Tuesday, December 22, 2009
Sunday, December 13, 2009
Wednesday, December 2, 2009
Thankfully my son dug 80% of the hole and I had neighbors that also pitched in. Travis next door helped on Sunday by capping off the sprinkler pipe and providing some good advice. Monday morning we found the hole full of water and about the time a City Water guy came to tuen the water off Bob across the street brought over a small sump pump to clear the hole. Herb on the other side loaned me a breaking bar as we had broke my old one the day before trying to pull out a bush. Seriously, we broke a steel breaking bar.
I was recently informed by the City Water Department that I had a leaky valve that needed replacement, and I must commend Jim Markley's crew for the excellent service I experienced during this predicament.
Rob Stark called me last Wednesday and was very helpful in explaining the entire situation and the job I had ahead. We dug yesterday and this morning I called to shut our water off. Josh Mayne arrived right on time and answered all my questions and made helpful suggestions.
As we excavated, I kept having questions and turned into Rob's #1 caller today. Rob dropped by to check the job and, seeing we were at the critical part, jumped in the hole, pulled out the part, drove me down the street to Consolidated Plumbing then followed up with the install. Rob didn't like the PVC job the sprinkler guys had used, so he zipped to the shop and returned with a short piece of pipe that was much improved. Rob put this back together, tested everything and we got the thumbs up to start the refill. Rob and Josh retuned later and replaced the top vault on the water meter as the old one was cracked.
My son, Aaron, and I can shovel dirt. The whole pipe thing was my worry. We had everything exposed and Rob just whipped the plumb job out in less time than I would have spent pondering how I was going to do it.
Like I have discovered so many times before with so many different people of the City of Coeur d'Alene, the Water Department has proven they are not only on the top of their game (I would never have discovered this leak) but have the skills to expertly and efficiently perform their job and with a "can do" attitude to boot. Kudos to them for this excellent customer service.
Tuesday, December 1, 2009
For the 2nd year, a taxi ride in CdA proper is included. Take it or call your Mom. You won't be driving home from this.
Friday, November 13, 2009
1. Editorial recommending more parks be named after distinguished locals, citing a Post Falls Park named after Hilde Kellogg.
Nothing against Hilde, heck, I've known her since I was a little kid and she has done much for North Idaho & KootCo. BUT, I always have to wonder about naming parks after people. Here are two good examples here in CdA.
Person Field on 15th. I've lived here all my life and am still a little fuzzy on who "Person" was. And over the years it has been erroneously called everything from Persons to Piersons Field. I'm betting that only a handful of locals could tell me about Mr/Ms Person.
GO Phippeny Park on 7th St. I remember that Mr. Phippeny was a long time educator and the park sits on the one time site of CdA High and Jr. High Schools. But I can't give many more details.
Fifty years from now will anyone remember Hilde and what she did?
2. Letters to the Editor regarding the reversal of suspensions for CHS Viking football players.
First question I had to ponder was, who took the photos of beer swilling, minor students? Could it possibly be an LCHS minor student at the same party in a proverbial calling the kettle black situation?
Just because I was a Viking doesn't mean I'd look the other way. But looking the other way when high school students misbehave is nothing new. Remember when the first LCHS graduating class pulled their senior pranks which accounted for literally thousands of dollars of damage to a brand new school paid for with taxpayer dollars? You don't? I guess we looked the other way that time, too.
3. Yet another news article where Fort Hood killer Nidal Hasan is referred to as a "suspect". Suspect? Alleged? Does anyone actually think he's innocent until proven guilty in a court of law? The guy KILLED people, no if's and's or but's about it. Are we so politically correct that we can't call a spade a spade?
Dunno about you, but stuff like this always makes me go "Hmmmmmm...."
Friday, October 30, 2009
Tuesday, October 27, 2009
Monday, October 19, 2009
The U.S. Government decided they had given the Tribes too good of a deal and wanting to expand development in this part of America rich in natural resources, opened 700,000 acres of Flathead, Spokane and Coeur d'Alene Reservation lands. Hundreds of thousands of people from all over America spent 3 million dollars on railroad tickets to travel here and take a chance in this great land lottery. The odds were as high as 500 to 1 in Spokane and 100 to 1 in Coeur d'Alene.
