Tuesday, May 23, 2017

The Selling of Wallace

When I hear one time Wallace natives talking about our hometown they give a glowing testimonial to the beauty, the schools, and the charm and the unique character of the town, but then all say " but I would not want to live there anymore because it has changed so much."

Yes, it has changed.Our Wallace is, at least on the surface, no longer here. Real stores and real industry have been replaced by 2nd hand stores and something that I despise-tourism. Wallace sold its collective soul and history for petty tourist dollars.

It is sad that Wallace sold out so cheaply. It is just like--well, I guess it comes about naturally, after all, Wallace was renowned for what was sold on Cedar Street. Can't we at least keep some of it for ourselves? Let's not sell our souls.

The tourists with their cameras clicking, the kids with their runny noses and snotty attitudes, and the once proud locals hawking their past like street vendors at a dirty street carnival is not the way that I choose to remember the town that I loved and grew up in.

The people who made Wallace what it was, a great mining camp, were real people with real lives and real families. The blood that spilled deep in the earth was not Hollywood ketchup, The tears that the families shed for their lost father and husband who the unforgiving mountain of gems periodically sacrificed to the gods were real tears of sorrow. The muck was real, the pain was real, The broken limbs were real, and the sweat was real.

How about the rewards? How real were they? The kind of reward for the pain, the tears, the broken limbs, the shattered dreams. and the muck cannot be defined by the measure used by corporate America and the ever growing sense of entitlement of today. No, the rewards are probably not understood by the tourists who gawk at the old buildings, the rotting frames of the old mines that dot the hillsides, rising up from the sides of mountains like ghost ships in the oceans.

The rewards were modest pay, the satisfaction of pushing mind and body to the maximum limits, and most of all, the joys of living the life style that only those who lived there can understand. The tourists will get their pictures, their souvenirs, and their vacation memories, but they will never truly get what it was really like, what it felt like, and even what it really looked like.
Those things can never, never, be purchased in a tourist shop.

Thursday, May 18, 2017

I Now Pronounce You-------You

OK, everytime that I think that I have heard it all, then comes--drum roll please---Sologamy, yes that wedding of a lifetime when you marry your soul mate, that one person who knows you better than anyone does, the one who knows all of your secrets, all of your dreams, and yes, even your -mmm-kinky side. Yes, Sologamy, the blissful experience of marrying yourself. I have composed a list of questions and musing about this uniting self to self,

1. What would happen if you proposed to yourself and then you turned yourself down? I am sure you would be devasted, not to mention what if word spread to your friends or co-workers? How could you ever face them again? Would you need therapy to accept and get over this rejection?

2. If you said "yes" to your proposal, would you want a wedding right away, or would you want an engagement period? If you choose to have an engagement period, would you want a short engagement or a protracted one? And lastly, would you purchase an expensive engagement ring for yourself?

3. What type of ceremony would you want? Would you desire a religious wedding in a church with flowers, attendants, bridesmaids, and maid of honor and best man, or would you want a small civil nuptial exchange before a JOP? Maybe you would walk on the wild side and elope to Vegas. You could set up a ladder leading up to your bedroom before you retire for the evening, and then at midnight, open the window and fully dressed in your wedding dress, or tuxedo, whichever the case may be, shimmy down the ladder, run across the street to a pre-arranged limo, and say" Airport, please".

4. The vows. Traditional vows are always beautiful and have stood the test of time for many, many years, but maybe writing your own vows would be a beautiful thing to do. After all, this is a life long commitment and not one to be entered into frivolously,

5. The Honeymoon-well, we won't go there. This is a PG-rated blog, at least most of the time.

OK, I am having a little fun with this, but Sologamy is real, although it is not legally recognized in the US and Europe, but there are some good questions for al of us to ponder.

It is good to be faithful to self
It is good to love yourself
It is good to treat yourself.. Take that dream vacation. Do that hobby that you love. Take time for yourself.
It is good to learn to trust yourself
It is good to pronounce yourself -YOU

Thursday, May 4, 2017

Hometown Pride

My hometown may not be perfect, but at least the 10 Commandments still stands tall on the courthouse lawn.

