the perfect thing for getting out of trouble or getting into it!
111 E. 2nd Street, Moscow 208.596.4444 littleshopofflorals.com
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Before I created Home&Harvest magazine, I started an online magazine called HaveHeart. It was centered on the idea of real beauty from within. No Photoshop, all sizes, ages and backgrounds of women were shown, only positive or inspirational articles were allowed, and the cover woman for each month would be someone I found beautiful for the way they were living life. It’s a project that got too big for its britches and I put it on the back burner when I started this publication. The website looks like the current state of my garden- which is best described as “needing tending.” Anyway, my main question for these cover women was what advice would they give to their younger selves. I love that question. It’s awesome to pause and reflect on the wisdom you have now that you only wish you had then. But now that I’m older, I feel that it’s kind of, well, bullshit. At least for me in particular. Younger me was lost because she was in the stages of becoming. I never had to worry about taxes, food, shelter, or things that we adults do today. I was learning to weave my cocoon with the fabric of society, trying to choose threads that would glisten and become wings, but in a world and time when few of those threads were available, at an age where I didn’t have the wisdom to see the difference. I am 36 years old. If asked, my advice to my younger self would’ve been to celebrate how unique you are- that one day I will come to appreciate the process instead of always feeling like I’m on the outside looking in at everyone who has “arrived.” But here’s the thing. I still feel this way. Yep, I feel the same way about myself at 36 as I always have. It’s not because I haven’t pondered growth or experienced it over the years. It’s because I’m fundamentally, spiritually, at the end of the day, me. I am always in a state of becoming, and I haven’t always accepted that as a positive thing. And I have a feeling many of you feel the same way I do. People always say to me, Heather, you are so successful! How do you do all of these things? And it shocks me that anyone sees me this way. I see a woman who constantly has smudged eyeliner, is socially awkward, is too passionate, chronically late to everything, and falls apart from time to time. How could anyone see me as successful? I always write about my shortcomings because I never want someone to see me as this perfect person. Personally, I’m always looking at others who seem to have it all together with that same youthful fear that I’ll never belong. So when I was doing deep thinking about this, I thought to myself that a better question to ask people would be not really advice itself but more of the question of how you can be a better friend for yourself, at any age, in any circumstance, and celebrate the journey of life. Every version of yourself. I know I’ll never be that outdated vision of success I had for myself. Because you know what’s better than being something? Experiencing the art of becoming that woman. Because what is achieving success? To me, it’s a destination. It’s the end of a long road. And as my own best friend I’d say girl, the greatest part about a road trip is the snacks before you leave, the songs on the radio, the boring stretches of road where you ponder life, and the weird things that happen when you hit the gas and try something new. You’ll get to where you’re going and then a new adventure will begin. So dear reader, I hope you’ll do the same. Turn up the radio, hit the gas and start enjoying the scenery around you now- in this moment- and love every minute of it. I hope to see you on the road with the window down, hair flowing in the wind, knowing that as long as you’re driving, you’re becoming. And that’s a damn good thing. Love,
Heather Niccoli Editor-In-Chief Home&Harvest Magazine
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the neighbors you bearly know vintage treat diy shampoo bar that big band sound lilly and the salmon stream smoke signals photo by the beautiful Lori Clary
words: tony niccoli photos: heather niccoli There are a lot of great reasons to live on the Palouse. We are surrounded by some of the most beautiful rolling hills and mountains on the planet. We have amazing towns and communities. We have myriad cultural events, restaurants, and outdoor activities to please any personality. And we have wonderful neighbors! I’m sure you’ve met some next door, or at work. Some across town, or in the next community down the road. Some that are just like your family, and some that are very different. But have you taken the time to meet the extended family of bears living in Pullman? At the WSU Bear Center they currently have 7 adult and 4 juvenile grizzly bears, and they are all excited to make your acquaintance. If you haven’t ever been there, you will be absolutely amazed the first time you see it. There is nothing else like this anywhere in the world. Seriously – the WSU Bear Center is completely unique and unlike any other viewing, or research center – and its right here in our community. For me, it was one of my first experiences on the Palouse. I had come with Heather for my first visit to the area when we were attending her sister’s wedding. Heather, a Moscow native, U of I graduate, and lifelong local knew all the most amazing things to show on that first trip and the grizzly bears made that list. In fact, along with huckleberries it was my favorite thing. We go often, usually just quickly dropping in for a few minutes when we are passing by. And there is always something to see when the bears are out roaming the yard or actively vocalizing and moving about their individual pens.
One of the very first articles I pitched to Heather when we were starting Home&Harvest was a huckleberry eating contest between me and one of the bears. Joking about that actually led to our annual “Huckleberry Battle” at the Latah County Fair. We realized that we could never pick enough huckleberries to satisfy my appetite, let alone a grizzly bear that can eat over 200,000 in a day. And so, instead we came up with a yearly contest that would allow us to taste huckleberry treats from tons of local bakers. But the dream of a story about the grizzlies didn’t stop there. It’s been in discussion for a few years, and the idea comes back up every time we visit. But I just wanted to do something different. Hopefully most locals already know about the bears and enjoy visiting them and showing them off to out-of-town visitors. I wanted to learn something new. More about the bear’s individual personalities, and a little about the men and women behind the scenes that have dedicated years to caring for, studying, and protecting bears. And this spring I was lucky enough to get just that opportunity! We met Dr. Charles Robbins, the founder of the WSU Bear Center, and Brandon Hutzenbiler, the facilities manager. During our visits we got to speak to a few other student volunteers, and we met Frank, John, Cookie, Oakley, Luna, Kio, Peeka, Dodge, Adak, Willow and Zuri. No, those aren’t the other staff members here – those are the grizzly bears. The neighbors you ‘bearly’ know. Dr. Charles Robbins has been working with the bears at WSU for 33 years. He actually started the program in 1986. Previously he had been studying and working with elk, moose, mountain goats and other large animals, but he had always had an interest in large carnivores and omnivores. And by starting the bear center at WSU and making trips to places like Yellowstone, Alaska and Canada he gets to study the brown bears in both captivity and the field to get the best possible understanding. He grew up in Texas and was comfortable around big animals with his ranching background. His PHD work give him exposure to studying nutrition in wild animals and he decided that he really wanted to peruse that. After he finished his PHD and was looking for a job, he found a 1 year temporary position at WSU. That was 45 years ago and he is still loving the work. Unlike the mice often used in lab studies, Dr. Charlie’s love for larger mammals made him want to work with the bears. When asked about the danger, he laughed and said “laboratory rats have drawn more blood from me than bears.” It turned out he was the “right person, at the right place, and the right time” to create the bear center. The US Fish and Wildlife Department was searching for someone to partner with. They had worked with zoos but found it wasn’t worthwhile. There was too much emphasis on entertainment and not enough on research there. WSU made the perfect fit. They are still actively involved, and the program has also partnered with the National Park Service, US Geological Survey, US Forest Service, and Alaska Fish and Game. They all have studies that involve the lives and habits of bears, and the direct study at the WSU center offers the best way to learn. But he said that there was a long learning curve to start, because nothing like this had ever been created before. Now, much of his research focuses on the values of different foods, what happens when specific dietary staples are lost, how diets and patterns change over time in populations and how different populations of bears find success using the varied resources they have available. And the program has grown, with several different researchers joining and a team of graduate students studying topics like hibernation, obesity, cardiology, diabetes, fasting, learning and memory, behavior, and muscles during inactivity. After hearing so much about the bears and their special home, and learning that there was much more involved than I had seen in all my previous visits, I couldn’t wait to get outside and see them again.
It was an absolutely perfect day when we went to take our photos and meet the bears up close. The sun was shining, there was a bluebird sky with just a few wispy clouds, almost no wind, and it was the warmest day we had experienced all year. The bears were happy, active, vocal and inquisitive. On the rotation schedule, it was the two massive males that had their time in the larger yard. Before the main gate was opened, several of the student volunteers went into huge enclosure and scattered apples, oats, and various other treats for the bears to discover. Then, they took two toys on large ropes and hung them from an enormous bear-sized jungle gym on the far end of the yard. The toys had round balls with small holes that would drop just a little kibble every time they spun around. And by hanging them in different locations, it forced the bears to climb and balance in different ways to work on spinning the balls and slowly getting some afternoon treats. After all was ready, they put one more apple just in front of where we were standing, and left through the side entrance by the bear’s dens. Then Brandon came over to our end of the yard and rolled back the gate. We now had an unobstructed view of the enclosure and just a thin line of electric wire between us and bears. At his signal the door to their run was unlatched and John and Frank quickly started on a quest for apples and oats. It was incredible how rapidly they found the food locations. Jogging over and scooping up apples that we would just hardly see in the tall grass, and swallowing them quickly after just a chomp or two. Frank and John are actually brothers, and they spend every day together. They are roommates in their private den, and get to hibernate together all winter. They eat together every morning and evening, and they share afternoon enrichment with its games and treats. Every day they get the run of the larger enclosure together, just as we were seeing now. Frank and John live a very happy life at the WSU Bear Center, and have since they were brought here as cubs, when they had to be relocated and were lucky enough to end up here and not just at a zoo. Heather was standing close to the wire taking photos with Brandon just a step behind, ready to quickly close the gate if anyone got a little too excited – Heather or the bears. But Dr. Charlie had already told us that there was not going to be anything to worry about. The bears understand the electric fence, know its exact boundary and respect it. But what about that apple just on the edge? Well, as you can see in the photos – we quickly found out. And there we were, just a few feet away from a colossal, hungry bear. But it turns out that apple was just at the fence line, so after a minute of studying it, and realizing that there were plenty of other apples in easier to reach areas, our giant friend let out an impressive grunt and moved on to the big wood pile where the students had speared a few apples on branches to entice the bears to stand up on their back legs and reach.