At midnight on July 14th, sixteen Notaries opened the doors in Coeur d'Alene to register people, 500 names were taken in the first hour. In four days that jumped to 34,730 and by the time of the drawing, 264,883 names had been registered for the three blocks of reservation lands.
Every inbound train was full and the lake steamers were filled to capacity and then some. Coeur d'Alene was packed with people and not all were land speculators, bunco artists, thieves and pickpockets were also on hand to profit where they could. In two weeks the post office sold over $4,000 worth of stamps to send cards home from the land seekers. Notaries had over two tons of completed registrations.
While people had to register in Spokane for the Spokane land, Kalispell for Flathead and Coeur d'Alene for Coeur d'Alene, it was Coeur d'Alene where James W. Whitten conducted the drawings for all. At noon on August 9th, Miss Helen Hamilton stood on a platform in front of the Hotel Idaho (Desert Hotel) and drew the first envelope from the 105,000 Coeur d'Alene entries strewn over the stage.
Isador Selig was number one and had the first pick of land in the Coeur d'Alenes, choosing a spot along the St. Joe River. A power company claimed to have a prior rights to the land and by the time Mr. Selig got to pick a 2nd choice there was little good land left.
In the end, most of the land was too dense with timber to farm and too hard to clear. Settlers found the deer ate most of their gardens and most weren't farmers anyway. Some of the winners sold out to timber companies. Few of the thousands who came west with the dream of carving out a happy life found anything but sorrows.
Pick up Steamboats in the Timber to read more about the wild times of early Coeur d'Alene country.
Friday, October 16, 2009
Sunday, October 11, 2009
Monday, September 21, 2009
Saturday, September 19, 2009
For a guy who's lived in CdA all his life, I haven't really been on the lake that much. We never had a boat so I'll always jump at an opportunity to go along with friends who do.
I look maybe 3 years old in this photo so we'll say 1958. Dad's holding onto a boat that I think belonged to a Canadian friend, Norm Hendricks. One of the ladies is Norm's wife, Mary Templin's in the middle and I have no clue after that. (Note to self, put names on the backs of photos for future reference)
We're standing on the Templin's Motor Inn dock, pretty much where the west entry of the Resort Boardwalk is now.
Tuesday, September 15, 2009
I miss the Kingdome, its destruction was the first signal for my fading dedication. They are still my team but I don't bleed blue anymore. Posted below is a review of my life with the Seahawks, originally written a few days before the Seahawks played the Steelers in Super Bowl XL.
It has been XXXVIII years since MY team was in the Super Bowl. When I was a kid, I was a Packer fan. And how could I not love Idaho boy Jerry Kramer throwing the block to let Bart Star sneak in for the TD in the Ice Bowl against the Cowboys? I was 11 at the time. After Lombardi left I went for years without a real favorite team.
Then the Seahawks came along and I’ve bled blue ever since. I’ve suffered through a lot of losses, a lot of disappointments and a lot of mediocre seasons. Not that there hasn’t been a number of memorable moments over the years.
Oct. 21, 1979. It was my first visit to the Kingdome. The Oilers, featuring Earl Campbell, were in town. I’d come to watch him as much as the Hawks. I should have known a fickle love/hate relationship with the NFL in Seattle lie ahead of me. Earl hardly played and our ‘Hi Mom” banner never made it on TV. The Jim Zorn led Seahawks won 34-14.
Nov. 8, 1981. Pittsburgh’s Terrible Towels waved in the Kingdome but the Seahawks and fans were up to the call. We sat 300 level, dead square between the goal posts. Late in the 4th quarter, I watched the Hawks hold Pittsburgh on a 4th and goal then march the ball back to our endzone. I had a bird’s eye view on a Seahawk 4th and goal. Touchdown Seahawks! Seahawks win, 24-21.
New Years Eve day, 1983. This was as close as got for decades. The Hawks go 9-7 and beat Denver at home in the Wild Card. This day we sat in our living room and watched as Idaho Alum “Super” Sam Merriman fell on a fumble in a rain soaked 4th quarter to beat the Dolphins 27-20 in Miami. The Hawks went on to lose to the would-be Super Bowl Champion Raiders the next week.
