
Now, I have nothing in particular against navels, as a matter of fact, here is a deeply kept secret, I have one, too. But it is getting a little tiring to see so many every day. I have not seen so many navels since I visited the huge Navy base in Long Beach, California several years ago.

How about the right to bare legs? This has become a very accepted practice over the last fifty years, and I personally think it is a fine idea. As a matter of fact, I am wearing even as I write this. Does the Court want to rule on this, too?

Where does all of this end? The right to bare breasts, groins? Looks to me like the Court is going to be busy for many years. But yesterday was indeed a victory for those of us who like to wear short sleeve shirts. Keep up the good work, Supreme Court.

Wednesday, September 4, 2019

No Parking

The picnic basket was ready, brimming full of my wife's special meatloaf, deviled eggs, and macaroni salad. We were off and running on Labor Day for  Cedar Famly Holiday. To me, there was only one place to go for today's festivities, yes, Pottsville, also known as Shoshone Park. I could still picture the majestic setting of the park above the city of Mullan, Idaho. I could still see the wading pool, the swings, the tetter-totter, the bubbling creek, and a park full of happy families and groups celebrating Idaho's glorious nature.

Merrily we drove up to the park, enjoying each mile of the scenic freeway. We don't get out much anymore because of my illness, but when we do, we make the most of each minute. We arrive at the park, and-lo and behold, there were no cars, no people, no wading pool, no playground, no ball field, no anything. The grass was a mess, and bees buzzed around the splinter filled rickety tables. Another great Valley tradition is gone. Sigh!

Here is the hardware picnic in Pottsville in 1934, courtesy of Barnard-Stockbridge collection.

Monday, September 2, 2019

Welcome to September

September has finally arrived, and with the simple flip of the page, a whole new era begins today. Everything changes in September as it trumpets the coming arrival of Fall. Schools start, leaves change colors, and the air becomes fresher after the choking heat of August. So, I flip the calendar over to September, and I see a whole new world. Here are a few examples.

Football kicks off with my Idaho Vandals in action on Aug, 31 against mighty Penn State. The result? Penn State 79-Idaho-7
OK,some things don't change.

I loved the month of September when growing up Wallace. The excitement was in the air, and I eagerly awaited the start of the new school year. ( OK, OK, I was weird), Labor Day was always a big day in my childhood home, because we had a tradition of doing our final bass fishing trip to Cave Lake for the season. We eagerly loaded up the car with all of our poles, plugs, jackets, and most important of all, Mom's always delicious, mouth-watering, picnic dinners.,

As the heat of the day turned to the cool whisperings of the evening, Dad, my brother, and I would start back to shore, trolling as we went and Dad cut the motor down to the lowest speed. We knew that as soon as we docked, that fishing was over until the Spring. So, with mixed emotions, we docked, tied the boat up, loaded the car, and started the journey back to Wallace for another family ritual, the bath, hair washing, shoe shining, laying out the new school clothes, and early to bed regime, When the alarm sounded in the morning, a whole new world awaited, and there was turning back as the new school year began. Ah, Wallace in September was a mighty fine time.

Friday, August 23, 2019

Oh No, I Am That Guy.

Today my wife was at our new physician's office and the Dr, a fairly young woman asked my wife how I was doing. My wife told her, and then the Dr. said "He is so cute". When my wife related the story, the bold of lightning hit. What she was saying was that I am a cute old man. Oh no, I am now that guy they talk about, the cute "old man". No--------------------------------------------------

Tuesday, August 20, 2019

North Idaho Grows Up

As I moved around as an adult to various cities and places I would remind myself that if I became smothered by the stress of high rents, crowded highways, and population masses that I could always go back home to Wallace or at least to Coeur d' Alene. Roads would not be crowded, rents would be cheap and the only crowd would be in the local bar on a Friday night.

Little did I know just how wrong I was. Coeur d' Alene has been "discovered". When I moved from CDA to Kirkland Wa in 1971 to go to college there, I was paying 65.00 a month for a small house. I came back to CDA in the early '90s and rents were still very attractive. Now? WOW!

Yes, it is good times for those who own property but it is bad times for those who don't.

Sunday, August 11, 2019

Big Trouble

Big Trouble, a book written by J Anthony Lukas is also a must-read for Idaho folks. It is a slow read at times, but it is fascinating.

Monday, August 5, 2019

August-Even The Name Is Ugly

It is my least favorite month of the year. What is the purpose of August, anyway? When we were young, it only served as the month that separated summer vacation from the start of the school year. By August, I was tired of the Wallace swimming pool, Little League was over, and there was nothing but long, hot, burning, days. Wallace had precious few air-conditioners, and my family had exactly none. My upstairs bedroom on Cedar Street was unbearable. I actually longed for the start of the school year and the Fall foliage, the colors of gold, and the cool night air.

My younger sister was born in August, the 7th to be exact, and I was nine the summer she was born. I remember it was 103 degrees that day. My poor mother must have been miserable at the old Wallace Hospital on Cedar.

As an adult, it didn't get much better. People in the hotel world hate August. Well, the owners don't because they make a pile of money, but managers and front line employees hate it because the tourists are getting nastier and nastier. August is the month that  sweet family vacation turns into the Manson family vacation.