Saturday, April 29, 2017

A Rude Barbershop

The Wilma Barber Shop, Ah, So Rude
Reposted from May 2013

My father was fastidious about his boys getting a haircut every two weeks. Yes, every two weeks. We were allowed to choose which chop shop or I mean barber shop that we wanted to go to for our scalping. My dad's hang up on having short hair dated back to his childhood. His family was very, very, poor in the Great Depression farming and mining belts of Joplin, Missouri, so haircuts were scarce. Dad had long hair, at least what he considered long hair and was teased a lot growing up. Some of the older kids called him “Long Hair” and he never quite got over it. His directions to us were that out hair was never to touch out collars, and it must be cut even all over. When we go back from the trips to the barber, dad would call us in, look carefully at our hair, and would either give thumbs up or would say, "The barber did not get it even on the sides."

Several years a few months before he and my mother passed away, I told my dad that I was going to go down to Kellogg and get a haircut. I was wearing my hair fairly long in the back, as I still do, and the top and sides need a little shaping. I told the stylist that I wanted my hair tipped, and shaped.I was very happy with the results and my wife and I drove back to my parent’s home. (We were taking care of both of them at the times.) I walked in and all of a sudden I felt like I was 8 years old again. My dad, still an imposing figure at 94 years old looked me over with the same critical eye that I so well remember from my childhood, and then in a voice dripping with disgust, said, “I thought that you said that you were going to get a haircut.”

Oh well, some things never change. I thought that my wife was going to split a gut laughing at the little boy look on my face.

Wallace bad plenty of barber shops to choose from in those days. My dad preferred “Dick’s Barber Shop” on Bank Street. ( Here is a funny side note. When Dick moved to Coeur D Alene some years later, he changed the name of his shop from Dick’s to Richards. Hm, I  guess CDA is too classy for Dick’s. On Cedar Street, we had George’s Frank’s and Al’s-aka the Wilma Barber Shop. I chose the Wilma for my scalping.

Al Rude was the owner and barber in the Wilma Barber Shop. The Wilma was in the Wilma Building and was next door to the Wilma Theater. Al was an elderly man, at least it seemed to me that he was elderly, but I always liked him, and he seemed to like me. The only problem was that he knew my father, and since dad wanted to go to a different barber, Al would always ask me why my dad never came to him for his haircuts. Other than that, and the other than the fact that Al’s haircuts were a little sloppy, I loved going there. There was one added bonus, too. Al was the father of a beautiful Wallace High cheerleader named Linda Rude. Although I was only in grade school, I thought that Linda was the most beautiful girl in the world. Once in a long while, Linda would come into her dad’s shop, and seeing here made any haircut worthwhile.

Ah, memories, Growing up Wallace had so many great ones.

Friday, March 31, 2017

Draining the Swamp

That Wallace has had three different names?

In 1883 Col, Wallace got the title to some North Idaho land. There, he plotted a town, and named it "The Cedar Swamp" It was later changed to "Placer Center”, and finally, in 1887, it was changed to the name that we all know and love, “Wallace".

I am so thankful that the name was changed. I can just imagine the cheer that we use to do in school about” We're from Wallace, couldn't be prouder-----" going like this” We're from The Cedar Swamp, couldn't be prouder-----" Hm, loses something there, doesn't it?

Thursday, March 16, 2017

A Year-My Hometown?

If time does fly then I must be riding a rocket ship because today is the first anniversary of my move back home.After a full year back in the town of my birth, I find that I am asking a very complex question. Is this Wallace my hometown, or is the Wallace stored away in the film vault of my brain my real hometown? Is a hometown a set thing, or is it a subjective concept?

My wife and I lived in Coeur d' Alene for 6 and 1/2 years before moving to Wallace. I went to NIJC way back when and lived there for a year. I managed a hotel in the CDA area for three years and lived there then. Yesterday we went to CDA for my Dr appointment and for some much-needed necessity shopping since the Valley has basically been reduced to Wally Mart Wold and not a very good Wally at that! I turned to my wife we entered the streets of CDA and said, "We are home."

So, is CDA my real hometown? Maybe. I loved living in Seattle before it was hijacked by progressive snowflakes.  I would tell people that Seattle was my hometown. When I lived in Salem, Oregon in the 1970's I never wanted to live in any other city. I told everyone that Salem was my hometown.

So, I ask you, what is my hometown? Wallace will always live in my mind as my hometown, but wit basically everything that I knew here, gone, and CDA feels like home when I am there. I am in a quandary.

Wallace is my place of birth and classic movie hometown, but my hometown is------wherever I am living at the time. Wherever I am is home.

Monday, March 6, 2017

The Winter That Will Never End

If March comes in like a lion and goes out like a lamb, awe must have an entire pride of lions this winter. Enough is enough, please. I remember that snow in March was not a surprise when I was growing up here, but this is a little over and above the norm.

