The Wonder Women Issue
Sacajawea to Gal Gadot
Room with a View
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ON THE COVER Sacajawea, an Idaho, Lemhi Shoshone, was 15-years-old and pregnant when she led 39 men in the Corps of Discovery nearly 4,000 miles to the Pacific. Along the life and death passage, she guided them through the wilderness, taught them how to forage for medicine and food, and negotiated with Native American tribes that helped secure their survival. She also gave birth to a baby boy and kept going. Today, in downtown Boise there are nine statues of former white, male political leaders of Idaho and the U.S., including Lewis and Clark. There is one statue of Twisted Hair, the Nez Perce Chief whose northern Idaho tribe sustained the starving Corps through one winter. Yet, nowhere in public view is Sacajawea, the young woman who so greatly aided the exploration and expansion of the West. Today, in the era of #metoo, #stopasianhate and #blacklivesmater, now is the time to open our eyes and look around as we never have before. One safe and comfortable way to broaden your perspective is by watching films from around the world. This month, Gal Gadot, who personified superpowers beyond gender as Wonder Woman, comes to Idaho (virtually) with the Sun Valley Film Festival. Catch her new film, “Impact” about young (wonder) women around the globe who accomplish extraordinary things, along with an array of festival films online, April 14-18th. Community + Culture + Recreation + Real Estate
CONTENTS COMMUNITY 6 Trailblazing Women 9 Follow the Leader: First Lady Teresa Little 13 I'd Rather Be Riding 22 Mrs. Rosa Parks: A Forever Icon 26 Conversations with Exceptional Women 29 How to Have a Fabulous Wedding Post-Pandemic 34 Muffy Davis: Powering Ahead 30 Laurel Sayer: The Woman With a Golden Touch FOOD, ARTS, & CULTURE 10 Bright and Shiny: Ashley Dreyfus is Erupting 16 Small Town, Big Voice 32 Chow Down: Free Eats Project 37 Virginia Woolf Sums It Up 39 Victoria Woodhull: A Place in History's Future TECHNICALLY SPEAKING 20 An Idaho Woman on Mars ALSO IN THIS ISSUE 5 Publisher's Letter 40 Contributors
“We all leap forward when one woman tries | When she defies with her rallying cries.” — From the poem “Vital Voices” by Amanda Gorman This issue is always a painful joy for me. I’m fond of the “F” wordfeminist. As a female boomer, I’ve grappled with its fluid connotations and watched as the “four waves” washed over the years and generations. I grew up with a formidable working mother-a Miss Indiana turned professional modeling agent out of necessity as a single mother feeding two kids in the “Father-knows-best” 1950’s. I learned by example that a woman could run her own company, and at the same time was told to never leave the house without lipstick. I was 10 years old. So, I learned early that being female was going to be complicated. Then along came feminism with all its promises of political, economic and social equity for the sexes-no lipstick required. I still believe in all those promises and not out of blind optimism, but from K A R E N D AY a career spent meeting remarkable women who have accomplished the seemingly impossible. Most are anonymous. Many are visible, but Publisher unappreciated. Some are surprised by their success. And then, there are born leaders. This issue, THE WONDER WOMEN, has been written during Women’s History Month- March 2021. Kamala Harris is our first female (and first woman of color) VP. Deb Haaland is a 35th generation member of the Laguna Pueblo tribe and the third female Secretary of the Interior. Patrisse Cullors is the co-founder of the Black Lives Matters Movement. And yet, on Equal Pay Day 2021, women still go to work and earn 82 cents compared to men every hour. Women of color make 63 cents. Last year, Virginia became the required 38th state to ratify the Equal Rights Amendment, and still, it sits before Congress, 30 years in limbo. This issue of IdaHome, written mostly by women, proves despite gender discrimination, there are and always have been formidable women who triumph. Especially in Idaho. Did you know Sacajawea was the first woman to vote in recorded US History? Don’t miss the article on Victoria Woodhull, the first woman to run for US President and own a newspaper. And she was from Idaho! Ever heard of Violetta Lopez? This soprano sang her way through the fields in Rupert with her Mexican parents to the Metropolitan Opera stage. Read how Laurel Sayer rose to be the first and only female CEO in the global mining industry- in Boise. Also included, Muffy Davis wheels herself to the forefront of politics for Idaho citizens, and First Lady Teresa Little explains why it takes a village to make change and tend sheep. And we didn’t forget the men in our writers’ room! David Adler lauds extraordinary women, and Harrison Berry reads between the lines with Virginia Woolf. The theme of THE WONDER WOMEN issue is simple. If she can see it, she can be it. And if she can’t see it—she can be the first! We see this in Elizabeth Barton, 9, who loves making donuts, but discovered she loved sharing them more. Voila! “Doorbell Donuts” now takes orders in her own front yard. Personally, after a chocolate dozen, I can attest this entrepreneur and her donuts are destined for greatness! www.idahomemagazine.com
TRAILBLAZING WOMEN OF IDAHO EXHIBIT Beginning with Sacajawea, Idaho women have proven themselves true pioneers. The Idaho State Museum is currently offering an interactive exhibition honoring their many accomplishments in the political, cultural, economic, academic, social and civic fields. “Trailblazing Women of Idaho” highlights more than one hundred stories, including those of 20 living trailblazers, like Former State Senator and IdaHome contributor, Cherie Buckner-Webb. The exhibit runs through November 2021.
Here are a few of our favorites!
1. Margaret Roberts- Suffragist, Idaho’s first delegate
to the National Council of Women Voters, nicknamed Idaho’s “Petticoat Governor” and “The Susan B. Anthony of Idaho”
2. Polly Bemis- Chinese immigrant; beloved community member, found freedom in the wilderness and overcame life’s hardships.
