Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Growing up Wallace-Part 2

If "sameness' was the bond that held Wallace together, then" toughness" was the attribute that made the whole thing work. Yes, Wallace was one tough town, one proud town, and one very hard working town.

Wallace was not just a place, it was a state of minds. The mindset included two main themes, pride, and toughness. The Wallace that I grew up in is nothing like the "Historic Wallace" of today. Antique stores? Please, give me a break. We didn't have antique stores, we had a "junk store" or two scattered throughout the Valley. Oh, and speaking of "Valleys", we did not have a "Silver Valley", we had the Coeur D' Alene Mining District. When I was in school, they tried the title " Fabulous Valley", and even had a beauty pageant for several years titled " Miss Fabulous Valley". The pageant even had a "celebrity judge the first year. Yes, it was none other than the "Dialing for Dollars" television host from one of the Spokane network affiliates. How big is that, huh?

Pride? We were very proud. We were proud of our heritage, those dark, narrow, underground tunnels burrowed thousands of feet below the surface of the earth. We were proud of our small city, that was laid out more like a bigger city. We were immensely proud of our school and our teams. And, were very proud of our 'Cat Houses", those mysterious colored doors that lead upstairs to ??????????

Tough? Nobody, with the maybe the exception of Burke, had tougher kids than Wallace did. The amazing part was that these same tough kids, unlike kids in cities today, were not only tough, they were polite, too, They could knock you to the ground, but they would extend a hand to help you back up. But, I am not just talking about being physically tough. Wallace kids were mentally tough as well. We had to be. We were surrounded by mountains that, although beautiful, could turn on you in a heartbeat. Most of our fathers worked in the mines, at at least at one time or another, and the possibility always existed that they might not come home that day.
Yes, it was a place of hard work, hard play, and great living. Wallace, proud and tough.

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