Brandon was able to easily grab that apple that had been over the line, and he tossed it a few feet into the bear’s range. It quickly brought back our new friend, ready to scoop up the treat with a grateful vocalization. Brandon explained that part of the bears’ happiness and success here is the fact that all bears – in the wild or here being observed and cared for at the center – are very food motivated. Eating and bulking up are essential, and here they aren’t having to fight for resources every day and avoid danger. They have a community of bears, large areas to roam – unlike the smaller pens at zoos – and they have plenty of food. Some of it provided for being active and engaged with stimulating games that were introduced every afternoon like we were watching now. By this point, the easy-to-find apples were all gobbled up. Several of the scatterings of oats had been licked clean, and the balls hung from the climbing platforms were the final treat for today’s enrichment. And this is where we got to see the big personality differences between John and Frank. Before the last apple was even gone, Frank had gone directly for the balls and he was methodically working one and collecting his reward with every spin. John had other ideas. First he walked up to give us a little inspection, and then he seemed to just relax and enjoy the sunshine. We stood talking to Brandon about the bears and their personalities and a long list of questions I had about what it was like to work with them. And all that time Frank just kept working the ball. Spin after spin, he wasn’t going to leave any kibble unclaimed. Occasionally he would let out a loud vocalization that I took to mean satisfaction at a particularly successful turn of the ball, and then he would stretch and go back to work. Frank was now laying in the grass and occasionally lapping up a mouthful of clover. He was grazing, but not with any sense of urgency. Just seeming to enjoy the taste of the clover, and willing to reach down and grab a few as long as it was convenient. Brandon explained that they are always like this. Frank keeps working the enrichment games as long as they are presented and John grabs the easy spoils before deciding to relax. Frank and John are part of the breeding group for the WSU Bear Center – along with two of the adult females, Cookie and Oakley. All four of these grizzlies had been rescued from difficult or dangerous situations in the great Yellowstone region, and moved to Pullman for a safer life without the dangers of interactions with humans in the wild. Dr. Charlie explained to us that they originally started the breeding program as a response to wanting to better study and understand the bears. Initially all the bears were from the wild and unused to humans studying them. So the scientists had to anesthetize the grizzlies for blood draws and closer study in some cases. But one of the researchers studying cardiology wanted to be able to get measurements without sedation, and that lead to the choice to breed and bottle raise some cubs.
Drs. Lynne Nelson and Charlie Robbins working with one of their 2 yr-old, bottle-raised grizzly bears trained for studies of heart function.
Dr. Charlie Robbins and Mandy providing a warm, 5 am breakfast for one of WSUâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s 2 month old grizzly bears. While this cub was born at WSU, she was bottle-raised to produce a very tractable bear that could be used in a wide range of studies that would not require anesthesia.
This younger group is well socialized to humans and has been trained to stick out a paw for blood draws or roll over for inspections – on the condition that they are quickly rewarded with some honey-water. As long as the treats keep coming, they permit the humans close access without having to make the bears anxious or having to sedate them. This has allowed for a level of study that just isn’t possible at any other type of facility or in the wild. Brandon says it’s hard to choose a favorite, especially from all the juveniles that he got to help bottle raise and bond with. But if he has to pick, it would be one of the wild bears, Oakley. He loves coming up with new games for enrichment and seeing her quickly figure out how to solve them and get to the food. While most of the bears seem to be thinking “food, food, food” it’s almost like Oakley watches the humans and says “okay, I see what you’re trying to do here” and she sometimes seems to overthink things. She is so smart he feels like she won’t just take food to put her leg out the pen for inspection. She seems to need to know why before she decides to participate. Brandon also really enjoys watching the big males, John and Frank, and with our close-up experience in the yard I can really understand why. They are just massive, you can’t help but be awestruck when you see them get up on their back legs, or quickly run past. At this point, John was still just lounging and enjoying the sun, but Frank had moved on to the second ball and was standing on his back legs reaching up to keep the treat wheel spinning. We laughed at his determination and Brandon explained a few of the other bear’s temperaments. Cookie is the wildest bear and she ignores people a lot of the time. She watches for food falling from enrichment activities that Oakley is working, and she tries to grab a little for herself. Pica and Kio are bottle sisters and they share a den. They are both very vocal and demanding. They will bang on things when waiting for food and want to make sure they aren’t getting skipped or short-changed when treats are involved. Dodge is the most laid back cub. He’s a real lounger. And Zuri is definitely the most energetic. When we left Frank and John in the yard, and headed over to take a closer look at the individual dens, Heather got to meet her favorite bear – Luna. After a little scare, they became fast friends. At first I didn’t see a bear in the cool and dark den. Funny how a massive grizzly can seem to hide by sitting still. Then in a flash of dark brown hair and massive teeth, Luna was right up at the door letting out a growl that let us know this was her den. Heather (and I) jumped and let out a little vocalization of our own. But Brandon just laughed and said that she probably wanted to meet us. He put up his hand and a massive grey tongue shot out and gave his fingers a quick taste. Heather hesitantly reached out her hand and got a sniff from Luna. Then a quick kiss, followed by another sniff. Luna must have decided she liked Heather, or just liked how her fingers tasted because the licking continued.
Then without warning, Luna let out a loud grunt and quickly spun around on her bottom like a massive top. She paced away to the far side of the pen, then spun and came back for another taste and sniff. This repeated occasionally as we stood discussing Luna, the only bear to have her own den. Originally, she had sister, but she passed away and so now Luna is on her own. Dr. Charlie had also told us that it was very hard for him to choose a “favorite” among the bears, but that Luna would be his choice if pressed. She was the first bottle raised cub and they have spent years bonding and enjoying each other’s company. “They aren’t really looking for a human friend. They are bears, and have their own lives and priorities” Dr. Charlie explained. But it seems that you do get to know them very well, and the bears in turn get to know the people in their lives, and the routines at the center. All the bears are very conditioned to the facility and its sounds. They know feeding sounds from play sounds. They also all know their names, even if they don’t feel like responding that day. The grizzlies recognize their individual human caretakers, and know exactly when and where to run for a treat. They are very adapted to the lifestyle there and are thriving. While a bear in the wild that reaches its mid-20’s is considered very old, at the WSU center grizzlies live to their late 30’s or early 40’s. They are clearly very well cared for, and safe from any environmental dangers they would face in the wild. Dr. Charlie explained that along with their many other duties, the researchers and staff there act as the “social directors” for the bears. They learn how they best respond to pairings, and make sure to keep them happy and playful with each other. Just like people, bears sometimes have clashing personalities, or close friends. And the yard times are divided to best respect this. The juveniles all get to share the runs together, and all 4 go into the larger yard at the same time. The two adult males are another set, as the brothers do everything together. And then there are the adult females as a group. For me, my favorite was Willow. After our meeting with Luna, and saying hello to the other adult females, we came around the side of the facility to find the four youngsters playing together. Three were wrestling about or pacing and one was sitting on top of a barrel just watching the commotion. When Brandon walked over the three on the ground ran up for a sniff and lick, but the one on the perch just started sucking her paw. It was almost like seeing a baby suck its thumb. Brandon introduced us, and as Dodge was actively licking my hand, it was Willow that just sat atop her barrel and watched. Brandon explained that she was the most independent of the younger bears. The other three were actually triplets, but Willow had a different mother. I have personally been enjoying watching this younger group grow up. I even remember their first summer, when all four could fit into the pool together with room for splashing and play (and I still remember how it smelled when Heather and I got splashed with some of that water). I asked if they were Frank or John’s cubs, but found out that it wasn’t planned. Instead of selecting a specific partnership for the bears, when the researchers decide to bring some more young into the facility’s family to increase and balance the population or allow for new studies, they just let the adults out in the yard together and allow nature to take its course. And on que, almost like they knew we were talking about them, Frank and John came running over from some fun hiding place just over the ridge and out of our field of view. They had found a mud puddle and decided to roll around. We all laughed when Brandon said that it was a favorite game for them on hot days, but he didn’t think he had ever seen them so muddy before. Their swimming pool had just been cleaned by a few of the student volunteers, but the bears decided to wear the mud a little while longer. They gave little growls of satisfaction and paced around like they wanted to show off just how well they had done in their mud-spa.
Brandon hopes locals understand that many people pay hundreds or thousands to see grizzly bears this close. Here in Pullman, you can just pull in anytime you are passing by and stop to watch them for a while. It’s something very unique and different from a zoo at WSU. You can hear bear vocalization and see play and family bonding up close. If you haven’t ever visited – or if you just haven’t been recently – you should drop by some summer afternoon and say hello. Take a lunch break there and watch as the enrichment puzzles are solved by hungry participants. The humans are wonderful and happy to share knowledge or funny stories about the grizzlies here. And the bears, though they might not be specifically looking for a human friend, will be happy with your interest and your support. If grizzly bears are going to continue to survive and flourish in the wild, it takes people all over the region that root for their success and are willing to accept their needs. Learning about them, and seeing them as more than just a scary threat is of great benefit to the wild populations. And supporting the WSU Bear Center is exactly what your friendly neighborhood bears need. Parking is free, but they do have a meter there for coin donations. There are also really cool Bear Center shirts for sale. Or you can just reach out on their webpage and offer a donation. Without local support we can’t have such a treasure in our own back yard, and I’d hate to lose my favorite neighbors.
wheat farm life
by Gayle Anderson
In late February I was in Costco munching down on pizza when a woman came up to me and said, “I love the Home&Harvest magazine, and I look for your article first. Please keep writing!” Truly, when these things happen to me, it makes my day! So grinning to myself, I unloaded my bounty in my pickup, and then I looked in the mirror and was horrified that I had chocolate all over my face. Ugh. Obviously, I had been “enthusiastically” (my word for being messy) enjoying a chocolate sample earlier. What a way to make a first impression, but I guess it’s better to see the real person as they are and the only thing that would have made it more authentic was if I had been wearing my bib overalls and cowboy boots. While life can’t be perfectly planned nor orchestrated, even to my best efforts to move it in the direction that I want, I’ve found that life, just like the weather has a mind of its own. When I take stock of those in my life, I see that I’m drawn to people who are authentic and real with the beauty of their imperfections and uniqueness. And knowing that my own life is far from perfect, I always wondered what the “Martha Stewart” flawlessly showcased life really looks like behind the scenes. So I tried it and found trying to live that picture-perfect life in an imperfect world is exhausting and doesn’t work anyway. Those unplanned and impromptu moments that surprise and delight me are the ones I captured in my heart, mind and soul. Seriously when you look back on memories, do you remember times that are impeccably orchestrated like a Hallmark event? Probably not. Or guess I should say, I don’t, and the things that stick in my mind are the crazy unintentional events that define the occasion. For instance, what do I remember most about my first trip abroad to France and Italy when going to visit my youngest daughter, Kaitlyn, while she was doing a semester aboard in college? Do I remember her perfectly organized trips to museums and art galleries? Nope, the memory that stands out for that trip is when my daughter got herself, me, and her god-mother (who is also a dear friend of mine) lost on foot, in the mainland town that connects to Venice at ten o’clock at night and finding ourselves in the “red light district”. It all ended up fine and once we got back to safety, checked ourselves into a nice hotel, we dropped our backpacks then looked at each other and started into uncontrollable giggles realizing we’d survived a crazy adventure that would forever be etched into our minds. After that our goal was to slip next door to the quaint bar and “toasted and roasted our tour-guide” . True story.
