Thursday, March 23, 2023

Thursday Potpourri

A sunny day calls for a good nap when you are a horse. 

Sometimes when those sun rays are so warm and comfy, ya might even sink into such a deep, satisfying sleep that some humans think you're dead. 

Horses succumb to sleeping in the sunshine better than any animal I've ever seen. 

And, when you walk up to where they happen to be slumbering and make a bunch of noise, they'll come alive faster than anything you'll ever see. 

Yesterday's sunny day involved enjoying the farm and yard life as well as a trip to town.

I enjoyed walking around in light and comfy street shoes and even took a stroll down the alley between First and Second Avenue. 

Colorful and off-the-wall art work, some done by student groups, invites one to walk the alley from end to end. 

It's always fun to see what's new in that alley. 

This is a customary pose from Sunny, on both sunny and rainy days, when she sits high atop the hay stack in the barn. 

She can see Foster, but he can't see her. Still, in spite of his blindness, he knows she's there. 

This dog-and-cat vigilance keeps little Foster busy for hours every day in the barn. 

In other news, on my first visit to Facebook this morning, I came across some fascinating reading material.

No, I have not read all of it.  

Just barely had time to skim through it quickly, but I'm looking forward to taking the time.

The author James Martin is a descendant of Frank and Nora Evans, whom you'll read about in the story. 

He's a former honors English student of mine, and he earned his Eagle Scout badge under his scoutmaster Bill Love. 

A person of many talents and interests, we've always considered James a Renaissance man. 

He's the son of Jean Martin and her late husband Jim.  Jean is our family's longtime and beloved friend. 

James, a Montana State University professor, also created the Facebook group site "North Idaho Fishing History. 

I took a screenshot of the cover page for this story and sadly could figure out how to highlight only a portion of the graphic, but I'm guessing that you will get the picture. 

I also lifted a few paragraphs from the opening page of the story with hopes of luring you to read its entirety. 

Congratulations, James, on your vast research which has culminated in what looks to be a fine account of some rich Sandpoint local history. 


M O N T A N A T H E M A G A Z I N E O F W E S T E R N H I S T O R Y40

Sandpoint, Idaho, lived its boom years as a
timber town in the early twentieth century. The
Humbird Lumber Company, the Diamond
Match Company, and a few smaller operations domi-
nated the town’s North Idaho hinterlands. Together
with the Northern Pacific Railway, the Great North-
ern Railway, and the Spokane International Railway,
these companies rapidly transformed the area into an
important resource frontier serving markets hundreds
of miles away. On the shore of Lake Pend Oreille,
Humbird’s sprawling mill gave Sandpoint the flavor
of a company town, sporting Humbird-owned hous-
ing for workers, a store, and a school. The Humbird
mill processed millions of board-feet of timber per
year, harvested from the old-growth forests surround-
ing the town by numerous logging companies. Today,
the massive ancient stumps left by this flurry of activ-
ity still rot away among second- and third-growth
forests, and the remnants of infrastructure—flume
pilings in creek beds, slumping trestle abutments,
odd bits of concrete—render mute testimony to
these long-departed enterprises. The razed ground
and bald stumplands in old photographs speak to the
power this bonanza exerted over the landscape, as do
the wood dynamite boxes still knocking around many
garages and the crosscut saws that decorate local res-
taurants and breweries.1

This timber-town backdrop, echoing through
kitsch and local historical accounts, obscures the
complexity of the region’s extractive economies.

Many private memories but few visible traces remain
of the families who made their living on the margins
of this boom. Frank and Nora Evans—who arrived in
North Idaho from the Midwest in 1909—formed one
such family. 