Oct. 6, 1986. It’s a month before my son, Aaron, turns six and we take him to see his favorite player and first sports hero, Steve Largent, make a catch in an NFL record-breaking 128th consecutive game. We win 33-7. On the way out, Aaron stumbles on the steps and a seat-arm on the aisle leaves a third eyeball dead center on his forehead. We watch the highlights in the ER of Swedish Hospital. He still has the souvenir, er, scar.
Nov. 16, 1986. Cincinnati wins 34-7 giving the Hawks 4 straight losses and a 2-7 record. We refuse to not have fun at the game. After the second Bengal TD, we put sacks on our heads, each with a letter spelling out K-N-O-X. We’re in the newspaper the next morning. At least we got our money’s worth and laughed all the way home.
Nov. 30, 1987. Monday Night Football. The Raiders. Bo Jackson. Bozworth. A 37-14 butt-kicking. Bo runs over the Boz right in front of us. A couple long faced fans, Aaron and I, make the Tuesday newspaper. We have to chain up on Snoqualmie and it takes 12 hours for our charter bus to make it home.
December 23, 1989. Steve Largent’s last game. Many former Seahawks are on hand to honor him. Pre-game ceremonies are moving and there’s hardly a dry eye in the house. By halftime we were really crying as the Redskins are cleaning up on their way to a 29-0 victory. It was an emotional halftime, the Blue Angel was retiring. We didn’t stay for the second half.
Through the 80’s and 90’s, we were as good a mediocre team as you’d ever want. We had highs of home victories over archenemies Denver and Oakland/LA. We saw Steve Largent flat-can a Denver defensive back after an interception (the same player that put him out earlier in the season). We had the Wave. We wore Raider-Buster shirts. We retired the number 12 (bite me, Aggies!). We loudly proved the NFL’s new ‘noise rule’ would never work by repeatedly pegging the decibel meter on national television. We cheered names like Efren, Doornink, Krieg, John L, Easley, Brown, Yarno, Nash, Tuiasosopo, Cortez, Warner, Skansi and Paul Johns. We jeered names like Elway (Elllllll-waaaaaaaaay!) and cussed those of Flores, Behring and Erickson. We went home hoarse and happy; we went home spent and sullen. We were Seahawk fans.
December 26, 1999. The last regular season game in the Kingdome, we beat Kansas City 23-14. Two weeks later, the Hawks lose the Wild Card at home to Miami, but this was the official farewell game. The sidelines were packed with a who’s who of Seahawk history, pre-game and halftime shows are moving. Post game, every player was introduced and the top 10 all-time Kingdome highlights are shown on the big screen. Laser lights and pyrotechnics make this wake a spectacular party.
We had sat in the same seats for 16 years, aisle 110, row 1, seats 1-4. Nearby season ticket holders watched our children grow, we became friends with sideline cameramen and security people. Once our reluctant daughter Tia was recruited to pull camera cable and stood just out of the endzone for a Seahawk touchdown, forever locking her into Seahawk Blue. These people were our family.
Our seats were at one of the few entries to the playing field and longtime security lady, Mary, looked at me as we packed to leave and asked “You guys want to go on the field?” Sue, the kids and I walked among our team, Aaron finally getting his photo taken with Largent. I miss those seats and I miss those friends.
Then came the UW years. Husky Stadium is in one of the greatest settings in sports. But it is an awful stadium. Seats are uncomfortable and far removed from the field, the aisles are woefully inadequate. The football wasn’t much better.
The new stadium brought new excitement but also higher prices. After 20 years, we finally gave up our season tickets. We’ve since gone to some games, but (typically me or typically Seahawks), of the three regular season losses Seattle has had at Quest Field, I’ve been to two of them.
This is the first year since 1979 that I haven’t attended at least one game. Now they’re XL bound. Perhaps the albatross hanging around one’s neck isn’t the Seahawks on me but me on the Seahawks. Go figure.
Well, the Seahawks lost the Big One. Yes, some calls went against them but they just didn’t play well enough to win. So much for me getting rich selling my years of collectibles on eBay. I’ll just pack it all away for another year/decade/millennium.
The story continues...
October 22, 2006
Mostly because my wife wanted to go, we attended the game against the Minnesota Vikings. Along for the trip were my daughter and her friend, I should have known going with three women wasn’t going to be like the Boy’s Trips of the old days.