I am sitting in my living room this morning watching a lone Elk struggling up the mountain in deep snow in a quest for food. I wonder what has happened to the robin that my wife and I spotted in Osburn several weeks ago. Here is the depressing forecast from the Weather Channel for our fair little town. Will this winter ever end? Baseball season is almost here.

SW 8 mph84%
S 6 mph86%
Snow Showers
WSW 8 mph90%
Rain/Snow Showers
SW 6 mph97%
MAR 10
Rain/Snow Showers
WSW 10 mph86%
MAR 11
Rain/Snow Showers
SSW 5 mph78%
MAR 12
SW 9 mph93%
MAR 13
Mostly Cloudy
WSW 6 mph74%
MAR 14
Rain/Snow Showers
SSW 5 mph79%
MAR 15
SW 7 mph85%

Thursday, March 2, 2017

The Incredible Shrinking County

No, Wallace was not the first county seat of Shoshone County. No, you are wrong again,.Not even Murray was the first county seat of Shoshone County, Idaho. Indeed, the first county seat of Shoshone County was not even in Idaho. It was -------drum roll please--------Colville, Washington.

Yes, Colville, Washington was the first county seat of Shoshone County, and what a whopper of an area it was! Created on January 28th, 1858 by the Washington territorial legislature which had control over what is now, Washington, Oregon, Idaho, and Montana. Shoshone Country was originally designated as "all of the territory north of the Snake and east of the Columbia rivers and west of the Rocky mountains"


The legislature then went on to designate Colville in northeastern Washington as the county seat.
Now, I have been up to Colville several times, and it is beautiful up there. but can you imagine the job the poor Shoshone county Sheriff's Department would have if they had to patrol all of that gigantic spread of real estate?

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

March Madness

March, the month of endings and the month of beginnings. March, basketball, basketball, basketball, and hope eternal for baseball fans as spring training is fully underway. Maybe this is the year my beloved Mariners put on their tuxes and go to the big dance. Maybe this is the month when it will quit snowing.Maybe. Well, I can dream, can't I? It is looking more and more like the Wallace winters of yore, you know, the ones that I had to walk two blocks in the snow, uphill both ways to get my education?

On this day in history in our area and around the world this was the news.
An American Airlines jet carrying 95 people crashed on takeoff from Idlewild Airport in NYC.All 95 people were killed. It was the single worst aviation disaster in Amercian history at that point in time.
March 1, 1962
Some things stay the same.From the Spokane Chronicle archives, March 1, 1962

City crews today continued their battle against snow and slick streets after what was described as a"mean" five or six hours yesterday afternoon and last night.
Wow ! That could have been this day, March 1, 2017. Some things never change.
Oh, and yes, Penny'sadvertised men's dress shirts 2for $5.00 Now that is something that has changed.

And we shall March on more tomorrow. Stay tuned.

Sunday, February 26, 2017

The Whistle

It was like a scene from an Alford Hitchcock movie or perhaps aTwilight Zone episode but for a brief time in our house on Cedar The Whistle, as my little sister called it, split the night air at exactly 10 P.M. weeknights, sending her diving under the covers for protection from the night invader.

The "Whistle" of course was the nightly curfew siren that told all young folks under the age of 18 that they needed to be off of the streets and safely in the security of their home.One did not want to get caught out there. The Wallace Police were very vigilant in enforcing the weeknight mandate. I don't know how many times that I heard my mother say that there was nothing good that happened that late at night and "decent" people were all home by then.

Interestingly enough, Wallace also had a curfew in the early days of its history, but the time of reckoning was only 8:30 PM. I'm sure my mom would have said, " Nothing good happens are 830, and decent people are all home by then." Here is an article from the Spokesman Review published on December 4, 1911.

Curfew Law Hits Boys At Wallace
Police Officers Declare Ordinance Will Be Strictly Enforced

Lads May Face The Judge
Violators Who Refuse to Follow The Advice Of Authorities Will Be Punished.

The police force of Wallace has announced a stand against the violators of the curfew law, and with or without the cooperation of the parents they propose to rid the streets of children each evening after 8:30 o' clock.

Last night the third of a series of arrests was made.The boy in this case was under the age of 14 years old and not only refused to go in but challenged the officer's ability to make him go home.
Second violations will be made cause for presenting the case to Probate Judge L.E. Worstell, who is thorough sympathy with the curfew ordinance. 



Wow,8:30 !!!!!!!!!!!!!