When I ease up on my idea of what life should look like, the best things happen. It’s the unexpected pairing of life events that build upon one another to create the fabric of life that is truly unique. It’s about trying out something that is new or maybe outside your comfort zone. One year on our farm we decided to try growing sunflowers. We planted about four acres around the farmhouse next to our wheat field. The sunflowers in bloom next to the golden wheat were spectacular and a photographer’s visual once in a lifetime setting. While beautiful, it wasn’t practical as when the sunflower heads produced seeds – we had swarms of black birds that would swoop in and enjoy their own private smorgasbord. Those dang birds ate most of the crop and the following year, random sunflower plants magically appeared in other farmer’s fields for miles around. Oops. It’s about envisioning something different and trying it. Sometimes it works out, sometimes not. What I admire in others is being open to new adventures and how they approach life. My oldest daughter, Jen sees her world in such an amazing way and I love looking at the life through her eyes. We can be together and we each will take away a slightly different view or ”take” on an experience. And I’ll think I was there, but I completely missed that! Then I’ll replay it back in my mind and realize I wasn’t fully paying attention and had been narrowly focused on my mission. She’s my living reminder to remember to look up, around, slow down and take the time to enjoy the sweetness of the moment and not be so task oriented. (It’s a tall order for her momma, but I try). Jen is also my junking buddy and we just recently inducted my sweetheart, Rod into our junking club and for the record, he was a willing captive. Jen is also raising her daughters to enjoy garage sales, thrift stores and junking. So I’m excited I have a hard-core band of junk connoisseurs! Some of our favorite memories are when we were out and about exploring (with permission) old barns or abandoned houses. We could hardly contain our sense of excitement and adventure just knowing we would cart home treasures large and small. Sometimes I think I should start a side business: “Gayle Escapades, A Junking Adventure… Not for the faint of heart!” Both Rod and my mom will comment that when they see the stuff I’ve dragged home that they can hardly believe the transformation. Finally, they both have finally quit wondering about my sanity. It’s all about seeing something as it can be in your mind’s eye and then following your natural instincts. And on keeping on the topic of “junking”, I’ve been known to convert non-junking people into avid junkers (yes I’m talking about you Lezah!) and can clearly remember back in the late 90’s I coerced my friend Lezah into coming to an estate sale on a Sunday morning in Garfield, Washington. The poster said 50 years of junk and it started at 7:30am. Back then Lezah wasn’t a junker nor a morning person, so I knew she wouldn’t go if I said we had to leave at 6:45am.
So I said, I’ll pick you up at quarter to 7 hoping she wasn’t paying attention and would be agreeable. Ha! She fell for it. So long story short, the sale was a bomb, but I had spotted a vacant old vintage farm house in town and we peered in the windows. It was filled with all sorts of stuff and was located next to a park surrounded by other houses. Just then, I spotted a man hanging laundry on his clothes-line, so I boldly walked up to ask him if he knew who owned the vacant house as we were hoping to see if we could take a look at any possible treasures for sale inside. He replied, he owned it and was more than happy to let us scour through the house. Both Lezah and I filled up the back of the pickup with all sorts of items and furniture. If memory serves me correctly, I think we had to go back for a second load. I remember Lezah commenting on the way home, “That only I would have the luck to find the only person out and about on an early Sunday morning in a small town who owned the house of treasures and let us shop in blissful pleasure!” It was serendipity. From there on out it was history and her junking passion bloomed. She now has a side business for her treasures and can be seen at area antique & craft shows. Just look for the blonde who sells repurposed tea cups & teapots as well as other creations. Tell her Gayle sent you & know I’m the reason for her junking success! By now maybe you are thinking back to all of your perfectly imperfect moments and times when you took a chance to do something different or new. And you realize just like me that life is beautiful and messy all at the same time. And when the best laid plans go astray and end up (hopefully) in ways that will enrich your life, well, it makes for a GREAT STORY! And as we look back in our memories, we can see how our lives are made up of so many different kinds of experiences that are unique to each and these events are the fabric of your story. What’s important is knowing that not everything may work out exactly as you planned, you will succeed, you will fail - but keeping moving forward with grace, gratitude and gumption. I’ve shared with you my happy times, sad times, crazy and goofy times and I hope you will see no one’s life is picture-perfect. And if you see me out and about, say hi (I’d love to hear your stories too!) and hopefully this next time I won’t have chocolate smears all over my face.
Connect with Gayle: firstname.lastname@example.org Gayle’s Blog: www.swheatfarmlife.net
All my best,
May/June 2019 23
Laura Schrager (LS): Now, wasn’t there ice cream parlors? Clarice Sampson (CS): Yes, indeed there was. In fact, at one time, I think that there were more than two, but it was a great pleasure to go to the ice cream parlor— and one of them had a table especially for children— like a wrought iron, or an iron table, you know, like porch furniture today, with little chairs, and, of course, it was lovely to go in there and sit at that little table. And, we bought sundaes more than anything, you know. We’d have ice cream with pineapple or strawberry or something over it, and that was quite the thing. LS: Did they make their own ice cream? CS: Yes, I think they did and it was very good ice cream, too. LS: Did they have a lot of flavors? CS: Well, not too many flavors. It was mostly just vanilla and chocolate, I think, maybe strawberry some of the times. Then you could have it made into a sundae. But I remember the one time before my husband and I were married, we went into one of the confectionery stores, and ice cream parlors, that’s the way they usually called them, because they made their candy too, much like Mrs. Hunter makes today their candies, you know. And we used to, in the winter, we’d go in there and get oyster cocktail, oh, we just thought that was wonderful. It was cold, you know, and why we’d like it in the winter I don’t know, but we did. Cover Photo: 01-02-104 - North side of Third Street, Moscow, Idaho, showing Jerry’s milkshake parlor (left of the alley) and the drug store purchased by Frank Robinson when he first came to Moscow. Photo Above: 06-03-044 - Genesee, Idaho. Cream Station - Commercial Cream Co. There are 7 men standing in front of the building and a horse and wagon with a driver.
01-03-181 - JERRY’S confectionary and newstand interior (at 112 E. Third St, Moscow) , early 1920s .
One of my favorite things about summer is beautiful, cold ice cream on a hot day. Here in Latah County, this experience isn’t new. Ice cream has been a homemade treat for generations, using cream from local creameries and churning it themselves. From students to seniors ice cream can be enjoyed by all. Today I would like to tell some stories about my favorite dessert throughout its frozen history in Latah County.
One of the highlights of the history of Ice Cream in Latah County came in 1940 when W. Wilson “Bill” Rogers (my research identifies him as Wilson Rogers so I’ll use that name) opened his Ice Cream parlor. Wilson Rogers was born in Kendrick but moved to Moscow with his family before graduating from Moscow High School. Then he traveled to Chicago and completed Coyn Electrical school before finding his passion and completing the short course in the dairy at the University of Idaho. Wilson Rogers began work at Korter’s Dairy (and Ice Cream) in Moscow, continued at the Mason County Creamery in Shelton, Washington and eventually opened up his shop in Moscow called Rogers. Home&Harvest
Wilson Rogers opened the shop in 1940 and specialized in house-made Ice Cream in a multitude of flavors (generally 12-16). Rogers sold Ice Cream, served coffee, made hamburgers and sandwiches but the thing they were famous for was the banana split. This treat was three scoops of Ice Cream (Vanilla, Chocolate, & Strawberry) served between a split banana with chocolate, pineapple and strawberry sauce, whipped cream, nuts and a maraschino cherry on top. I’m getting hungry just thinking about it. The real question is what does something like that cost? A former employee from 1963-1966 recalls that Rogers had a whimsical pricing model for the banana split. A customer would grab a banana from a dish behind the counter and on the back of the banana was a price ranging from $0.01 to $0.49 determining your rate for the banana split. These prices made the banana split a potentially affordable treat.
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Photo Above: 01-03-223 - JERRYâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;S, PEOPLE IN FRONT
Photo Above: Oslund-O-001 - Olga Oslund, Nathan Oslund and friends at the Henry and Marie Oslund home during “Ice Cream Sunday.” Early 1900s. Photo Below: 17-08-023 - MAY DAY FESTIVAL, DAIRY DEPARTMENT, BOYS EATING ICE CREAM, 1915-1916.
The maximum a customer would pay is $0.49 which, using an inflation calculator, equates to $4.07 in 2019. Although it was possible to get the one penny banana split a former repeat customer recalls that it never happened to him or his family. Apart from the famous banana split, customers of Roger’s Ice cream remembered the Pig Dinner. This dish was served in a wooden trough about five inches deep and 12-14 inches long. In trough sat five scoops of ice cream with all of the ice cream toppings you could think of, chocolate, marshmallows, sprinkles, and more. Thankfully there was a layer of parchment or wax paper between the food and the wooden trough. If you finished the dish, you received celebratory buttons that read: “I ate a pig dinner at Roger’s.” Roger’s Ice Cream had a plethora of flavors of ice cream (which rotated seasonally) to go into their treats. One such taste was licorice. Now at this time licorice was black and this was no exception. The ice cream, a repeat customer remembers the ice cream was “black as tar.” When asked why he liked it so much he recalled: “it [licorice ice cream] was great….. if you liked licorice.” Wilson “Bill” Rogers was also part of the volunteer emergency medical technician. A former customer recalls being in his ice cream shop when the fire siren went off. Wilson Rogers would immediately leave the counter and begin running towards the fire station to serve his community, regardless of the customers waiting for ice cream, sandwich or another treat. When Charles E. Smith moved into Moscow and noticed that there was not a confectionary shop. He opened his store North of the barbershop on Main Street in Moscow. In a 1912-1913 business directory of Idaho, the shop boasted: “SMITH C E & SON (CHARLES E and Harry E), Fine Confectionery, Cigars, Fruits, Soda Water, and Ice Cream Parlor.” Although this business appears to have been shortlived, it may have been the beginning of ice cream for purchase in Moscow. Another institution in the Moscow dessert or treat industry was Hunter’s Candy. Hunter’s candy moved five times over the course of their business and at one point ran a side catering business. In the July 13, 1979 edition of the Idahonian Mrs. Anna Hunter said “Fancy desserts for luncheons made of ice cream combined with you know, whatever you have.” Although the catering service didn’t last long, it shows the market for ice cream here in Moscow. Another notable ice cream parlor was born out of a popcorn truck. Mr. Jerry Gelwick operated his father’s popcorn and roasted nuts cart in his youth. Jerry Gelwick would typically be in the street on the corner of Third and Main streets downtown selling popcorn and nuts.