3. Mildred Bailey- Coeur d’Alene Tribal member, “The Queen of Swing,” used traditional singing techniques to influence jazz sound as credited by Billie Holiday, Bing Crosby, Frank Sinatra, Tony Bennett and more
Cre Dr. Bo Pol Ell Ma Mi
4. Dr. Mamie Oliver- Idaho’s first African American
professor, laid the groundwork for preserving African American history in Idaho
5. Ellen Ochoa- Ellen Ochoa is a former astronaut and former director of the Johnson Space Center. In 1993, Ochoa became the first Hispanic woman to go to space, serving on a nine-day mission aboard the Space Shuttle Discovery. 6. Bonnie McCarroll- Rodeo champion, one of the most popular rodeo performers in the world during the 1920s
Photo credits: Margaret Roberts- Courtesy of The Idaho State Archives, 75-5-11, Polly Bemis- Courtesy of The Idaho State Archives, 71-185-29, Mildred Bailey- Courtesy Library of Congress, Dr. Mamie Oliver- Courtesy of The Idaho State Museum, Ellen OchoaCourtesy NASA, Willian P. Gottlieb Collection, LC-GLB23-0039, Bonnie McCarroll- Courtesy of The Idaho State Archives, 994
BOISE’S WONDER WOMEN
1. Jade Loville-BSU basketball superstar -Jade Loville scored in
double figures 19 times last season for BSU basketball and set the school’s single game scoring record with 40 points, tied third-most in conference league history. The super-star player, soon to play for Pac-12 Arizona, spiked controversy by kneeling during the national anthem. “As a Black woman in America, I have things that I have to deal with every single day for the rest of my life that some of my white peers will never go through. That, to me, is more important, not only for myself, but for other young Black women and young Black men. I thought raising awareness for them is much more important than just conforming to what society wants me to do.”
Photo courtesy BSU Athletics
2. BSU President Marlene Tromp-“Listening is crucial to leading, and never more so than during the challenging and divisive times in which we find ourselves. We must invest fully in understanding those we seek to lead and serve, and then in leading with empathy, integrity and genuine care.” Photo courtesy Boise State University
3. Katie Hirai Niemann-4th generation Japanese American
and native Idahoan, 3rd generation past-President of the Boise Valley Japanese American Citizens League, current Secretary and Education Chair. “My family first came to Idaho when my grandmother at the age of 16 was incarcerated at Minidoka during WWII. Shikata-ga-ni is Japanese for “it is what it is” or “it cannot be helped.” This is the saying my ancestors told each other for peace of mind as they were forced to sell everything, pack one suitcase, and go somewhere with no destination or duration. Unlike them, we cannot let fear and bigotry allow us to put heads down… We must speak out, support each other, be allies, and forour the photos attached— upstanders.” Photo Courtesy of Robert Hirai
edits r. Mamie Oliver- Courtesy of The Idaho State Museum 4. AmberCourtesy and Rachael Beierle of four plaintiff 994 onnie McCarrollof The Idaho-One State Archives, couples that sued Idaho over its 2006 voter-approved constitutional lly BemisCourtesy Themarriage Idaho State Archives, amendment that of defined as between one man71-185-29 and one len OchoaCourtesy woman. On Oct. 7,NASA 2014, the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals finally struck downCourtesy the ban on same-sex marriageState as unconstitutional. Amber argaret Robertsof The Idaho Archives, 75-5-11 and Rachael were married on Oct. 15, 2014, in Boise. Now, amicably ildred BaileyLibrary of says,“It Congress, Willian P. Gottlieb divorcedCourtesy and co-parenting, Amber was a scary process, but it
was also heartening and important to help bring legal equality. We’re very proud of being part of that history.” Photo courtesy Amber Beierle
5. Mayor Lauren McLean- “The most important thing I
learned this year is something we all know deep down: Boiseans are ready to help. Residents from across our city have answered the call, rolled up their sleeves, and began tackling the challenges our city faces. I’m so proud of the partnerships that have been forged and excited for Boise’s future as we work to make Boise an even better city for everyone.”
6. Amy Gile, CEO of SilverDraft Supercomputing- “The best advice I ever got
was to be true to who I am and trust my gut. It is vital you truly listen to yourself and others. If you listen, the answers will come.”
Photo courtesy City of Boise
horns and fine-grade wool) up the ramp. “Now, our grandkids are out here, carrying on the tradition.”
“I always love coming out here,” says Teresa, wistfully. “And this year is really special, with all our friends showing up to help- it’s kind of like a community picnic.”