The good news is Gordie is still bartending at the Athenian in Pike Place Market and they still serve Snowcap in frosty mugs, Mee Sum pastry still has the best sidewalk potstickers and you can still buy cheddar cheese rolls from the Russian bakery. And it was a sunny weekend.
Sunday morning rolled around. Parking five (city) blocks away was an affordable $30 (compared to the $50 near the stadium). Football mornings are always fun in the Pioneer Square area and breakfast at The Central was good, including the numerous Viking fans in attendance.
Almost half of the Seahawks total game yardage came in the first quarter, and damn near half that was in one play. Turned out it was one of the few highlights of the actual game. Seahawk highlights anyway, the Vikings had plenty.
Now I have been to three of the four regular season losses in Quest Field. Maybe I should just stay away from now on.
November 27, 2006
Nope, Sue got tickets for the Monday Night Game against the Packers and after going to over 120 games in over 25 years, I have to say this was in my Top Ten. Of course, spending the pre-game at Pyramid Brewing, walking into a snow storm for the game (we had our boots, gloves and CHS Viking stadium blanket and kept toasty), seeing a great game and then closing the Elysian Brewery after the game, it had to be a fun time.
October 14, 2007
My son, Aaron, and I make a one day trip over and back to see the Sunday night game against the Saints. Early in the game it’s so loud I almost wish I had earplugs. Then the Saints start looking great while the Hawks start looking bad. With Seattle down 28-10, we leave with six minutes left in the game. Yet another loss I attend.
December 9, 2007
Another Seattle trip and now I just look at it as a beer weekend. Saturday we visit Pyramid Brewing, Pike Place Brewing, The Athenian and The Taproom. Gordie’s still at The Athenian but tells me he’s retiring and moving to Arizona. I guess everything changes in time. The Seahawks win, big. But even with a 42-21 shellacking of the Cardinals, well, it’s still just the lowly Cardinals. Lucky we’re in the worst division in the NFC.
January 12, 2008
In what will go down in history as a great Green Bay Packer win, in epic Lambeau Field weather, the Seahawks see their season come to a close.
The Hawks stink and Holmgren can't be run out of town fast enough for my liking. We go to one game but I don't even remember who we played or if we won. I do remember Saturday night at the Taproom.
This year's season ticket is in my living room. Free parking, better beer, no drive home and, if the game sucks, a nice place for a nap.
Thursday, September 10, 2009
Near the end of the 1950's the Chamber office was moved to an annex on the east end of The Desert Hotel, now the site of Bonsai at 1st & Sherman. Not long after Dad retired from his 23 years as Manager of the Chamber in 1971, the Desert Burnt down, taking with it the Chamber, the Athletic Round Table and the Diamond Cup Trophy. A total and sad loss.
Dad moved to the Inland Empire in 1947 from Kingsport, TN. where he was the outdoor editor for the Kingsport Times and a reporter for the American Field, the semi-weekly publication and bible for field dogs and field dog trials. Dad traveled across the US and into the plains of Canada with this job, and discovering Coeur d'Alene, he fell in love with it.
After working as a writer/photographer for a magazine called Scenic Idaho he was hired as the Chamber Manager in 1948. Most industry in the CdA area was still lumber mills and various associated businesses. But tourism, which was a huge part of what put CdA on the map even around the turn of the century, was a major player.
Dad worked the promotion of local tourism with a passion. When he wasn't promoting CdA as his job, he, as a freelance writer/photographer, had CdA and surrounding areas featured in countless magazines and trade publications across North America. He was an original member of the State of Idaho Board of Commerce and Tourism and scrounged for funding to promote the area almost every year at the Calgary Stampede as well as travel expos in places like Los Angeles (yeah, I took a bad rap for him bringing the Californians) and Chicago.
Ever the promoter, we even had 2 cars that had "follow the photographer to scenic Coeur d'Alene" painted (by Ted Anderson) down the sides and trunk. Damn I hated to ride in those.
He got the movie bug, bought a 16mm Bolex and made The Coeur d'Alene Country which was released in 1962. He got his friend, country music star and Disney narrator, Rex Allen to narrate the movie and it was distributed widely, including a German translation as it grew popular in Europe. He also, as a one man movie production company, made North Idaho Scenic Land which featured the 11 northern counties and at his retirement banquet premiered Four Seasons in the Coeur d'Alene Country.