Photo Above: 01-02-067 - Jerry Gelwick and his popcorn wagon in downtown Moscow, Idaho, near David’s Department Store, corner of 3rd and Main Streets. circa - 1917-1921 Eventually, he saved up enough money to buy a storefront on Third Street between Third and Washington and opened Jerry’s. Jerry’s was a confectionary that sold a variety of sweets including popcorn, roasted nuts, and ice cream. Jerry’s became a favorite of high school students in the 1930s. Others in Moscow took up the Ice Cream trade as well, including but not limited to Minsky’s Ice Cream Parlor and The Ice Cream Bar. The University of Idaho encouraged people to join the ice cream trade by offering a tuition-free course in ice cream. This course was part of the Dairy Manufacturing course set through the College of Agriculture. The course required applicants to hold an eighth-grade education before enrolling and complete a six-months of practical employment before receiving their University of Idaho Ice Cream Certificate (I made up the name, but it’s pretty awesome, right?). Although some folks prefer to buy Ice Cream, I’m sure plenty would instead churn their own. With creameries throughout Latah County, this was a past time for people young and old. In this issue, there is an image of the Commercial Cream Company in Genesee and a delightful image Olga Oslund and her friends at the farm of Henry and Marie Oslund in the White Pine area of Troy. This image shows us that Ice Cream has been a way to beat the heat for over 100 years. Home&Harvest
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Clara Emery provides their recipe for Vanilla Ice Cream using a hand crank freezer on page 900 of her work: The Old Fashioned Recipe Book: An Encyclopedia of Country Living by Carla Emery, published 1971. 1 quart light cream 1 ½ tablespoons vanilla ¾ cup sugar First smash your ice to make it fit around the freezer can. Use three parts ice to one of rock salt. Put the cream mixture into the freezer can, set the can in the freezer, adjust the top, and fill in around the can with ice and rock salt in layers. The[n] turn the handle of the crank, slowly at first, then faster as it begins to freeze. ... When you feel that it is becoming harder to turn, you can open it up and see if it is done. Then you can lick the paddle. Pull it out and gather around with spoons and dig in.
Photo Above: Roger’s Ice Cream Shop - 1957 Advertising materials for Roger’s from 1957 Photo Left, Center Smith-C-E-01 Charles Edward Smith
The Latah County Historical Society continues this heat-beating tradition every year when we gather at the historic McConnell Mansion on the last Sunday in July for our annual Ice Cream Social. Mark your calendars now for Sunday, July 28th for free music, family fun, and of course ice cream at the McConnell Mansion, located on the corner of Second and Adams Streets in Moscow, Idaho.
Photo Below, Center 01-02-145-21 - North side of 4th St. from Washington St. to Main St., Moscow, ID; Korter’s Ice Cream on right. August, 1944.
May/June 2019 33
Welcome back to the grill – both experienced masters of the art, and novices just learning to tame the heat and flame. If you have been reading along with the last two issues you already know that we are using 2019 as a back-to-basics review of some simple grilling techniques that started off as basic as it gets, and is progressing a little in scope and complexity with every issue. If this is completely new to you, this series of 6 articles should provide just the foundation you need to get some confidence and build some successes on the grill. And if you are an old pro, but still taking the time to read my column this year, I hope to remind you of a few tricks you may have forgotten, or just give a new idea or two for some recipes you might want to try. In January/February we started with the bratwurst and sausage. Both whole, butterflied, and in liquid. In March/April we moved up to the steak. And now – just in time for fishing season – we are going to perfect the fish taco. So grab a drink, pull up a chair next to the grill, and lets talk about grilling salmon as we wait for the coals to burn down a little. Before we start the grill, before we even prepare the sauce, we need to start at the store. We need to find the perfect cut of fish. Lets start with the origin. There are several types of Pacific Salmon – but only one variety of Atlantic Salmon, and its endangered. However, Atlantic Salmon is the most common at your local grocery store because it is farmed. We don’t have the space here to go into a detailed description of the different methods and their unique impacts on the environment and the health of the fish you are eating, but suffice it to say if you are buying Atlantic Salmon and want to make sure you are getting something that is sustainably-farmed you need to do some research. With Wild-Caught, Troll-Caught, or Wild Alaskan Salmon you already know where it came from and can skip that part. There is some farmed Pacific salmon but most types will be in the wild caught groups above, and farmed types won’t carry the wild or troll caught labels. I know some purists from Alaska would disagree with me here, but I consider any type of Pacific Salmon to be good enough for tacos. If you are preparing a filet without any sauce or special seasoning and serving it by itself you may want to opt for King/Chinook, but for a taco that will have slaw and sauce Coho and Pink will also be fine. It should never have a strong fishy odor, and it should be exploding with color. Vibrant pinks, deep reds, and glowing orange make for a delicious grilling experience. Dry, pale fish is always going to be dry pale fish even after you season and grill. Buying frozen is fine – especially if you aren’t going to eat it right away. Buying fresh is preferred just be ready to get the grill hot, and don’t let it linger in the fridge!
Now at home we want to gently rub the filet on both sides with a high-smoke-point oil. You can use olive oil if that is all you have on hand, but something with a higher smoke point won’t. Now liberally salt and add some pepper to taste. Rest in the fridge until you are ready to grill. Start your sauce early so you aren’t rushed once you get the grill ready. This is especially important if you are using a gas grill. The fish will cook very quickly, doesn’t need much time to rest, and be best served warm – so you don’t have any extra prep time beyond the few minutes it takes for the grill to get hot. Over charcoal you should have time to get a sauce whipped up, but for a newer griller lets take the stress out and just have this done early and waiting in the fridge. If entertaining, this is doubly important as you get to spend the time relaxing with your guests and not frantic in the kitchen and leaving them alone. We will be grilling over medium-high heat. And as I have taught you many times before, that little thermometer on the top of your grill lid means nothing. It’s at least 12” above the cooking surface and will be registering a much different temperature than the fish suspended a few inches over the coals or flame. If you ever plan to eat the lid to your grill pay close attention to the thermometer there – otherwise completely disregard it. We have several methods for finding temperature listed in previous Flank to Flame articles, but the most accurate is a grilling thermometer sitting on the grates where your fish will cook, or your own hand about 4” above the grate while you count to 4 Mississippi. If you can comfortably hold your hand 4” above the cooking surface longer than the count, your grill is too cold. If you jerk back faster than the 4 count your grill is too hot. Full disclosure, I sometimes count to “1 I love grilling, 2 I love grilling…” instead of Mississippi (no disrespect meant to the fine river or wonderful state). I like the crunch that expertly cooked salmon skin adds to the tacos, so I brush the grates with oil just before the fish goes on and I start skin side down. I close the lid and let the grill do the work. If you have been following along the last few issues you may be seeing a pattern here. You’re either lookin or your cookin – never both! Our lid stays closed, and we enjoy the summer evening in our own backyard. Don’t check, don’t peek, don’t even try to imagine what it looks like in there. Just relax – at least for 3-4 minutes. If you have ever tried to flip fish and found it sticks to your grill it means you either have a dirty grill (shame on you) or you flipped to soon. When it is ready, and oiled filet will release from the grates without any effort. If you find it stuck and know that the grill had been well cleaned and the fish was oiled just be patient. Try again in 1 minute. If you start to see little white, glistening beads appearing on the surface, you have the grill too hot. Keep the lid off for a minute or lower the temp slightly on a gas grill. Fish are basically a giant, incredibly strong muscle and as the heat becomes too high some protein is forced out. If cooked over medium high heat this shouldn’t happen. Either way, it is better than the dreaded dry fish created by long cooks over low heat, so don’t overcompensate by using a cooler grill.
When the fish releases around 3 minutes, give it a flip and close the lid again. They should take about 7-10 minutes total. By 10 they are completely cooked through, but at 7 they will still have a little pink in the center. That’s where I like to pull mine. Remember to rest them. At least 2 minutes for fillets. And don’t cut them into taco-sized strips until after they rest. We want all those delicious juices to have time to absorb into the muscle again. Load up your tacos with plenty of cabbage or slaw and dress with one of the options below. Oh, and don’t forget to open a cold Pacifico! You, my friend, just mastered fish on the grill. Your progress this year is really going to impress the neighbors when they smell it!
BLACK GARLIC Shiitake RUB SHALLOT OLIVE OIL tamari BALSAMIC
1/2 cup sour cream 1/2 cup mayonnaise 1 teaspoon lime juice 2 teaspoon finely chopped fresh cilantro 1 teaspoon Old Bay 1/4 teaspoon ground ancho chile pepper
Stir sour cream, mayonnaise, lime juice, cilantro, Old Bay and ancho chile pepper together in a bowl. Cover bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.
GINGER LIME CREMA 1 cup sour cream 1 cup heavy cream 1 lime, squeezed 2 tbl fresh ginger 1 teaspoon salt
CALS at the Market Saturdays from 9 a.m. – 12 p.m. June 1 – August 31
Moscow Farmers Market
Learn about the science behind agriculture, including insects, earthworms, mustard seeds, dairy, water, plant science, nutrition
Whisk together ingredients in medium bowl. For best results, refigerate for an hour before serving.
CHIPOTLE CREMA 1 cup sour cream 1 cup heavy cream 1 lime, squeezed 1/3 can chilis in adobe sauce
Combine ingredients in food processor to ensure you fully blend chilis. Add a pinch of sugar to taste, if needed.
and much more with the University of Idaho College of Agricultural and Life Sciences! • Get your science passport during your first visit to the CALS booth. • Attend at least five events to be entered into a drawing for great prizes. • Build your own science kit, earning different pieces each Saturday. Check our website and follow us on Facebook for a list of activities happening each Saturday at the market.
egg dairy free &
ann Egg and Dairy Free Biscuits Ingredients: 2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour 2 tsp quick rise yeast 2 tbsp white sugar ½ tsp salt ½ cup unsweetened almond milk ¼ cup water 2 tbsp vegan butter Steps: 1. Combine 1 cup of flour with yeast, sugar, and salt in a large bowl. 2. Put almond milk, water, and butter in a microwave-safe bowl, and heat up until warm. Remove and add wet ingredients to dry ones. Mix until well combined. 3. Slowly add the remaining amount of flour, beating mixture until dough is soft. (You might have to alter the amount, depending on consistency.) Place dough onto floured surface, and knead for a few minutes. Then put into a bowl and cover with a towel. Set aside for at least 10 minutes. 4. Remove dough from bowl and cut into 12 equal pieces. Shape into balls and place into round or square greased baking dish. Cover again with a towel and let rest for 45 minutes. 5. Preheat oven to 375°F. Bake for approximately 20 minutes, or until tops are golden brown. Take out of oven, and brush with vegan butter. Eat when your heart desires!