FOLLOW THE LEADER:
First Lady, Teresa Little on Sheep and Her Day Job BY KAREN DAY
a crisp March morning, with dew still sparkling across an open field, First Lady Teresa Little has gathered with the Governor, their family, local friends, eight New Zealanders and about 1,000 sheep. Warm clouds of breath condense and rise above the animals, anxious and corralled. Baaaaahing fills the air. Several people whoop and whistle, push and shove wooly reluctants toward a shoot leading up into a shearing shed. “Sheep are bred to follow each other, but they need a nudge,” says Teresa, poking a stalled hindquarter with a long stick. “This ewe is definitely pregnant with twins.” This knowledge, like this annual event, is also bred into Teresa Little’s DNA, confirmed by a weathered sign hanging above the holding pen. “Soulen,” is the First Lady’s family name and her paternal great-grandfather, Philip, settled in the Palouse in 1906, amassing a large range sheep operation that remains so today, operated by her brother, Harry, and family, all present and muscling the animals up the ramp. “We were all raised shearing, shipping and lambing,” says Brad Little, poking a Rambouillet (breed with little
COVID 19 prevented their regular Peruvian crew from returning for range season, but the operation must go on. For six days, friends and neighbors have showed up, unannounced, eager to support the effort with labor and food. The atmosphere is what one imagines at old barn-raisings, jovial and physical- only with sheep and spectators snapping photos of the sturdy New Zealanders working seamlessly. The men shear while the women pack heavy bulks of wool into baling machines. Reggae music pipes loudly out of the shearing shed, while inside, Maori tattoos glisten on sweaty forearms. The crew, stripping wool from 300 sheep a day, prove that the profession is as much a timed wrestling match as it is an art. “They travel all over the world,” says Teresa. “And they’re amazing to watch. I sure couldn’t do what they do!” She leans over the railing, pushing hard on a sheepish rear-end. Jim Thomson, family-friend and Gem County physician, lends a hand. The previous day, Thomson and Teresa had worked together on the front lines, vaccinating locals in downtown Emmett. “One lady came with her husband. He got the vaccine, but she didn’t want to,” says Teresa, flashing a smile at Thomson. “But Teresa convinced her,” the doctor says. “It’s hard to say ‘no’ to your First Lady.” Teresa Little, however, is known to be the antithesis of pushy. “A lot of First Ladies around the country have agendas, like STEM or Pre-K education,” she says. “I don’t do that. I have my newsletter to shine a light on worthwhile initiatives. But personally, I’m committed to volunteering and getting others to do the same. What a better world we would have if everyone just donated a bit of time to help others.” Suddenly, one rogue jumps the fence, giddily flits its heels, and bolts across the field. Harry Soulen and some volunteers jog after the runaway sheep. Hoots rise from the crowd. Teresa giggles and pokes another ewe forward. Idaho’s first family knows first-hand it takes a village. www.idahomemagazine.com
BY HEATHER HAMILTON-POST
oise artist Ashley Dreyfus is a woman on the brink–a Yellowstone paint pot reflecting turquoise and fire, a geyser about to erupt. Driven to create, she views art as an escape from the world and
something of a resting place, should you need it. “It’s how I view the world. I just want to share a piece of how I’m feeling, and I’m trying to show positivity every single day,” she explains.
cans of Pabst Blue Ribbon beer, which is a new medium for the artist, who, in her 23 years, has worked on digital art, murals, fine art paintings, and recently, skin, as she trains to be a tattoo artist.
This isn’t hyperbole, either. Just over three and a half years ago,
Her work, which Dreyfus describes as shiny and bright, is meant to be
BRIGHT AND SHINY:
ASHLEY DREYFUS is ERUPTING Dreyfus challenged herself to draw something new each day for an entire year, which helped crystalize her personal artistic style. Since, she’s shared her drawings on Instagram every single day. Without social media, Dreyfus says she’d still be creating art, but she’s grateful for the exposure the digital world has afforded her.
Photo by Chris Mannix
AWARD-WINNING ARTIST Ashley Dreyfus thinks of her characters as alter egos of human beings that exist in the world, androgynous and joyful, which is how she strives to live her life. “I genuinely hope that the artwork just resonates with everyone–that they’re able to feel the way that I do when I create my art,” she says.
This of course includes her recent win–a cash prize, magazine feature, and artwork printed on 30 million
accessible to folks of all ages. She’s inspired by artist Keith Haring, who she says exhibited the same motivation and drive that she strives for. “I want to keep his dream alive with my art,” she says. Dreyfus also wants to make sure young women are heard, and says she doesn’t see a lot of female representation in Boise’s street art. “And that’s kind of why I feel so passionate about what I do. I want women to create art freely,” she emphasizes. She says she’s never really felt the pressure one might expect a young and successful artist to feel because of that freedom, which she says allows her art to continue to be a release. Like Yellowstone’s abundant landscape, Dreyfus offers a uniquely western perspective–and, while she grew up in Sun Valley, she considers Boise home, and doesn’t plan on
A NEW MEDIUM Dreyfus’ work will be printed on 30 million cans of Pabst Blue Ribbon beer, after winning a competitive online contest hosted by Pabst.
leaving anytime soon. Dreyfus is grateful for the kindness toward artists, and the colorful art the community has inspired. Her winning piece for PBR is called “There Is No Place Like Home”, and she emphasizes that it comes from a place of truth–she loves being home and in this community, where she lives with her mother and animals. “I want to be able to help put Boise on the map–to show that this is a really cool artistic place with lots of people progressively moving forward in their craft and doing really cool stuff,” she says. Dreyfus’ work appears around town in coordination with other local artists as part of a partnership between the Idaho Suicide Prevention
Hotline and Drake Cooper aimed at showing the community that there’s always someone to listen and drawing attention to the hotline. Dreyfus acknowledges that the pandemic has made an impact on everyone, and says the key to her continued positivity has been prioritizing mental healthcare and extending patience to herself.
wasn’t for her, and says she’s glad she resisted the pressure to follow that path. “I create art simply because it makes me feel more human. Don’t feel like you have to have guidelines or checklists to pursue art professionally– you can do whatever you want,” she says. “Throw caution to the wind and just create art.”
She knew, for example, that college www.idahomemagazine.com
I’D RATHER BE
Riding BY HEATHER HAMILTON-POST
Sisters Speed, Kerri Donnelly ( left ) and Sara Rodeghiero hit the road.
“You might have noticed that you never pass a motorcyclist broken down,” laughs Kerri Donnelly. “No, never!” Sara Rodeghiero confirms, nodding in enthusiastic agreement. “If you can’t help them with tools, you go grab gas or make a phone call for them. It’s an unspoken rule,” Donnelly says.
Rodeghiero is a Senior Account Manager, and Donnelly works as a tutor in the Boise School District. If you saw them on the street, you wouldn’t necessarily think “biker chicks,” but that’s where they say you’d be wrong.