During his years with the Chamber he helped get the Public Golf Course off the ground, was instrumental in bringing the Boy and Girl Scout World Jamborees to Farragut State Park and was involved with everything from parades and the Diamond Cup to the Scottish Tattoo and Forest Festival Days.
He was known as Mr. Coeur d'Alene and considering the times and what media was available in the 50's & 60's, probably did more to promote Coeur d'Alene than any other single person before or since.
Dad passed in 1989 and I miss him and his never ending stories, songs, poems and sayings for almost every occasion. He's mostly forgotten now, as are so many of the wonderful people of that era. I was lucky enough to meet and know an amazing number of special individuals through Dad. He is my Hero; for moving here, for marrying my Mother and for raising me in the most wonderful little city on Earth.
Monday, September 7, 2009
Looking down the south (left) side of the street we see Hart Drug, a beauty salon, Coast to Coast Hardware and Woolworths, now Java, San Francisco Sourdough, Pita Pit and Sherman Square Park. Beyond that I can't tell/don't remember (I should find an old Polk's city directory). Some of the businesses farther down on the next block were Western Auto, Bank of Idaho, JC Penney and the Gold Cup, now the Resort Plaza takes up the entire block.
On the north side of the street is the Kamera Korner which over my memories was also Ruth's Children's Wear, the Penny Candy store and now the Beacon (I may one day expand on the California Carpetbagger who booted from the building the candy store, an attorney and Ace Travel after 34 years). What is now Brix was at the time Mariposa if I recall correctly. Prior to remodeling this was where JC Penny was. I remember getting clothed off the husky rack in the upper "balcony". You can't make out much from the photo but on down the street was IXL Toggery, Merrill's Cafe, the Sportsman's, Clark's Jewelry (the clock's still there), Lighthouse Sporting Goods and what is now Wells Fargo was the Hagadone building (1967-1971) with Everson's Jewelry and Floyd's Camera on the street level and upstairs were the Hagadone offices, Dr. Toyama optomitrist and Ace Travel. On the next block were Gridley's Clothing, Shamrock Bar, Hudson's and The Wilma among other things.
I've got more photos, stay tuned and please leave comments on your memories of Sherman and what I missed between 2nd & 4th streets.
Sunday, September 6, 2009
Saturday, August 29, 2009
Logging has been big business in North Idaho since the late 1800's. While modern equipment has improved safety and efficiency, olden times saw very dangerous and difficult work. Timber was often felled in the winter and logs run down flumes to a river where they would be floated toward sawmills. High waters of spring were when most of these log drives were run. But with a wild river ran and receding waters, lots of logs were hung up along the river.
To free these logs, river rats worked from the head of the drive, down river. Using boats to move workers, these hearty men stood in ice cold waters and worked peevees and pike poles (see photo) to roll logs back into the flow. Often jams were so tight they had to blast them with dynamite.
The men lived on Wanigans, 2-3 connected barges that had a kitchen/mess hall, sleeping quarters and equipment. The Wanigan was moved down river along with the drive, drives lasting anywhere from a week or two to a month or more.
Dad was contracted by Potlatch to make a 16mm film called From Forest to Home which started with felling and ended with lumber ready for construction. This was 1966 and Dad filmed what would be the last log drive in America, on the Clearwater River. By that time, flumes were out and trucks were used. The above photo is from that excursion and shows men trying break free a jam.
I was maybe 11 and got to go with Dad on this trip and I will always cherish the memories of this long gone operation. We got to tour and have lunch on the Wanigan (good cooks were highly valued and the fresh banana cream pie was the best I ever had).
Also filming during this drive was Walt Disney Studios for the movie Charlie the Lonesome Cougar that was released in 1967. It was the tale of a cougar raised by loggers and the misadventures of this combination. The filming was complete and while I didn't see any Hollywood activity, I did get to visit Charlie who was in a big cage on the back of the Wanigan. The movie was narrated by cowboy singer Rex Allen who did a number of similar films for Disney. Rex was a friend of my dad's and I remember him as a very warm and funny man. He'd always stop by when he was in the area and he always clowned around to my delight.