Vegan Salted Peanut Butter Chocolate Cake kitchen: emory ann kurysh Ingredients:
vegan butter, to grease 2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour 1 ¾ cups granulated sugar ¾ cup cocoa powder, unsweetened 2 tsp baking powder 1 ½ tsp baking soda 1 tsp salt 1 ⅓ cup almond milk, unsweetened ¾ cup peanut butter ½ cup canola oil 1 tbsp vanilla extract 1 cup unsalted peanuts 1 tbsp sea salt
Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease an oblong baking dish with dairy-free butter. Add flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a medium bowl. Whisk until well combined. In a large bowl, combine almond milk, peanut butter, canola oil, and vanilla extract. Then fold in dry ingredients. Once thoroughly mixed, add peanuts and stir into batter. Pour mixture into the baking dish. Top with sea salt and place in oven for approximately 35-40 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean. Let cool before cutting into pieces. Cover any leftovers and place in fridge until gone! Home&Harvest May/June 2019 40
Natural Shampoo Bars Coconut Oil – 8 oz Olive Oil – 3.2 oz Castor Oil – 2.24 oz. Sunflower Oil – 1.28 oz. Cocoa Butter – 1.28 oz. Lye (Sodium Hydroxide) – 2.2 oz. Coconut Milk or Distilled Water – 2.6 oz Optional: Moroccan Red Clay, essential oils, coloring
by Heather Niccoli
Make your lye solution using coconut milk. Make sure to freeze the coconut milk overnight. You need the coconut milk to be rock hard before adding lye. Otherwise, the lye will burn the coconut milk and will smell terrible. Be certain to wear protective gloves and eyewear. First time using lye? Watch Youtube videos to get the hang of it. The last thing you want to do is burn or hurt yourself. No need to panic, you can do this! Lye is just a corrosive ingredient so extra care is needed. In a well-ventilated place, slowly add lye to your hardened coconut milk. DO NOT REVERSE THIS STEP! Stir your lye solution using a plastic or silicone whisk or silicone spatula. Don’t breathe in the fumes. Set the lye solution aside. Melt your coconut oil, olive oil, castor oil, sunflower oil, and cocoa butter. I put all the oil and butter in a glass measuring cup, then place the glass measuring cup in a pot that has about 2 to 3 inches of water, like a make-shift double broiler. If you’re using the clay, add it now. Just be aware that it will harden more quickly in your forms. Remove oil mixture from heat and add your lye solution SLOWLY, stirring with a silicone spatula. The soap will form very quickly. Set your ‘soap shampoo’ into silicone molds. Freeze overnight. RESIST the urge to use immediately! This shampoo needs to set at least 3-4 weeks to properly cure. Each bar should last 40 washes. Home&Harvest
May/June 2019 42
by Heather Niccoli Making your own lye free soap using the cold soap process is extremely easy, fun, and a great natural alternative to store bought soaps! The best news is you can customize them any way you wish. If youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve been wanting to try your own soap, I highly recommend starting with this before the shampoo recipe! 1 lb Shea Butter Soap Base Large bowl/saucepan Herbs/oils Optional: Soap coloring Food grade glitter Dried petals, leaves Chop your soap base into large pieces. Melt in a double broiler or in the microwave. Once melted, add your herbs and oils (about 30 drops essential oil and 1/2 teaspoon herbs per pound of soap base). Mix thoroughly and pour into your mold. Wait until hardened, or for best results a full 24 hours.
That big band
Smokin’ Joe Evans
It’s time to don another hat! Until now I have written articles dealing with the shooting sports, wearing the hat of Reloadin’ Joe. Well, it’s time to put the Smokin’ Joe hat on! Possibly some of you may have seen me perform on my trumpet or Flugel horn locally, hiding behind a music stand usually bearing the logo, “Smokin’ Joe”. How did I gain this moniker? I would like to think that I can play so high, fast and with such skill as to make my horn smoke. Realistically, in the bands I have been in I was the only user of tobacco. I think someone dreamed the title up to mock and make fun of me. Okay, I can take a joke! By the way, kicking the tobacco habit took far more work than hitting my first C-4 double high C. Probably my first love in trumpet playing is performing with a full size swing band. Okay, what is that? This is a group of musicians consisting of 4 or 5 trumpets, 4 or 5 trombone players, 5 saxophone players, rhythm section consisting of at least a drummer, bass, guitar, piano and optional vibes. One to however many vocalists of either gender are optional as well. There are other variations in instrumentation but this is the usual iteration. Like many of you, I started playing in bands while in the 7th grade. This was a Jr. High concert band in Lapwai. Our director was a young clarinetist by the name of Richard Radford. Well, one day Mr. Radford got tired of us playing the usual “Greensleeves,” etc. He quickly set the band up with a moving background lick closely resembling the famous “Nightmare” blues chart by Artie Shaw. By the way, Artie Shaw was a noted benchrest rifle contender in the early 1950’s. The improvised solo that Mr. Radford played over our background has impressed me till today-over 50 years later! The next experience I had with swing music came a few years later when I was a sophomore at Lewiston High School.
Band Director T. Ross Woods directed a dance band that I played in. Public performances were limited to one spring dance. Pretty rudimentary deal compared to what is now offered by Lewiston. Fast forward to my senior year in high school. I happened to be in Moscow at some recruitment program for the University. As luck would have it I was in the rehearsal room when Jazz Lab 1 was playing. Standing in front of the band, I was in awe of the sound, power and intensity of 16 or so people making music together. I’ve been in front of other bands before including rock bands but nothing could hold a candle to this impressive performance. Forever more hooked! Over the years I’ve played in Jazz Lab 1 and a host of other bands and my latest big band is lead trumpet in LCSC Jazz band. Way cool deal! You feel like you’re at 40,000 feet altitude atop white, fluffy clouds. Not many experiences in life can top this. What about trumpets 2, 3, 4, and 5? All are great places to be. Trumpet 2 is usually the solo spot, but not always. What is really neat is all these parts are essential for the big band sound. Like the fingers on a pianist’s hand, it is essential that all notes be covered. Tone color on jazz chords is something else and all parts must be played and played well. Why do I say all this? I would like to see more people get involved. We have very few big bands floating around and few instrumentalists playing. A lot of people have experience in high school and even college bands but for various reasons have quit playing. It’s time to break out the old axe (horn), have it checked out and get practicing. It doesn’t take much other than the drive and determination to sound like a true musician. There are bands around, both big and small that could use your services. If no current bands float your boatstart your own. If I seem excited about all this it is because I am. You see, this spring the featured vocalist in the LCSC band was Heather Niccoli. If that name sounds familiar to you it is because she is the driving force behind Home&Harvest as well as she is my daughter. We performed in public twice. One, the LCSC performance at the Silverthorne theatre and two, a benefit for Lewiston High school at the Lewiston Elks Club. Among the charts we played was an old Benny Goodman chart called “And the Angels Sing,” originally sang by Martha Tilton and trumpet solo by Harry James. It was a father-daughter deal with Heather doing the vocals and I did my best Harry James imitation. These nights the angels truly did sing!
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words + photos
My father has the build of a linebacker, brandishing a mustache that would intimidate a grizzly, but truth be told, he’s grown soft with age. He enjoys the relaxation of casting to rising trout, watching his catch swim away after taking a quick photo. This passion for fishing was instilled in my brother and I from a young age but oddly, he never taught us the art of hunting. Like many others from an older Western generation, hunting wasn’t just recreation, it was a necessity. Cattle surrounding the communities of northwest Wyoming were worth too much money for personal consumption, making elk and deer the economical alternative. Time was set aside each autumn to fill the freezers. This remained an annual event until his mid 20s when he lost interest in the activity. He was perfectly content with never hunting another day in his life but I found this unacceptable. After some incessant badgering I was able to break his forty-year elk hunting hiatus. We parked the truck at the trail head and began hiking down memory lane. “I used to run cows with your great grandma right over there”, he said as we crossed a meadow. These particular mountains were his old stomping grounds. You could feel his nostalgic joy as we sat motionless against a fallen pine tree. The sun dumped light into the valley below as he told stories of a youth spent cowboyin’. The added heat began shifting the wind, so I nervously interrupted him, “We outta move before the elk catch our scent”. “They can’t smell us” he nonchalantly whispered back. I had a difficult time holding my tongue, a trait likely inherited from him. “What are you talking about!” “We used to hunt elk on horses and they couldn’t smell us then.” “Was this hunt before or after you took all those hits playing college football? Because I have a hard time believing you could remember the wind direction of a specific day decades ago.” A lengthy debate about an elk’s sense of smell developed as we sat in the field. Eventually we grew too cold to argue and decided some movement would do us well. As we crested the canyon, I noticed a brown figure scurry across the opposing hillside. I stopped in my tracks and made a hand motion to get down. Together we watched a cow elk emerge from the trees, unaware of the father and son duo. Home&Harvest
May/June 2019 49
I plunged down into the canyon while my father maintained his position to avoid spooking any straggling elk. Tree limbs bounced off my face as I worked to find the traversing elk. Finally, an opening in the brush exposed her. I steadied my rifle on the nearest tree and fired. The bullet echoed across the landscape as she dropped to the earth. It was a quick death that gave proper respect to such an incredible animal. With a smile on my face, I slowly climbed back up to reconvene with my new hunting partner. We shared a brief hug and moved to where the elk had fallen. Before long, the meat had been cut up and stuffed into game bags, ready for transport out of the mountains. The complaining began moments after we hit the trail. “I’m too old for this” he moaned with an elk leg strapped to his back. “Only a little bit further, dad!” “This is the last elk hunt I’m ever going to go on!” Days following the hunt, we laughed, ate elk, and he talked about his achy muscles. I can’t blame him, as I’m sure I will be in the same boat one day. We may not be the most compatible hunting partners, but I’m excited to have this shared experience. I wouldn’t trade the memory for the biggest bull elk in the world, but from here on out, will stick with creatures who lack a sense of smell like the fish.
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Hunting down under a dream hunt comes to life
I’m not sure if I told you all that a year ago I met an incredible man and he surprised me with the ultimate dream come true. Stag hunting in New Zealand for my 40th birthday! He knew this was my most coveted hunt. And John has been there three times before me, so he knows an outfitter there very well: Aaron Kent from Hunting Downunder. John asked me if I would like to invite my parents as my father is an avid hunter himself. And my mom of course loves adventure. I was completely blown away on this type of gesture and my parents agreed to go with us so the preparations began over a year ago. We all got our passports and we went up to the port of entry to get our weapons permit for international travel. We had so many questions about how to get things back home, what type of loads to use in our weapons, what to do on a plane flight that long and not to mention how much all of this was going to end up costing. My father John and I spent so much time on a new Browning xbolt 7 mm I had bought, Especially for this trip. Because there were going to be possible long-range shots. I won’t lie I’m not too impressed with this weapon and I had to send it back because it was shooting terribly. And Browning sent it back and it still was not shooting well. We ended up having to put a barrel deresonator on it. Which then when we got it to group it’s fairly decent at longer ranges. We were able to practice very little because of the late winter that we received here in North Idaho but we managed to feel good about our shooting. And then less than a month from our trip the terrible shootings in New Zealand happened, causing the rules to change four days before our trip.We were advised to leave our weapons at home or they might possibly be seized. My father and I were very heartbroken but at least we got to know this information before something terrible happened when we arrived. John assured me that Aaron had weapons for us to use, so my father and I tried to make the best of that.