“There isn’t really a type of person who rides motorcycles, but we share some common threads. We like the brotherhood and sisterhood it creates, we’re patriotic, and we have each other’s backs,” says Rodeghiero. “We’re all just real people–what you see is what you get, and I love that.” Donnelly explains that the motorcycle community tends to be
genuine and accepting of people. It includes a large number of veterans, whom they wholeheartedly support. The two met through mutual friends and have an infectious joy when they talk about their bikes and their community. It promotes connectedness, frequently joining together to support groups, causes, and yes, motorcycles on the side of the highway. For many, riding is an outlet for stress, especially during a pandemic. Donnelly and Rodeghiero both talk about the freedom of the road and the power riding gives them. Donnelly found riding casually–she got married,
had a baby, and her husband got a bike. “I was on the back of his bike and I was immediately like, ‘Nope, I gotta ride my own. It wasn’t unenjoyable, but I knew I’d have more fun on my own bike, be more free,” she says. The marriage didn’t last, but the love for motorcycles did. Her 16-year old son doesn’t ride, but Donnelly frequently rides with her ex husband, who she says is a great friend. Rodeghiero says that, as a little girl, motorcycles always turned her head. When she decided to try riding, she went all in, buying her dream bike before she’d even taken
a riding class. She’d ridden on the back of friends’ bikes, but, after two weeks, bought an Indian Chieftain and never looked back. “It is a great way to live in the present moment. You’re not thinking of the future or the past, you’re there smelling the air and the hot rubber. There’s such a freedom on the road–an opportunity to empty your mind,” she explains. When she met her now-fiance, he didn’t ride, but after a week and a half of seeing each other he was looking at Harleys. When Rodeghiero first got her 850-pound bike, she was so excited to ride that she forgot to put the kickstand down and her bike fell to the ground. When she couldn’t lift it up, she got help–but she also decided that it was time to get strong. “I didn’t like feeling like the damsel in distress. That was the catalyst, and I went to the gym every day and lifted weights. I can lift my own bike now,” she says. “It’s powerful, the energy of the bike underneath you,” says Donnelly. “And the great thing about your bike is that it is an extension of who you are. There are so many ways to stylize your bike and make it unique, it is a piece of art–there’s so much you can do,” she explains. Her bike is totally custom, built from a variety of parts to make the exact bike she wants. “When you find a bike that fits you the way you want–it’s kind of like a hug,” she says. Rodeghiero agrees, and says that recently, she went to start her bike for the first time in a while and
the battery was dead. “And I know this sounds weird, but I swear there was something in my body that felt disconnected, because when we got that battery fixed, the world felt ok,” she says. “The same thing happened to me! And that happens when bikes sit for a bit,” says Donnelly. “It doesn’t usually happen with Indians though– and you can put that in the article,” laughs Rodeghiero, who joyfully recalls beating Harleys off the line when she first started riding. She explains that, much like the branches of the military, people who ride different bikes like to tease one another. “But we all ride together at the end of the day,” she says.
tough. We’re just out there to have fun,” says Donnelly. Rodeghiero agrees. “Once you're on the bike and you start feeling comfortable, you don't have to be coaxed to ride it. It's more like, ‘Do I really have to work?’ I'd rather be riding.”’
Both women agree that there’s a perception of the motorcycle community as intimidating, but say it is anything but. “They’re the most giving, charitable people. They’d give the shirt off their back,” says Rodeghiero. Riding, especially as the weather warms up, brings a lot of folks out, and Rodeghiero and Donnelly appreciate the guaranteed camaraderie. Both say they’d like to see more women riding, and emphasize there is no jealousy and there are no weird feelings, no matter how you ride. “It’s a supportive community with the most generous people. It’s not scary. We’re not mean or super
Sara Rodegheiro and Kerri Donnelly met through mutual friends and share a love of riding. Don’t be intimidated by them, though–they’d “give you the shirt off their back.”
SMALL TOWN, BIG VOICE BY LEX NELSON
W How an opera singer from Rupert, Idaho, stepped onto the world stage.
When Cecilia Violetta López goes home to the small town of Rupert, Idaho, she doesn’t get to laze around and relax. Instead, her mother puts her to work behind the counter of her modest Mexican restaurant, Loncheria El Viente. “Whenever I go home people are like, ‘You’re here on vacation, right?’ and I say, ‘No, no, no, I’m here to work,’” López said, laughing. “I’m there. It’s like riding a bike. You never forget how
to go in there and help Mom make the chile relleno. Every day there’s a different special. There’s the grind, the hustle!” In her life outside of Rupert, López is an internationally renowned soprano. She has performed with Opera Idaho, Opera San José in California, the Metropolitan Opera in New York, and Zomeropera in Belgium, among others. In 2017, a reviewer for The New York Times wrote that, “Her passionate
performance was the beating heart of LoftOpera’s new production of a different ‘Otello.’” But in Idaho, López is much more than an opera star—she’s a small-town icon, an interim kitchen hand, and above all her immigrant parents’ daughter. In a way, López’s story starts at Loncheria El Viente. The restaurant’s name is an homage to the little village in Mexico where her parents hail from, Colonia Viente de Noviembre, or “El Viente’’ for short. López’s parents lived there until 1975, when her father set off the U.S. to find work. “He left my mom pregnant with my older brother in Mexico, because there was no means of providing for a family there. … He was with a group of men and they came into the states illegally and traveled all the way to Rupert, Idaho,” López said. A local farmer found López’s father walking on the side of the road and offered him a job. In 1981, López’s mother and brother joined her father in Rupert, and López and her two younger siblings were born soon after. It wasn’t long before all six of them were hard at work.
picked rocks. My dad still works [that way], he does manual labor fixing tractors for the harvest of the potatoes. It’s a regular Idaho life.”
music in the fields singing mariachi tunes with her mother. Although she was never exposed to classical music, her voice didn’t go unrecognized.