Anyways, I've been reading local history books and about the lives of loggers, and of the many lives lost. Looking back I am blessed to have had a father with whom I got to experience so many wonderful things. I ran across this photo recently and felt compelled to write this blog. If you find this interesting I urge you to read the books Hardships & Happy Times, Caulked Boots, Swiftwater People and North Fork of the CdA River by Bert Russell (buy at the Museum of North Idaho) and/or White Pine: King of Many Waters by Clarence Strong and Clyde Webb.
Tuesday, August 18, 2009
It's 1957 and the Dancewana is pulling out, or should I say is being pulled out, with a load of young ladies ready for a day on beautiful Lake Coeur d'Alene.
I say pulled out because the Dancewana was really just a barge. On the left you can see part of the Sea-we-wana (correct spelling?) that was the power sister to the Dancewana.
Steamboats may have plied the waters of Lake Coeur d'Alene in the early half of the 1900's but in the middle of the century this was about all that was left of the lake's tourism business. The Dancewana was then what the CdA Resort's fleet is today. Other photos I've seen show the decks loaded with sailors from Faragut NTS, all no doubt hoping to snag one of the local lovelies like seen here.
Now here's where I'm asking for help with info. Did the Dancewana end up as the Mish-a-Nock? Wasn't the Sea-we-wana purposefully sunk about 20 years ago to provide divers a piece of history to explore?
Correct or confirm please.
Wednesday, August 12, 2009
Tuesday, August 11, 2009
The top photo is of the "new" North Shore Motor Inn. I'd guess mid to late 60's. Looking around it you can see the outdoor pool at center rear and convention center on the east end. Above the North Shore is Templin's, the Desert Hotel across the street and Playland Pier closer to the park. Just east of the convention center is Inland Marine and you can clearly see that boat docks were aplenty.
Friday, August 7, 2009
Ozzie Walch was an interesting guy. He was a yell leader at the U of Idaho, I wish I had a copy of the photo of him with the megaphone. He was known as The Wizard of Oz and had a CdA Lake resort with the Land of Oz theme. And he was a real estate pioneer of sorts for lake property as this ad shows.
Thursday, August 6, 2009
Tuesday, August 4, 2009
Ah yes, City Beach and the Park. It's been a popular place for decades. I'm guessing the first photo was taken in the late 1940's. Note where the steps go from the park, a ramp crosses the beach and goes out to the docks. Fully dressed people, including a sailor, are on the dock.
The lower photo was probably taken in the late 1950's. You can see more docks and Playland Pier in the background. The porthole windows were the doors on changing rooms. Those were removed in later years, I don't remember them. Also visible are the carousel, rockoplane, ferris wheel and swings. The swings were a favorite because you literally swung out over the water on the ride. The buildings behind housed the bumper cars, the arcade and snack bar.
Wednesday, July 29, 2009
Here's another arial photo from around 1960. Looking from bottom to top note the Government Way, 4th Street, 7th Street and 9th Street bridges.
Pretty sparce neighborhoods, you can tell which homes have been around that long. At 4th Street, about the only building that remains is Lake City Lanes (Auto Body).
On 7th Street is Borah School, which just had its first expansion on the west (near) end, and the 2 churches that are still there.
Above 9th Street is the brand new Monte Vista neighborhood. You can see a row of homes on 11th Street just this side of the tree line. From left to right, these were occupied by the Fossum, Robideaux, Walker (me!), Ashleby, Hubbard, ?, Scott and Cook families. You can't tell from this pic, but decades earlier a railroad line ran behind where these houses are. Behind Mike Scott's house there were still a couple old RR ties in the ground.
This was a great place to grow up. North of the bridge is Homestead and the angled street is Syringa. This little triangle neighborhood at one time had over 70 kids of all ages. There was plenty of room to explore, build forts, ride bikes and generally do all the simple things that kids of the 60's did. All my buds had HO slot cars and we'd combine our track to build huge layouts and race, when we weren't building model cars.
As Monte Vista was built out (the big field to the left) we had dirt streets to play "prisoner escape", which was just an excuse to ride our bikes like hell all over the place chasing each other. When houses were being built we crawled through them at night, when utility lines were being installed we climbed in and out of the trenches "saving" each other like we saw on the TV show Rescue 8. We'd pack lunches and climb "Big Best" and eat looking over the City.