May/June 2019 53
Healthy forests and healthy families.
IDAHO GROWN. IDAHO PROUD.
Then the day arrived! Our flight was later in the afternoon as we wanted to fly overnight so we could sleep on that incredibly long flight. We ended up meeting my parents at the Spokane airport. Our awesome friend Brian drove us to the airport so we wouldn’t have to worry when we came back about where we parked our car as we had planned to arrive at 11 o’clock at night. My parents and I were so incredibly excited it just seemed surreal, like this wasn’t really happening. But we got on the plane to San Francisco and away we went. That flight wasn’t too long and then we had an incredibly long layover in San Francisco, and there’s not much to do in an airport for that long. When we flew from San Francisco to Auckland, I will say that was a long flight but it wasn’t that terrible. We all slept on and off and they fed us pretty good and before we knew it the sun was coming up and we were landing in New Zealand. We had to hurry up to go through customs because our next flight to Christchurch was in only an hour. On that next flight I could see a lot of the countryside and it was quite stunning. Very high mountains and very flat plains. Upon arriving in Christchurch we had to go through some more security, due to the recent events and we were a little bit relieved to not have to deal with our weapons. We exchanged our money and tried to see if we could figure out the strange new currency. Truth be told it’s quite beautiful cash. And our guide was there shortly after to pick us up and take us to where we are going hunting. Mesopotamia station was the name of the ranch that we were headed to and it’s three hours out of Christchurch. I can’t tell you which direction we drove because I think everything is pretty backwards when you’re south of the equator. But as we drove I’ve always been told that New Zealand was so beautiful and now I’m seeing it’s really flat! Not to mention it sure is hard to adjust to being on the wrong side of the road! We stopped at a store for our provisions for the week and I tell you what, exploring a store in a different country is extremely interesting. In fact in New Zealand they don’t refrigerate the eggs! We made sure to stock up on plenty of beer and away we went. As we got closer and closer to the ranch the vast expanse of other ranches was amazing. There was sheep, elk, elk stag hybrids, cows, and of course a ton of red stag. Not only that but then the mountains started and they just went straight up, the higher ones always snowcapped. It was truly beautiful. The cabin that we were going to stay at was in a green draw, with pine trees that were planted a long time ago but that were three times the size of anything that we have here. It was almost like a jungle. Strange birds made noises that I’ve never heard, very green plants everywhere. And it in the spring in the United States, it’s actually fall down there. So some of the leaves were slowly falling off trees however the weather was gorgeous. You can see for miles down the valley.
That evening we rested and discussed going shooting with Aaron’s rifles the next day so that way we could get familiar with them as most New Zealand hunters use a suppressor on their rifles as to not scare all the game away. In fact it’s extremely easy to go to the store and buy a suppressor, which I thought was interesting being that while we were down there they banned semiauto weapons, yet still so easy to get suppressors. I was given the option for 270 short mag and honestly I really liked it. I normally hunt with the 270 but I’ve never shot with a suppressor before and I must say that was quite nice. Definitely not so loud. My father and the other Hunter, Chuck chose the 300 short mag and WinMag. We all shot pretty darn well so we felt more confident about using somebody else’s weapons. Now with this type of hunting you pay for the size of stag that you would like to go after. And John had bought me a silver metal stag on this particular trip. But there are a bronze, silver, and a gold, and a super gold. Aaron pulled me aside and said that he has a proposition for me, since it was my birthday he was going to offer me this before anyone else. Malcolm, the gentleman who owns this 90,000 acre ranch, has a stag that had some issue and needed to be taken out but he’d be willing to give me this stag for the silver metal price but he’s a super huge one. The only downfall was that John wanted me to shoot a stag on my birthday and we had to do it before then. I couldn’t believe my blessings, and so I said could we go look at him? And Aaron said of course so the next day we headed out, in search of the stag. As we drove through where all of these creatures were, they were making extreme amounts of noise as it is the roar, also known to us as the rut. It’s an incredibly strange noise what they make when they are chasing hinds, the female stag. Huge trees were rubbed, and it look like something that was prehistoric! We finally arrived to the area that Aaron thought that he might be. So we got out and started our hunt. From afar the hills don’t look that steep but I tell you, when you get close to them they are incredibly steep. We glassed the area trying to spot this stag and finally Aaron found him by only his antler. The grass was so deep and he was bedded down that it literally swallowed this beast, in what looked like open country! Aaron allowed John and I to do an army crawl over to the next hill so we could see the stag better from a different angle while Aaron stayed back with my parents on a different hillside farther away so I could get a good look at the stag and see if I wanted to take him. When we finally crawled over the hill and got a good look at him, I was absolutely blown away. The sheer magnitude of this creatures antlers as he laid there was unlike any elk I’ve ever even seen. I looked over at Aaron and gave him a thumbs up that I was going to shoot him. But the way he was laying I couldn’t get a good vital shot so I waited for him to shift, and at one point he ended up knowing something was up and got up and took off. To the deep timber he went just like hunting in North Idaho. So we all regrouped and went after him into the timber.
Now I had a great time with my parents but I tell you what, after they’ve retired they have become so much fun to hang around it’s almost silly. So they kept talking and I kept telling them to be quiet that we were hunting! But it was adorable. So we left them at the tree line because all of us could not sneak through the woods, unseen. Seriously we walked probably 100 yards in a half an hour, slowly walking because you couldn’t see more than 50 yards in front of you with all the trees down. And that’s when Aaron spotted the stag. As he was trying to point it out it was maybe 60 yards in front of us and the only thing that was different was the color of his fur versus the color of the tree. I tried to get into a position to where I could take a shot but there was blow downs in front of his vital areas and I had absolutely no shot. So we waited him out. I finally had to lay down because I couldn’t hold my rifle up anymore and I got into the prone position with my bipod. John was standing behind me and Aaron and I were on the ground. We all were motionless for so long and finally John shifted or something happened and that stag perked it ears up and took one step and it was over. Walking up to this magnificent beast was absolutely out of this world. The antlers on this thing were so huge I couldn’t even count all the points. I was so happy that with this unfamiliar rifle that I was able to take this beast down with one shot. And in the yardage that I prefer to hunt in, closer range. Aaron called the other two guides, Lucas and Braden to come help with the pack out. While we adjusted the animal for pictures I only thought I would see in hunting magazines. Having that many people helping, we made quick work of that carcass and we all in one trip pack the whole animal out. And we went back to celebrate and skin and clean the animal. I felt like I was in a complete dreamland. And of course I went back to the cabin and cracked probably the tastiest beer of my life! I was sure glad New Zealand has IPA! The trip doesn’t end there but I’m just gonna start with this animal, I will let my father tell his stag story. But we stayed for 10 days and I also hunted a fallow deer, and a Himalayan tahr. Not to mention quite a few rabbits and possums. But I’ll save all of this for later stories. We ended up scoring this incredible stag and he ended up scoring 444 and seven eights. My wonderful boyfriend is going to pedestal mount this creature for me. That way we can see all of his antler, and points all the way around. When I look back I can’t believe that I was blessed to be able to have this adventure and I’m so blessed to be able to have taken this huge stag for my birthday. And any of you hunters out there that think that you can’t go to New Zealand, affordably to hunt red stag you’re wrong. Get a hold of Aaron Kent from Hunting Downunder, And he will make sure you have one hell of a trip. He was extremely courteous, a damn good cook, and amazing Hunter and a super laid-back gentleman to hang out with. He accommodated us so well but it wasn’t over-the-top fancy like some lodges which I don’t care for. Which probably helped in the overall cost. But we were extremely well fed and our cabin was very comfortable. And our other two guides were apprenticing under Aaron but were so friendly and fun that I’d recommend this outfit to anyone. Honestly I don’t know how anything is going to top the trip of this caliber. John has certainly set the bar for birthday gifts! I thank him so much for giving me the opportunity to not only do this but to have that time with my parents in a foreign country doing something that was so incredibly new to all of us.
and the salmon stream by
Lilly was a brown bear. And just a little one. At four years old she was still much smaller than the other bears in her family. And as all the other bears were gobbling up all the food in sight and enjoying the longer hours of sunshine that the summer provided to forage for treats, Lilly was content to just sit quietly by her favorite huckleberry bush and slowly savor her favorite snack. At first her picky eating had just been a cute little quirk, and part of Lilly’s adorable personality. But as time went on, her mom started to worry. She knew that a balanced diet was very important for bears. And that with months spent hibernating in the cold winter, Lilly really needed to spend the rest of the year getting all the nutrition she could find. But every time her mom tried to force Lilly to eat different foods it always backfired. Once day her mom suggested that they go for a walk in the meadow to look at the butterflies. Lilly thought that was a great idea and followed closely behind. Once they were there her mom started grazing on some of the wild clover, but Lilly was distracted and didn’t even notice. So, then her mom started making comments about just how delicious the clover was in this particular meadow. She said it might just be the best clover she had ever tasted. But Lilly just shrugged and went back to looking at butterflies. Finally, her mom tried to force her. “Lilly, you eat this clover, or you can’t have any honey tonight. But Lilly wasn’t interested. She knew she liked huckleberries and that was all she wanted to eat. She didn’t even care if her mom sent her back to the den early. She knew the other young bears would be out wrestling and playing but she would rather sit alone than eat some yucky clovers. The next day Lilly’s mom got her up early and said it was time for a bath. They walked together down the path that lead to the river and as soon as they got there Lilly had a long drink and then happily jumped in and started splashing around. She loved baths in the river almost as much as she loved rolling in the mud. On really hot days she even liked the river a little better than mud puddles and today was a very hot day. But when Lilly looked up at her mom, she noticed that she wasn’t splashing and playing. She was just eating salmon! Lilly’s mom would stand very still in the middle of the river just behind a rock and wait for salmon to try to swim over the rock. Then with an incredible speed she would reach down and catch them. It was amazing to see such a big bear move so quickly. But Lilly wasn’t interested in the salmon. “Come try to catch a salmon, Lilly!” her mom called out. But Lilly just wasn’t interested. What was the point in trying to catch salmon if her mom was just going to make her eat it? Lilly wasn’t even sure how it would taste but she was certain that it wouldn’t be as good as huckleberries. So, she just wasn’t interested. After they left the river and started walking home, they came across something that bears love to see. Fresh meat. What a treat, and right here next to the path! Lilly watched as her mom dug in. But again, she wasn’t willing to try any. Lilly only wanted her huckleberries, and she couldn’t understand why it troubled her mom. Lilly ate plenty of huckleberries – and they were something all the other bears also liked to eat – so how could that be wrong? Why couldn’t she just eat huckleberries and not have to try something else? Finally, Lilly’s mom decided to try something new. She just let Lilly do what she wanted. She let her eat huckleberries all day. And again the next day. And again the day after that. Mom, I think I’m sick,” said Lilly. But her purple stained mouth gave it away. She didn’t have a cold or the flu, she was just sick from eating only huckleberries. So sick that she was willing to make a change. “Lilly, you don’t feel well because you are not getting a balanced diet. Huckleberries are delicious but you need to eat other foods as well if you want to be a strong and happy bear with energy to chase the butterflies and splash in the river.” And then Lilly’s mom had a great idea to make a game out of trying new foods. “We are going to do this together Lilly, and I promise it will be fun,” her mom said as she was getting all the foods ready. “We are both going to try something new together. You have to take three bites before you can make any comments though. Once you have taken three bites you have to try to come up with a positive word to describe how the food tastes. Even if you don’t really like it you have to find at least one positive thing to say.”