López’s parents and older brother applied for Green Cards in 1987, and after they received them the family journeyed back to Mexico each time seasonal work in Rupert dried up.
“I would sing at rodeos, quinceaneras, and weddings. Sometimes I was not even prepared, but there was a mariachi band there and my mom would be like, ‘Go, go!’” López said.
“I feel like I’m truly MexicanAmerican. Growing up my first language was Spanish. I learned English from watching ‘Sesame Street.’ I have that binational identity really ingrained in me, because I lived that life of working in and being part of the American school system, and going to Mexico and washing our clothes out in the river with my mom because we didn’t have running water in the house. I lived those extremes,” López said. López discovered her love of
López’s parents praised her singing, but implied that the American Dream was just for boys. When her older brother was admitted to Boise State University there was “a huge wow factor” at home. However, the reaction to López’s academic success was, “That’s cute, good job. Now go get married and have kids.” In defiance of that norm, López followed a boyfriend to the vast city of Las Vegas after high school. When the relationship didn’t work out, she
In Idaho, López is much more than an opera star — she’s a smalltown icon, an interim kitchen hand, and above all else her immigrant parents’ daughter.
“I hoed beets with my mom,” López remembered. “Farm work was what we did, and what the Mexican-American family community did back then. … We hoed beets and my older brother
“Everywhere I go, I try to break down that stigma, that mystery behind opera. I try to get younger audiences to the show and let them know opera is for everyone. Look at me, I grew up in the fields! I’m literally a testament to what I’m saying.”
stayed there, and against all odds an orthopedic surgeon hired her as a technician. “I remember telling [the surgeon], ‘I don’t have the training. I grew up in Idaho. I hoed beets. But I have tough hands, they’re really strong. So if you’re willing to train me I’ll be there,”’ she said. That fearless, can-do attitude became López’s trademark in her opera career, which she embarked on during her sophomore year at University of Nevada Las Vegas. She was studying to be a music teacher when she sat down to watch a production of the opera “La Bohème” by Giacomo Puccini, starring her friends in the music program. The 26-year-old López had never 18
seen an opera or even a play, but she quickly found herself covered in goosebumps and caught up in the drama. When the soprano died at the end of the opera, real tears rolled down her cheeks. “Walking out of the theater, I told my ex-husband, ‘What my friends, as singing actors, made me feel, that is what I want to do. I want to study vocal technique, what we do to sing. I want to focus on this opera singing and be a part of that,’” she said, adding, “... When people say opera chose me, I don’t fight back.” In a few short months López landed the lead role of Pamina in a school production of “The Magic Flute.” From there, one workshop and residency lead to another. She was cast in what would become her
signature role—Violetta in Giuseppe Verdi’s “La traviata”—in 2014, and her fame rocketed. In 2020, USA Today named her one of Idaho’s 10 Most Influential Women of the Century. López’s journey may seem fated, but she gave up a lot to achieve success, including time with her daughter, Sara, who is now a teenager and pursuing a career as a cellist. When López and her now-ex husband divorced, she lost custody of Sara because, according to the judge, “opera singing was a hobby” that wouldn’t support her daughter. “It was a battle that I ended up losing, but it’s okay, because I find peace in my music,” she said. Today, López is using her story to inspire others and encourage them to pursue unlikely dreams. This winter, she took up the post of Artistic Advisor at Opera Idaho, returning to her Gem State roots and the first professional opera company she ever auditioned for. In her new role, López will shape the future of the company with a focus on diversity, equity, and inclusion. “Everywhere I go, I try to break down that stigma, that mystery behind opera. I try to get younger audiences to the show and let them know opera is for everyone,” she said. “Look at me, I grew up in the fields! I’m literally a testament to what I’m saying.” This May, López will supplement her Opera Idaho duties with a live outdoor performance at Opera Colorado. The show, “Canciones de Nuestra Tierra,” will combine her mother’s mariachi tunes with the arias she loves, bringing her music full circle.
An Idaho Woman on
MARS BY HAILEY MINTON
Kelly Lively was the project manager for the nuclear power system onboard the Perseverance Rover in the Mars 2020 mission. She and her Radioisotope Power Systems team help bring power to places where the sun doesn’t shine. The rover landed on the red planet on Feb. 18, 2020 and has begun carrying out its mission to seek signs of ancient life, and collect and cache samples of rock and soil. The landing site was chosen because the area shows evidence of water, and answers to Mars’ ability to
technology enjoys a decades-long history. Early power systems were used in the late ‘70s to send Voyagers 1 and 2 into space. They continue to send information back to earth 50-plus years later. Curiosity Rover, which landed on Mars in 2012, and Perseverance rover’s power systems that are an updated version use the same 20
Kelly Lively and her team fuel, test and deliver Radioisotope Thermoelectric Generators to power space exploration, including the Perseverance Rover that recently landed on Mars.
sustain life may lie in the soil. Perseverance is the second of a three-mission strategy that will eventually bring soil samples back to earth for further study. This mission brings humanity one step closer to sending people to Mars. Kelly and her team are a part of Idaho National Laboratory. INL has a partnership with NASA to provide nuclear power systems that enable deep space exploration. Today, they use Multi-Mission Radioisotope Thermoelectric Generators (MMRTGs). This same
Above: Kelly Lively talks to team members. Photos courtesy of Idaho National Laboratory.