Lacking inherited wealth, the abundance
of the region’s agricultural and extractive industries
drew them west. When they found a future in those
sectors limited or unattractive, they developed adap-
tive strategies to survive. They and their children built
a series of seasonal enterprises outside of the timber
economy and sometimes outside the law: commer-
cial fishing and fish processing, huckleberry picking,
moonshining, gardening, and pilfering timber. Sea-
sonal rhythms structured the family’s business and
sustenance. Although they readily adopted new
technologies to more efficiently exploit the resources
around them, the textures of daily life and work
remained rooted in an intimate relationship with the
natural world. Their unusually well-documented
work lives offer a window into an informal economy
that afforded many North Idaho residents the oppor-
tunity to piece together a living well into the 1970s.
Near the end of her life, Frank and Nora’s daughter,
Martha Miller—a lifetime laborer in this informal
economy—reflected on her family’s experience. She
declared that to get by, “you made your own job,”
an utterance that speaks to the precarious nature of
working-class life and the spirit of autonomy she and
others cultivated as a survival mechanism. 2


If the link doesn't work for you, cut and paste it into your site address window. 

OR, if you're on Facebook, go to North Idaho Fishing History and click on the PDF, which James provided in his intro.


Speaking of things to read, I'm still waiting for my copy of Ammi Midstokke's new release All the Things

After sending her a note yesterday apologizing because I would not make it to her book event tonight at Pine Street Woods, I stopped by Vanderford's in downtown to purchase a copy. 

"Just sold the last one," the clerk told me, adding that she'd put my name on a list for when the next batch arrived. 

And, yes, Ammi has already done one wildly successful book event at the Fox Theater in Spokane.

  Tonight's program is hosted by Kaniksu Land Trust. 

I'll include a link from the Daily Bee providing more details. 

Here's the testimonial I wrote for Ammi's book.

"Getting acquainted with the writings of Ammi Midstokke might best be compared to going on a Star Trek adventure. While telling slice-of-life stories about herself and her often wacky adventures, she may take you to where no woman has dared to go before, ‘cept for Ammi.

 I like to think of her as a pure free-range soul who allows no barriers to stop her, except for when a big rock pins her to a mountainside. 

That harrowing experience and her subsequent rescue brought Ammi regional fame and the opportunity to share her unique writing voice through outdoor columns in The Spokesman-Review.

 Regardless of the situation, her brilliantly crafted and precise prose provokes a range of strong emotions. 

Read one Ammi Midstokke story, and you’re hooked." 

If you do not live in Sandpoint, the book is available at  I highly recommend it, as you'll see in the testimonial. 

Wishing Ammi the very best of luck tonight. 

Taking a cue from Ammi's column the outdoor section of today's Spokesman-Review "The importance of being real---because faking it is overrated," I'm going to be "real" truthful and tell why I'm not attending Ammi's event tonight. 

As one who doesn't exactly stay within the lanes, Ammi will understand. 

There's a ZAGS game tonight, and I knew about the ZAGS game before I knew about Ammi's event. Plus, the story I read in the paper said her reading was next week. 

So, I feel only half guilty for not being in her audience. 

Just in case you haven't heard, the ZAGS are playing a Sweet Sixteen game tonight in hope that they'll move on to the Elite Eight (also in Las Vegas this weekend). 

And, today, thanks to my friend Cis's thoughtful daughter, I'm wearing some new ammunition in my Game-Day ensemble. 

The earrings came in yesterday's mail.  I soon told Cis to tell her daughter that I'd be wearing them proudly for tonight's game. 

Don't look at the ugly mug; check out the Bulldog earrings.

Tonight's definitely a game where every little ounce of extra support and positive energy is needed. 

The ZAGS are playing the UCLA Bruins.  When it's over, only one team from the West will be left in the NCAA Tournament. 

I told Bill that the ZAGS should ask Jalen Suggs, now an NBA player, to come and sit on the bench with the team. 

That sight should intimidate them, as Jalen's shot heard and seen round the world a few years ago when the ZAGS played the Bruins in the Tournament gets played over and over again. 

To see him sitting there could be a bit intimidating. 

Whatever happens, we'll be proud, but I must be real and say it sure would be nice to watch the ZAGS play again on Saturday. 

Tip off is at 6:45 p.m PDT on CBS.


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