“Okay” said Lilly, after that bellyache from all those huckleberries she was ready to try just about anything. “And after we both come up with one word to describe it, we don’t have to eat any more if we don’t want to. Three bites is all we have to eat in a day as long as we can describe the flavor or texture with one positive word. And we will eat three bites again the next day, and the day after, so we have three bits of the food three days in a row. After the third day we will give it a grade just like in school. A, B, C, D, or even F – and you can be as honest as you want. But if you want to give a grade of C, D, or F you have to say one thing you did like about it again, and one way to make it better.” The game sounded pretty fun, and Lilly was excited to try. So that afternoon they went back to the river and caught a few salmon. Lilly closed her eyes and expected her first bite to be terrible. She didn’t want to smell it – and she really didn’t want to chew it. But she knew that to play the game she had to take three bites. On the second bite it wasn’t as bad. Maybe that was because she knew what to expect. By the third bite Lilly started to realize that salmon was actually really good. Maybe not as good as huckleberries, but she was willing to try it again the next day. “The flavor is rich,” she told her mom. Her mom just smiled and they walked home. By the third day Lilly was really starting to enjoy the salmon. She had called it rich, delicate, and now even tasty! She gave it an overall score of B and asked her mom if they could have some salmon with a huckleberry sauce. Lilly’s mom was very happy to hear her daughter had found a new food to enjoy and she was excited to move on to clovers. On the first of day having three bites of clover Lilly called it earthy.
On the second day she said it was sweet. And by the third day she decided to have more than the three-bite minimum. “This is great, mom!” she laughed with a mouth full of clovers. “I like the chewy ones the best.” And she ate so much clover that she didn’t even need to stop by the huckleberry bushes later that night. Clover got an A+ from Lilly! They went on trying new things all summer. And Lilly realized it was treat! If she found something she really didn’t like after three days of taking three bites, she and her mom would try to find a way to make it taste a little better. And if there just wasn’t any way they could find to improve it, then Lilly didn’t have to ever eat it again. But most things got a least a C+ or B grade once she gave them a fair try. And Lilly started to delight in trying something new every few days. It was fun to come up with words to describe the food. And it was fun to hear the way her mom sometimes noticed different flavors than she did. By the end of summer Lilly was growing quickly and becoming a wonderfully large and strong bear. She was trying all kinds of new foods, and her mom made sure that there were plenty of healthy options around the den so Lilly could help pick what they would eat. She still loved her huckleberries but getting to have a variety of options made them even more enjoyable because she wasn’t always eating the same thing every day. And now, when one of the older bears would try to wrestle her away from her favorite huckleberry bush, Lilly could let out a big girl roar and remind them that she wasn’t such a little bear any more. She was becoming a big bear that knew about salmon, and apples, clovers, grasses, and meat. She ate honey and huckleberries and everything else her mom pointed out. Lilly was growing up. And she was getting to try new things. And you can try new things too. Roar!
If you’re always being fussy when its time to eat, You may just miss out on finding a new treat.
It was originally out on Andrews Road,” the realtor explained. “It was moved and set on the basement foundation here in town in May 1951. The Andrews family farmed just a few miles out of town and built the home in 1930. The son built another home and moved this one here.” “Fascinating,” Kit breathed. “I always wanted an older home with charm and a story. Tom, this house is screaming for us to buy it.” Kit walked through the kitchen into the hallway. Built-in cupboards and rich brown hardwood floors added to the home’s enchantment. Three doors filled the hallway, one to the master bedroom, one to the bathroom, and one to a substantial walk-in sized closet next to the built-ins. Kit opened up the closet door and immediately smelled something burning. It wasn’t like wire or rubber burning, but more like the nuance of a campfire. “I smell smoke.” Tom walked to the closet and peered past Kit. He took a big sniff. “I don’t smell anything. Nice sized closet, though.” “Disclosure notes a small kitchen fire in 1952, cosmetic damage only,” the realtor read. “It’s definitely priced to sell. It’s been vacant for years.” “That explains your smoke smell,” Tom smiled. “The exposed studs and lath in the back of the closet likely absorbed smoke. Plus, it’s been locked up vacant.” Kit wasn’t going to leave the adorable old house without making an offer, regardless of the closet’s smoke smell. This house spoke to her, captivated her. “It just adds more character.” Two months later, Tom and Kit moved into the little house on West Walnut Street in Genesee, Idaho. *** Kit pulled away from the kiss and smiled. “So, about the closet.” “Man, way to ruin our moment.” Tom’s blue eyes sparkled. After living in their new home for two weeks, Kit was ready to get cracking on projects. They stepped inside the closet together and surveyed the back wall. The exposed studs stared back at them. The bottom three feet of the wall was covered in sheetrock over the original lath. Obviously, a start they’d need to finish. “You want shelves there?” Tom asked. “Absolutely,” Kit nodded. “We’ll have to finish sheet rocking…shoot! There it is again! Every time I’m around this closet I catch the scent of smoke.” “I have yet to smell it,” Tom shrugged. He leaned close to the exposed studs and sniffed them like a dog. “There’s no smell here. Maybe you have one of those brain tumors that makes you smell burning when there isn’t anything actually burning.” “You’re hysterical,” Kit snorted. “Just joking,” Tom soothed. “It’s because of that kitchen fire. Your sniffer is just stronger than mine.” “I guess,” Kit agreed reluctantly. Something had nagged at her since moving in, egging her on to learn more about the fire. “I wonder if Mrs. Becker would know anything about the house and the fire. She’s lived here forever, right?” “Charlotte? Yes,” Tom said. “She’s ninety years old and has lived here her whole life. If there’s an unofficial town historian, it’s her.” ***
May/June 2019 63
“Hello dear, come in and sit down,” Mrs. Becker gave Kit a warm hug and peck on the cheek as she opened the door wide. Kit met Mrs. Becker when she and Tom started dating. Tom’s family lived in Genesee until he was in sixth grade, and even after their move to Moscow, they stayed close with Mrs. Becker. When Kit and Tom shared they were moving to Genesee, Mrs. Becker was ecstatic. “I’m sorry to pop in unannounced,” Kit said as she walked into the kitchen and sat down at the tiny table. “Tom and I thought you’d be the perfect person to ask about our new house.” “Certainly, dear. Let me make tea. And please, call me Charlotte.” The elderly woman filled a copper tea kettle with water and turned on the stove. “Are you settling in?” Kit prattled on about the trials and tribulations of moving furniture and large appliances into the house and deciding where to place all their possessions. Charlotte poured them both tea in beautiful flowered china teacups, then sat down at the table across from Kit. “What do you want to know?” “I know it was a farmhouse and built by Mr. and Mrs. Andrews, and that it was moved in from the farm and set on the basement foundation in 1951.” “You’re correct,” Charlotte smiled, blowing on her tea to cool it before slurping a sip. “Ronald and Laura Andrews built the house and their son, Julian, was born there. Ronald and Laura died in a car accident when Julian was in college. He was an only child, so everything went to him. He met Helen, his wife, while he was in college and after his parents died, he and Helen moved out to the farm.” “What made them decide to move the house to town?” Charlotte paused with a thoughtful look. “I’m glad you asked, Kit. I know a lot about what happened there because Helen was a friend of sorts. We ran in the same social circles and saw each other often. She was a real gossip. She always had some snotty story to share. Nowadays you’d call her unique and passionate, but back then, she was as crazy as a loon and wielded a wicked temper. If you crossed her, she would go out of her way to exact revenge. I managed to stay on her good side, thank God. “Helen was from Spokane,” Charlotte continued. “She came from good stock with money and status. She met Julian when they both attended Gonzaga University. When Ronald and Laura died, he quit school to run the farm. It forced him and Helen to marry quickly, and that was when the slap of reality hit Helen she was an official farm wife. She constantly complained farming was dirty work, but her intense love for Julian won out. Well, for several years, anyway. Finally, after begging and pecking at him for years to move into town, Julian got fed up with Helen and moved the house. Not exactly what she wanted, but to save face she acted like it was. She called it the ‘town home,’ while the new house Julian built at the farm was the ‘country home.’” “Wow,” Kit replied. “I love that our house has such a sweet story.” “Oh, there’s more, and not all of it sweet,” Charlotte winked. “Julian built a big, beautiful mansion to tempt Helen to stay at the farm. She spent days out there usually, but she always stayed nights at the town home. Julian dug his heels in and never slept in the town home.” “Sounds like a separation,” Kit surmised as she sipped her tea. “Actually, it wasn’t unusual for some farmers to have a country home and a town home,” Charlotte remarked. “But Helen made such a public spectacle about moving the house into town it seemed more scandalous than it really was. Don’t get me wrong. There was a little scandal. Seems Julian was frustrated because-
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-Helen couldn’t get pregnant. She told me they tried, but nothing ever happened. Julian needed an heir. It was quite a pickle.” “Interesting,” Kit murmured. “Do you know anything about the fire in the kitchen?” Charlotte picked up her teacup and took a long sip. She slowly put the cup back in the saucer and sighed. “I do.” Kit’s heart sank. “That doesn’t sound good.” “There definitely was a kitchen fire,” Charlotte commented. “The young woman who worked for Helen— Rose—somehow got locked in the hallway closet and something on the stove caught fire. Helen swore up and down Rose was depressed, started the fire, and locked herself in the closet to commit suicide. But no one believed that. The closet locked from the outside. And it was common knowledge the lock was faulty. Either way, the fire department rushed Rose to Gritman Memorial Hospital in Moscow, but she passed. She was pregnant, so the baby died, too.” Kit sat back in her chair, the wind knocked out of her. “I had no idea. That’s horrible.” “Back then most housewives had help,” Charlotte explained. “They were called ‘girls’, but usually, it was a younger woman just out of school who took the job for some income. The ‘girl’ helped with the children, shopping, laundry, cleaning, cooking, and sometimes even light farm work. And even though Helen and Julian had no children, she insisted on having a ‘girl,’ like all the other farm wives. Helen saw it as status. Julian saw it as a way to keep Helen happy. Rose was bouncy and cute, with brown bobbed hair, big green eyes, and smart as a whip. She wanted to be a journalist, like you, Kit. She was from Minneapolis. Rose’s mother was Helen’s cousin. Rose came to Genesee after high school to stay one year, then return to Minneapolis to marry her beau, Walter. Rose arrived right after Julian finished the country home and moved the farmhouse into town. Sometimes, when Helen came for tea she brought Rose. My ‘girl,’ Evelyn, and Rose became friends. Helen and Rose took care of the daily chores at both the town and country home. Rose made Julian and his farm crew meals, but after dinner, Helen and Rose always came back to the town home. It was a little bizarre, but no one said much about it.” “Wait, so how was Rose pregnant when she died?” Kit asked. Charlotte smirked. “At first, Helen told people one of Julian’s farm hands was responsible. Then it got ugly, and Helen said it was Julian’s. For whatever reason, Helen made it her mission to ruin Rose’s reputation. But Rose had married Walter during a trip back to Minneapolis and that’s how she ended up with child—in an honest way. Helen never relented that the baby was Walter’s. Helen’s jealousy of Rose’s pregnancy reached monumental proportions and sparked Helen’s lie about Rose committing suicide. Believe it or not, Helen’s story is what stuck.” “But I don’t understand,” Kit exclaimed. “How could it be suicide if the closet was locked from the outside?” “Exactly,” Charlotte nodded.“Helen insisted Rose purposefully set the fire on the stove, locked herself in the closet, and waited to die. No one really questioned it because that would mean questioning Helen. She’d gained status by then. But we all knew the lock was faulty.