I often wondered why some people even bothered to take vacations. They never seemed to have fun, and they were always angry, fighting with each other and being rude and obnoxious to the front desk people,
I could not wait for August to end, and all of the monsters were gone home.

I welcome the end of August with open arms. It has no purpose.

Saturday, August 3, 2019

The Heat Goes On

Sometime this weekend someone snuck into the furnace room and jacked up the thermostat. Yep, Wallace is having a mini heatwave. OK,  it is not quite hot enough to fry eggs on the sidewalks, but it is hot enough for this old blogger. Anytime old man Mercury decides to take a hike over milepost 80 I head for the nearest fan.

As we Valley guys and girls know, Wallace is not known for having really hot weather, but sometimes in the summer, we fool a lot of people and that mercury hits 100 plus for several days. When I was growing up Wallace, the biggest temperature gauge in town was the elegant, old clock and temperature sign on the First National Bank building. ( By the way, it is a tragedy that the bank building now sits empty. Only one bank in Wallace now? Wow).On my way to the Wallace Swimming Pool, I would always do my habitual glance at the sign and tuck the reading away in some forgotten closet in my mind.

 One muggy,sweat-drenched, miserable Dante's Inferno day in August, (by the way, why does August exist? Seems like a waste of calendar to me), as I dragged my tired, young body up Sixth Street, I did the obligatory and cursory glance at the old clock and  temperature sign and did a double-take. No, I could not have read that correctly, after all, I went to Wallace schools, but yes, I had indeed read the sign correctly. No wonder the sweat was cascading down my dark brown locks, and my eyes needed windshield wipers to wipe the sweat out of them. 104 Degrees!  104! It only stayed that for the time that it took me to look down and back up again, but in that one split second of time, it was 104, and that was the hottest temperature that this kid from Cedar Street had witnessed. Of course, since then I have lived in Las Vegas, visited Phoenix in the middle of the summer and the motel thermometer said 115,  lived in Alabama, went through Vantage, Washington when the gauge said 112 and lived in NYC when several horses died from the heat in Central Park,but at that moment in time in 1961, I thought that it could not get hotter than that 104 reading.

That summer in August 1961 also happened to be the year my little sister was born and my big brother was on the Wallace Litle League All-Stars who had earned a trip to the regionals in Moses Lake, Washinton. And, that, my friends is a story for another day, maybe even tomorrow.

In the meantime, I still refuse to get caught up in temperature readings like my dad did, but in case you are interested, and this is only for you, it is 5:33 PM, 8/3/2019, and the temperature is a robust 82 degrees F, with a high of 90 forecasted for tomorrow, but of course, I don't follow the weather.

Thursday, July 25, 2019

The Deep Dark by Gregg Olsen

Get it, read it -a must for every Valley resident past and present.

Friday, July 19, 2019

Little Known Facts About Our Planet

Children Writing About the Ocean...


1)  -  This is a picture of an octopus. It has eight testicles.   (Kelly,  age  6 )                                                                   
2 ) - Oysters' balls are called pearls. (Jerry, age  6)                          
3) - If you are surrounded by ocean, you are an island.  If you don't have ocean all round you, you are incontinent.   (Mike, age  7)                 
4) - Sharks are ugly and mean, and have big teeth, just like Emily        
Richardson . She's not my friend any more.   (Kylie, age   6)                                                                                    
5) - A  dolphin breaths through an asshole on the top of its head.  (Billy, age  8)                                                                     
6) - My  uncle goes out in his boat with 2 other men and a woman and pots and comes back with crabs.  (Millie, age  6)                                    
7) - When ships had sails, they used to use the trade winds to cross the ocean.  Sometimes when the wind didn't blow the sailors would whistle to make the wind come.  My brother said they would have been better off eating beans.  (William, age 7)                                              
8) -   Mermaids live in the ocean. I like mermaids.  They are beautiful and I like their shiny tails, but how on earth do mermaids get pregnant? Like, really?  (Helen, age 6)                                               
9) - I'm not going to write about the ocean. My baby  brother is always crying, my Dad keeps yelling at my Mom, and my big sister has just got pregnant, so I can't think what to write. (Amy, age  6)                      
10) - Some fish are dangerous. Jellyfish can sting.   Electric eels can give you a shock. They have to live in caves under the sea where I think they have to plug themselves in to chargers.                                
(Christopher, age 7)                                                           
11) - When you go swimming in the ocean, it is very cold, and it makes my willy small.  (Kevin, age 6)                                                 
12)  -  Divers have to be safe when they go under the water.   Divers can't go down alone, so they have to go down on each other. (Becky, age 8)    
13) - On vacation my Mom went water skiing. She fell off when she was going very fast. She says she won't do it again because water fired right up her big fat ass. (Julie, age 7)                                   
14)  -  The ocean is made up of water and fish. Why the fish don't drown I  don't know. (Bobby, age 6)                                                
15) - My dad  was a sailor on the ocean. He knows all about the ocean. What he doesn't know is why he quit being a sailor and married my mom. (James, age 7)