technology. Kelly and her team embarked on their journey to assemble and test this generator five years before they delivered it to NASA’s John F. Kennedy Space Center for mating to Perseverance Rover which launched July 30, 2020, for it’s seven-month journey to Mars. MMRTGs create energy by converting the heat from the decay of plutonium into electricity. Plutonium-238 has a half-life of 87 years, meaning in 87 years it will emit half the amount of heat it did when the radioactive isotope was first manufactured. The generator is designed to have a 14-year mission life at a specific electrical-power level. Even though it will generate power for decades, NASA plans for specific mission goals over a specific amount of time. Kelly’s journey to manager of the Radioisotope Power Systems Department was greatly influenced by her first job after high school. She grew up and graduated from the same high school her father attended in Illinois before she and her family moved to Idaho. Her mother was a bookkeeper, and Kelly’s plan was to follow in her footsteps and become a CPA. Her aunt and uncle, who lived in Idaho, suggested she get a job at the Idaho National Engineering Laboratory, as it was called at that time. As the nation’s center for nuclear energy research and development, Idaho National Laboratory is one of the U.S. Department of Energy’s 17 national laboratories with roughly 5,000 scientists, engineers and support personnel. At INL’s three primary facility areas–the Advanced Test Reactor Complex, Materials and Fuels Complex, and Research and Education Campus–researchers work to fulfill DOE’s mission to “discover the solutions to power and secure America’s future.” Kelly followed her aunt and uncle’s advice and started working at INL in 1983. As a secretary for Newport News Reactor Services at the Naval Reactor Training Facility at INEL, she typed procedures for engineers to overhaul and re-fuel nuclear reactors on nuclear submarine prototypes. It captured her interest and she could sense unforeseen opportunities at INL. “There were so many interesting projects and research happening around me.
I was overwhelmed with information and it was very inspirational work,” Kelly said. “It wasn’t that the work I was doing wasn’t important, but I wanted to contribute to something more technical.” From that point on, she was always looking for opportunities to increase her experience and pay.
“She is so well-respected by everyone at the lab and works hard to inspire the next generation of scientists and engineers.” Accepting a job at the Material and Fuels Complex, she quickly moved from typing procedures, to processing security clearances, and on to her first technical job as a quality control inspector. Inspecting materials put her in closer contact with engineers, which further heightened her interest. “I had maxed out my ability to advance, so I decided to go to college,” she said. After attending five years of school, working the summers at INL to fund her education, and having two children, she graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Engineering from Idaho State University in 1998. Kelly said her parents were very supportive of her and INL was a great place to work. She never felt like there were opportunities she couldn’t seize because she was a woman. Based on the conversation I had with her, and the way her colleagues extolled her, I gathered a sense that she regularly interacts with others in a way that lifts them to reach their potential. “She is so well-respected by everyone at the lab and works hard to inspire the next generation of scientists and engineers,” said Lori McNamara, INL media relations. The Perseverance project is behind Kelly now, yet there is still work ahead. Upcoming missions include Dragonfly, which will send a drone to Saturn’s moon, and perhaps Trident, which will send a spacecraft to Neptune’s moon. Her team will continue to power exploration where the sun doesn’t shine.
Rosa Parks being fingerprinted by Deputy Sheriff D.H. Lackey after being arrested on February 22, 1956, during the Montgomery bus boycott.
MRS. ROSA PARKS: A Forever Icon BY CHERIE BUCKNER-WEBB
When I asked how she was able to take such risks, she said, “I didn’t think of risks, I did the right thing.”
On April 15, 1993, Boise State University and the Boise Peace Quilt Project joined forces to present “A Tribute to an American Heroine, Rosa Parks.” The auditorium was filled to capacity with folks who came to honor her and demonstrate their admiration, love and respect for a woman who devoted her life to social justice and, at 80 years of age, continued her quest. The festivities truly befit the title later bestowed by upon Mrs. Parks by the United States Congress: “The first lady of civil rights.” Tributes were delivered by Gov. Cecil Andrus, Boise State University President Charles Ruch and the Boise Peace Quilt Project. The newly established Rosa Parks Scholarship was introduced and BSU’s Symphonic Winds ensemble played “A Movement for Rosa,” a song composed by Radford University Associate Professor of Music Mark Camphouse. The following day, I had the opportunity to spend extended time with Mrs. Rosa Parks, the woman I admired most in the world. Note: In my cultural tradition, we do not refer to an elder by her first name. We refer to them as Miss, Mrs., Sister, Aunt or Auntie as a show of respect.
My eighth grade English teacher would chide me for using “Mrs.” with a woman’s first name, but in this case, popular culture wins! Heralded as the “Mother to the Movement,” her delicate, petite stature, melodic voice and warm demeanor almost disguised her iron will–but this woman had changed the conscience of the nation! It was our first meeting, yet Mrs. Parks came into the room, took both my hands, pulled me close, and bestowed a kiss on my cheek. It instantly felt like being with family, and we interacted as such throughout the day. She asked questions; growing up as a Black girl in white Idaho, and about our culture and political climate. She was earnestly interested in Idaho, having spent little time in the West.