On a few occasions both Rose and Helen found themselves locked in.” Kit sat back in her chair, dumbfounded. “How come this wasn’t disclosed when we bought the house?” “Because Rose didn’t die in the house,” Charlotte pointed out.“So no one questioned it or did any investigation?” “No, I think the papers said it was an accident, but Helen always stuck to her story Rose committed suicide,” Charlotte answered. “Helen hired a new girl within a week of Rose’s death. I never had much to do with Helen after that. I’m convinced Rose didn’t kill herself and her baby. But I never had any way to prove what actually happened.” *** Kit shared the horrendous story with Tom over dinner. “That’s awful,” Tom sighed. “I can’t believe it involves our house.” “Even if I knew the story ahead of time, I would’ve wanted the house, though,” Kit said. “I can’t explain it; I had to have this house. It bothers me a mother and child died because of the fire here, but, I’m with Charlotte. There’s more to the story.” “Maybe you should do some research to see what you dig up,” Tom suggested. Kit’s journalistic senses clicked into over-drive. “That’s a perfectly perfect idea.” *** The next morning Tom left for work, and Kit rushed around to go to the Latah County Courthouse to research Rose. Her internet searches revealed little, so she’d have to do it the old fashioned way. She hastily threw her brown hair in a pony, lightly dusted her hazel eyes with shadow, dotted on some lipstick, and raced to pick up the towels from their morning showers. She opened the hallway closet, smelled the now familiar smoke scent, and tossed the towels into the proper “whites” bin. She turned and felt a hard tug on her shirt sleeve. She whirled around, suddenly feeling like someone was in the closet with her. She quickly flipped on the light. Without thinking, she asked, “Is that you, Rose?” Silence responded. She stood a moment longer, aching to have some sort of sign it was Rose. Then it hit her. She grabbed the step stool leaning in the closet and climbed up so she was eye-level with the top of the door. Several layers of paint covered the old door, but there, on the outside of the door and casing, lumps in the paint confirmed the existence of a lock of some sort had been there at one time. A tiny piece of evidence it would’ve been almost impossible for Rose to lock herself in the closet on purpose. *** Kit’s research—which included stops at the Courthouse and library—spread out before her on the dining room table. It was getting late; she needed a break to let her thoughts percolate. She joined Tom on the couch. The TV gave off the only light in the house.
Suddenly, both Tom and Kit jerked their heads in the direction of the hallway. Then they looked at each other. “Did you see something?” Kit breathed. “Maybe,” Tom replied. “What’d you see?” “What’d YOU see?” “I saw a shadow move across the hall,” Kit squealed. “Me, too,” Tom whispered. Kit jumped off the couch and scurried into the hallway. “Are you here, Rose?” Tom looked through the windows. “It could’ve been light from a passing car or something.” Kit ignored him and opened the closet. The familiar smoke smell wafted into her face. “I know it’s you, Rose. Don’t give up on me; I’ll figure out what really happened to you.” In response, a cold whisper gently tickled Kit’s face. *** The next evening, Kit and Tom tried to decipher what they saw in the hallway. Tom drove their car from the top of the hill past their house to see if headlights created the shadow. Then Kit repeated the process. The light-play in the house as the car drove by both times didn’t cast any shadows in the hallway. Kit proclaimed the shadow was Rose. Tom reserved his opinion. *** Kit stomped into the kitchen and grabbed the Irish Creme from the back of the refrigerator. She took a long drink and then another. Leaning against the 1970s harvest gold Formica countertop she sighed. The fruits of her research sat spread out on the dining room table. The Courthouse visit produced the original building permit and the permit for the move of the house into town. The Andrews were the only owners, first Ronald, then Julian. When Julian died, his estate managed the property until it was sold to her and Tom. When Kit tried to speak with the attorney’s office for more information, they said they knew nothing more than what was on the paperwork. A dead end. The library visit produced two newspaper articles pertaining to the fire. One, dated May 30, 1952, reported the kitchen fire with little damage and mentioned a young woman found in a closet was transported to Gritman Memorial Hospital to treat severe smoke inhalation. The article was tucked away on the last page towards the bottom of the front section. The other article, dated May 31, 1952, stated Rose Himmel Drake, aged 20, from Minneapolis, Minnesota, died due to smoke inhalation. The last sentence read, “Mrs. Drake’s unborn child also perished.” After some digging, she also tracked down digitized copies of the Minneapolis-St. Paul Star-Tribune. She found in the public notices the marriage announcement of Rose Himmel to Walter Drake, January 18, 1952. That pretty much confirmed Rose’s baby was likely Walter’s. However, after methodically piecing together her efforts, all she had was a timeline and Charlotte’s account of what happened. She’d spent an extraordinary amount of time on this little project, and for what? A married, pregnant woman named Rose Himmel Drake, aged 20, died from smoke inhalation from a kitchen fire in 1952. That was it. It was a story with no beginning or middle, just a crummy ending, with two lives lost. She took one last swig of Irish Cream and walked into the closet. “I’m so sorry, Rose,” she softly whispered. “I wanted to find your whole story, not just your end. You’ll always have a place here if you can’t find peace on the other side.”
A gentle breeze fluttered through the closet, softly rustling through Kit’s hair and giving her a chill. She laughed. “Hello, Rose.” Facing the back wall, she closed her eyes and reached out to touch the bare studs and lath. Without warning, black and white snapshot-like images popped into her mind’s eye. A young woman in a suit standing next to a dashing young man. The outside of the house. A leather journal. Kit quickly opened her eyes. Inspiration and epiphany hit. Rose was showing her the way. *** Tom came home from work to find Kit peeking around the corner of the closet, her face dusted with something white. “What are you doing?” “Trying to knock a hole in the sheet rock in here,” Kit said matter-of-factly. Tom started laughing and took off his jacket. “I’m not going to ask why, but let me help you. You’ll hurt yourself. Or hit the pipes and cause thousands of dollars of flood damage. You realize you could’ve just unscrewed the screws and removed the sheet rock.” “Oh. I didn’t think of that,” Kit reflected. “The sledgehammer was right here, so I went for it.” Tom rolled his eyes and gently swung the heavy-headed hammer, knocking a hole into the dent Kit had made in the sheetrock. Kit smiled. She already knew what was behind the wall, Rose showed her. After several calculated swings, Tom created a hole the size of a basketball. He clicked on his flashlight as Kit squirmed in front of him. “Let me,” she exclaimed. She peered into the void, then shoved her hand into it. The tips of her fingers brushed against something. “One more swing, Tom,” she instructed. He swung and knocked another chunk out of the wall, revealing a small, brown leather book behind the lath. “Whoopie! It’s here!” Kit shrieked as she shoved past Tom and grabbed the book. There, on the cover—like in her vision—the word “Journal” was embossed in script lettering. The brown leather was worn, but the treasure was in pristine condition. She sniffed the leather. Smoke. She immediately leafed through the pages covered with script handwriting, spying on the first page a notation: This journal is my account of working for Mr. and Mrs. Julian Andrews. Rose Renee Himmel. Kit jumped up and down, grabbing Tom in a hug. Laughing and crying she shouted, “It’s her story! Rose’s story!” *** Still scratching his head how Kit knew the journal was hiding behind the sheet rock and lath, Tom labored away tearing out the broken sheet rock. Kit sat on the hallway floor, absorbing what the journal shared. When she finished, tears streamed down her face.Tom sat down next to her and put his arm over her shoulders. “Show me.”
To Be Continued... This fictional story was inspired by true events.
ROSAUERS SUPERMARKETS Tri-State Convenient Care Clinic is Now
Tri-State Memorial Hospital & Medical Campus has partnered with Rosauers Supermarkets to bring convenient, affordable healthcare close to home. Starting March 2019, Tri-State Memorial Hospital and Medical Campus opened its first Tri-State Convenient Care Clinic inside Rosauers Supermarkets - Lewiston. The clinic will be open for quick and convenient service, with varied hours Monday-Saturday, as the clinic establishes full staffing. Clinic hours will include evenings and Saturday availability.
• Pay by Cash Basis
Insurance is not billed at this location, cash payment at time of service (may also pay with check or credit card). Health Savings Account (HSA) payments are accepted. Those with a high deductible will only pay for the cost of the services provided.
• Insurance is not billed at this
Tri-State Convenient Care Clinic 332 Thain Road, Lewiston, ID 83501 208.220.1652| www.TriStateHospital.org
• No Appointment Necessary • Treatmeant of Non-life Threatening Injuries and Illness • Same day service • Staffed by Nurse Practitioners location, cash pay at time of service (may also pay with check or credit card)
MOSCOW LOCATION, OPENING SOON!