And, being kids in those carefree times, our only rule was to be home in time for dinner. We'd ride our bikes all over town and at least once a month and would go to every store in town that sold comic books and stock up for summer reading, always making sure everyone bought different ones so we could trade them around.
Then there was the Diamond Cup hysdroplane races, which to us was better than Christmas. We'd spend all day, every day down at the pits where the big boats were in town, collecting booster buttons and every other thing we could get out hands on. You have no idea how big the spark plugs were for those giant V-12 engines. The mechanic's junk was our treasure. (More on the Diamond Cup in a future edition.)
Life was simple then. Kids grow up so dang fast now. Grade school kids think they are too mature to do some of the stuff we enjoyed into our early high school years. I don't want to go back but I do have some awesome memories of growing up with a bunch of great friends.
Sunday, July 26, 2009
Here's another one of Dad's photos of I-90 taken around 1960. Looking from bottom to top (west to east) are the bridges of Lincoln Way (now Hwy 95), Government Way, 4th Street, 7th Street and 9th Street. Yes, things have certainly changed.
Lincoln Way was destined to become Highway 95 but when the overpass was built it just came to a T at Appleway. Government Way was still the main north - south route. But Sherman was still part of Hwy-10 as well. I-90 changed everything.
You don't see the hospital, Shopko, the CdA Inn, Wild Waters or any of the many buildings and businesses that have showed up in the last near 50 years. Looking at Government Way you can see which houses are now that old. Continuing to look east you can pick out a few places that still exist like Borah School and Lake City Lanes (now Lake City Auto Body). Also of note are the dirt streets in the Borah neighborhoods. And there's the house I grew up in.
I'll post more detailed photos in this series soon.
Tuesday, July 21, 2009
Monday, July 20, 2009
This is the first of a number of photos I'll be posting that Dad took from Bill Brook's seaplane when I-90 was first completed. This would be about 1959. You can see the wings in a couple photos (which he would crop out where needed).
Dad sold a group of these arial photos, showing the new freeway end to end, to the Spokane Chronicle. The Chronicle was an evening paper, the Spokesman a morning issue. If you're old enough to remember, or have noticed on the newspaper the Old Man reads in A Christmas Story, many newspapers would fill the last page with "photos of the day". Dad's photos took the whole page a few days before the grand opening.
When I got older I got to go along and hold the plane's window open, out and up, for Dad to shoot. That was fun but it about tore my arm off. This is scanned from an 8x10" contact sheet, prints right from the negitives from Dad's 4x5" Press style cameras. I kept the prints, the negatives went to the Museum of North Idaho. Dad had maybe 1,000 - 1,500 of them.
The photos here show not only the new I-90 sweeper into the east end of town, but Potlatch Mill, Rutledge Unit.
The top left one shows the then brand new bridge that everyone now takes to go up to all the houses. Known now as Rutledge, we called it Armstrong Hill in the 70's. Great place to make out up on top. You could drive to the end of the road, turn around and park where you overlooked CdA and had clear vision of anyone coming your way long before they got there. I watched the 4th of July fireworks from there a time of two.
This shot could be held up to an arial promo shot of the CdA Resort Golf Course and new condo for comparison. It's all there. The sawmill has the tall stacks in the upper right. Check out the booms of logs ready to be fed into the mill.
The top right photo looks back at Sanders Beach and Tubbs Hill. Look how small a piece of land the new condos were built on is. In the background you can see the smoke from the sawmills out on Northwest Blvd.
The bottom left photo shows how west bound traffic exited over a bridge and down what is now East Lakeshore Drive and to the Serman intersection. In the background is Big Best, as we kids called it, the Cherry Hill area and the cross-town route of I-90.
The bottom right is all the same from the southwest. It clearly shows how big a mill Potlatch was and how much land it takes for a golf course.
For what must have been decades, a big chunk of boys growing up around here worked at least once in a sawmill, a mine or for a logger, rancher or farmer. I put in a short stint at Rutledge when I was going to NIC. Got a "join the union or else" letter in my paycheck once and figured if I was only going to work until I went to U of I, why should I pay them any of my money. End of job, start of summer.
I did have a couple of the most memorable work days of my life there, though. There were actually 2 of the best days of work ever, and then there were the days I had to work between the head rigs turning slabs. That sucked, hurt my back and bothered me until I finally had surgery 25 years later. But those are stories for another time.