She shared stories of her family both during slavery and post-Emancipation including the atrocities suffered by Blacks at the hands of whites and witnessing the Ku Klux Klan riding by her home at night. She shared that her great-grandfather was a white plantation owner who sired a child with her grandmother, who was likely mixedrace. After both grandparents died, the white overseer beat and starved her grandfather. Justifiably, her grandfather had intense hatred for white people and instilled in his family that they must not put up with bad treatment from anyone, anywhere. That message was written on the heart, spirit and conscience of young Rosa. With amazing resolve, throughout her life she did not let fear override her quest for justice. Education was greatly valued by her family, but the schools for Black students were small, over-crowded, distant, and without books, heat, windows, desks, qualified teachers or running water. Plus, classes were only held on a limited basis as Black children were required to work in the fields. Segregation reigned. But nothing deterred Rosa’s desire to learn. Much of the schooling for young girls focused on domestic sciences like cooking, sewing and caring for the sick, home and family. One of her greatest lessons occurred while attending Miss White’s school, taught, ironically, by a white woman. Mrs. Parks learned she was a person with dignity and self-respect, and that she should not lower her expectations because she was Black. She was taught to be ambitions and to believe she could achieve what she wanted in life, reflecting the teachings of her grandparents and parents. Following the 11th grade, Rosa left school to tend to her sick mother. She did not graduate from high school until after her marriage to Raymond Parks at age 20. Only 19% of Black teenagers attended high school in the 1930’s, it’s clear Mrs. Rosa Parks displayed an iron will long before December 1st, 1955–the day she refused to give up her seat to a white passenger on the bus in Montgomery, Alabama. And just to set the record straight, she clarified to me she was not fatigued that day, nor was she old (at 42), as some sources reported. Rather, “she was tired of giving in.” Mrs. Parks knew the consequences could be dire, but she remained seated until arrested. Her arrest led to the Montgomery bus boycott which lasted for 381 days. Mrs. Parks and her husband lost their jobs, received death threats and were compelled to move to Detroit for safety. Her personal determination and the boycott were proven successful when the U.S. Supreme Court declared
segregation on public transportation unconstitutional on November 13th, 1956. Mrs. Rosa Parks spent a lifetime fighting injustice, often at great peril. She was actively engaged in the civil rights movement a decade before refusing to give up her seat on the bus. She served as secretary of the NAACP Alabama State Conference conducting interviews and seeking justice for victims of discrimination and witnesses to lynchings. She fought diligently for the right of Blacks to vote and ardently supported Brown vs. Board of Education, the landmark 1954 U.S. Supreme Court case where the justices ruled unanimously that racial segregation of children in public schools was unconstitutional. She joined with many civil rights icons to participate in the March on Washington, participated in the Selma-to-Montgomery March and helped to elect Rep. John Conyers, who she worked for for 23 years. In 1989, she attended the dedication of the Civil Rights Memorial in Montgomery, Alabama. Mrs. Rosa Louise McCauley Parks remains an inspiration and a guide, lighting the path to equality for not just for Blacks, but for all Americans. When I asked how she was able to take such risks, she said, “I didn’t think of risks, I did the right thing.” For me, it’s as if she wrote those words on my heart. Today, Mrs. Rosa Parks the warrior, strategist, humanitarian, indefatigable collaborator and provocateur for justice continues to inspire my steps in the world. When I am weary, I remember that day, how she took my hands in hers. Her soft voice echoes in my memory and her undaunted courage gives me strength to “keep on keeping on.” My spirit cries, “Yes, Lord, yes, you remain a forever blessing, Mrs. Rosa Parks.”
About the author The Honorable Cherie Buckner-Webb is an Idaho State Senator, Certified Professional Coach, Consultant and Motivational Speaker www.idahomemagazine.com
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SPOILT FOR CHOICE:
Conversations with Exceptional Women
BY DAVID GRAY ADLER
So many extraordinary women have graced the stage at The Alturas Institute’s “Conversations with Exceptional Women,” held annually in Sun Valley, that in fulfilling an assignment to single out a precious few for special appreciation, one is spoilt for choice. The striking roster of Alturas Alumna requires for civic awareness no need to enumerate achievements and awards. Barbara Morgan. Sandra Day O’Connor. Diane McWhorter. Annette Gordon-Reed. Jody Williams. Gina Bennett. Anne Taylor Fleming. Karen Crouse. Joanne Freeman. Missy Franklin. Cherie Buckner-Webb. Jennifer Siebel Newsom. Caroline Heldman. Christine Walker. Shirley Babashoff. Alexandra Fuller. I am spoilt for choice, but consider the wisdom and impact of Crouse, Bennett, Morgan, Williams, McWhorter, Heldman and Freeman.
Karen Crouse: This prize-winning New York Times sports writer and author is a gifted storyteller whose inspirational narratives have pulled audiences from their seats. She discovered her love for journalism in the eighth grade when one of her stories inspired an Olympic swimmer to find hope when he had lost it. Since then, her writing has effected change, including triumphs for 26
gender equality. As the Times’ Golf Writer in 2011, Karen endured more than a little heat from her editor, when she announced that she did not want to cover the Masters Tournament until Augusta National Golf Course opened its doors to female members. Her outspoken advocacy for gender equality influenced not only the storied Georgia golf club’s decision to admit women as members, but also the centuries-old Royal and Ancient Golf Club of St. Andrews in Scotland to do the same in 2014.
Gina Bennett: She is a CIA expert in counter-
intelligence, mother of five, author and the subject of several documentaries and articles about the historic but underappreciated role women have played in maintaining our national security. Bennett was the first official—man or woman–to warn America of the threat Osama bin Laden posed to the United States. She was a member of the team that tracked him to his final resting place. Quiet, smooth, professional and crisply analytical in her
remarks at Alturas’ events, Gina’s career reminds us of the possibilities of our nation if more women were at the helm. Her record represents a compelling case for gender equality in the world of national security.
Barbara Morgan: A member of NASA’s Teacher in
Space Project and subsequently a full-time astronaut, she became the first teacher to fly into space on the space shuttle, Endeavor, on August 8, 2007. Barbara demonstrated to the nation great courage when she flew into space after the Columbia disaster in November 2003. A calm, poised speaker, whose voice, presence and gravitas command the room, Barbara delivered her remarks with the precision one expects of a working astronaut. When asked by an audience member about the potential effect of fear on the space crew in the wake of tragedy, Barbara thoughtfully replied, “courage is contagious, too.” A valuable lesson for life, to be sure. The founding chair of The Alturas Board of Directors, Barbara is also, affectionately, “Madam Chair.”