More pics will follow. Stay tuned.
Wednesday, July 15, 2009
Here's another one of Dad's photos, City Beach in the crush of another beautiful Lake City day. You can see Playland pier in the back; dang, what a great place when you were a kid. Forget Coney Island, we had a reasonable facsimile right here that was good enough.
A kid could have a hell of a great day at City beach with a dollar bill. There was the Merry-go-round, Rock-o-plane, tiny tot roller coaster, Bumper Cars and the ever popular Swings which literally put you over Lake CdA. [We always imagined one breaking and sending a rider way out into the lake.] I rode everything at least a couple times but usually spent my money in the arcade. There were a few very special machines there.
You couldn't afford to do everything on a dollar but at least a couple times each summer I'd shoot the growling bear with the light beam (pre-laser days by a damn sight) rifle. It was great hitting that glass eye in his side, causing him to raise up on his rear legs, growl and turn. Great shooting! And there was skee-ball and pinball and ancient hand crank flip picture movie machines. One was a snake eating a rat and the other (if they didn't catch you looking) was a fan dancer.
Then there was the good stuff. There were two post card machines. For .02 you got a photo of a movie star (starlets on one side, hunks on the other) or, even better yet, hot rods and custom cars. Why or why didn't I keep all that crap? Yeah, famous words we all can claim.
But then there was the greatest arcade game of all time. There was an (of course, ancient) early try at a soccer game. It was basically a large aquarium size glass case that stood on metal legs (hell, it was all metal). On the front were a slot for a penny a hand lever on each side. In the case was a playing field covered with little players and a goal with goalie at each end. The field was lumpy and low spots were in front of each player so the ball wouldn't go dead. When you flipped your lever, all the men on your team would kick one leg, plus your goalie would cross the goal. So you'd flip that lever in an early version of foosball. The balls were steelies (yes, steel balls) and you got one for every penny.
Hell yes it was fun, and it got even funner as the game became more about trying to break the glass with a kicked steelie than it was pushing an abacus like bead for scoring a goal. And at a penny a ball, I tossed a good share of dollar bills, a penny at a time into that machine playing and trying to break that glass. Amazingly, and with what had to be like 1930's glass, it never broke. No matter how many solid shots on glass we slammed, it never even cracked.
A penny a ball. Try and have that much fun nowadays.
Friday, July 10, 2009
My father was the manager of the CdA Chamber of Commerce from 1948 to 1971. Summer of 1952 my mother was on vacation from Edmonton, Alberta. As Dad walked through City Park along the seawall he saw two women who were obviously on vacation (heck, there was only like 2,000 people in CdA, tourists were easy to spot). Dad, as I saw him do with thousands of people all his life, welcomed them to the Lake City.
The rest, as they say, is history. I am a direct product of the Chamber of Commerce, born in the Iron Horse parking lot (Lake City General, more on that some other time).
Dad had traveled all over North America reporting for a semi-weekly publication, The American Field, which is THE journal for anyone involved with bird dogs. But when he came through the Pacific Northwest, he knew this was the place for him. And he fell in love with Coeur d'Alene.
Involved deeply in tourism and the promotion of CdA, North Idaho and Idaho in general (he sat on the first State Tourism committee with Louise Shadduck), Dad came into possession of all sorts of things. The above poem is one of those items. My guess is this was printed somewhere around 1930. I believe it stands the test of time.
My dad, Kyle Walker, has been gone 20 years and I cherish so much of what he left me. Not the least of are his sense of humor, value of family and friends and love of CdA. This blog, and this entire blog site, is dedicated to him, Mr. Coeur d'Alene.
Tuesday, July 7, 2009
The New Studebaker!
IXL Toggery, when your parents really wanted you dressed up.
Gridley's, now the Painter's Chair.
The Showboat was roughly where the rental storage units west of the I-90/NW Blvd/Ramsey interchange are.
Sunset Raceway was roughly where the Shilo Inn is on West Appleway.
Can't remember if it was Holsum or Bogge Brothers who tossed mini loaves of bread at the parade. Much better than candy.
Kennedy Buick is now Takara & the Olympia.
First Federal S&L is now Canton Chinese.