Jody Williams: Williams is an author, activist and the recipient of Nobel Peace Prize for her leadership in winning passage of the Mine Ban Treaty. Landmines have inflicted horrific carnage on innocent citizens throughout the world. The treaty has provided great progress, but its utility was threatened when former President Donald Trump decided to reinstate their use. Deeply appreciated for her strong voice, candor, wit and style, Jody was superb in engaging our audience. Her world-class activist skills were honed at an early age: As a young girl, she defended
her handicapped brother and stood up to bullies. She has made it a point to hold true to her clear vision of what will make the world a better place.
Caroline Heldman: She is an author, academic,
political commentator and activist. Caroline is defined by the courage and passion that she brings to the causes she has embraced and fights for including sexual assault. Caroline speaks truth to power, unflinchingly. She has founded a national organization to combat sexual assault on college campuses, and has stood up to bullies throughout her life, perhaps most recently, by joining other women who accused Fox News executives of sexual harassment. Her high energy at our events resembled a NASA liftoff.
Diane McWhorter: The Pulitzer-prize winning
Journalist and author of one of the 20th Century’s best non-fiction books, “Carry Me Home: Climactic Battle of the Civil Rights Revolution,” which is beautifully written and constructed. On the short list of my favorite writers, she engaged our audience with stimulating, thoughtprovoking insights that generated many questions.
Joanne Freeman: She is an award-winning historian, author and academic, who is also the nation’s top Alexander Hamilton scholar. Her learned remarks were punctuated with a contagious, high-octane enthusiasm that bathed the audience with caffeine. After one cup of Joanne, the audience was in a full sprint. As I said, I was spoilt for choice. You don’t need many heroes if you choose carefully. www.idahomemagazine.com
Weddings & Events (208) 947-2840 chateaueagle.com
How to Have a Fabulous Wedding PostPandemic (Almost)
hat a wild year it’s been for weddings and events worldwide!
COVID-19 is the uninvited guest who brought a date, hit the buffet line for a third serving and ordered himself four shots of Patron at the hosted bar. It’s safe to say that we’re all over it! Almost. In 2020, hundreds of couples were forced to either elope, reschedule their weddings, modify their guest lists or even cancel! The best thing about 2021 is that we now have more information. We know the safety measures and can finally take control. Here are a few tips that will help you plan and provide comfort and safety to yourself and your guests. This is due diligence done beautifully! • First, find your venue! The right venue can preclude tons of worry. You should be able to ask a venue manager to outline their COVID-19 protocols and have them recited without hesitation. Your wedding place should be up to date on the most current CDC/ CDH guidelines, provide previous successful scenarios and share best experiential practices. Good venue operations will manage COVID-19 protocols. Some will even do temperature checks at the door. • Second, leverage guest communications. Add a personal note to your website or invitations. For example, “Two weeks before the wedding, please do not feel obligated to attend if you’re showing any symptoms of illness or have been in direct contact with an individual who tested positive for COVID-19.” • Third, identify high-contact areas -- dinner service looms at the top of the list. Here’s my advice: Keep it simple! If you’re going the buffet route, be sure staff will be stationed so your guests are served food with protocol. Your best option is a plated dinner. This
dinner service typically covers food immediately after it’s plated, places it in a hot box, then delivers it directly guest by guest, providing the least contact to air borne particles. • Fourth, consider providing masks for your guests or giving out hand sanitizers with customized labels as gifts. Also, once the drinks start flowing, ask your DJ to give friendly reminders during the evening to social distance, wear masks and use sanitizers. DJs are such a huge help! You can also provide stoplight bracelets! They come in red, yellow and green. Red means “social distancing”, yellow is “elbows only” and green means “shakes and hugs.” Consider it “safety jewelry”! • Finally and always, hire a wedding planner. An experienced professional can review vendor contacts and clearly address COVID-19 “what if ” scenarios. Family can be a great help, but professionals remove stress and offer effortless guidance and management to ensure your wedding day is FABULOUS–even in a pandemic! With all that said, GO HOME COVID-19, YOU’RE DRUNK! It’s time for us to get back to celebrating!
About the author Since 1997, Maya Renee, of Maid of Honesty, has been applying thoughtful design and meticulous attention to detail in assisting her clients with planning and executing the perfect event for any type of occasion. www.idahomemagazine.com
THE WOMAN WITH A GOLDEN TOUCH How did Laurel Sayer end up being the only female in the world to bust the “golden ceiling” of the mining industry and become the CEO of Perpetua Resources? Sayer’s answers are as intriguing as her title. 30
To begin: Imagine treading carefully for 20-plus years up a steep and narrow path while balancing concerns of politicians, the environment, the people of Idaho, an extended family that includes six children and 22 grandchildren, and of course, the bottom line for stockholders. In other words, Sayer got the job by doing what a man could not do better. Here is what she shared when we sat down with her for a Q&A. “I started out working for Congressman Simpson,” said Sayer, 62. “And I stayed for 20 years, concentrating on his natural resource work. I loved the work because I loved rural Idaho, and the people of rural Idaho. That’s how I was raised on a dairy farm. And you know who is really running those rural farms and ranches? It’s the women. The matriarchs. They are the strength of that cultural tradition from generation to generation. My grandmother was that way, so I was attracted and cared about working with the ranching
and farming families because their livelihoods are interconnected to natural resources.” Q: How did you balance their needs, say, for diminished grazing lands, with Congressman Simpson’s Boulder White Clouds Wilderness Bill? A: “I feel that farming and ranching families are conservationists because they use the land with the idea of maintaining and improving it to ensure the future of their business. They have no choice but to be good stewards of the land. Most understand and want to improve habitat for fish because they need a healthy water sources for their crops and livestock. However, many also don’t have the knowledge of how to find funding or negotiate regulatory mechanisms. They needed help. So, I learned regulatory and revenue policy. I actually cared deeply about the people, the land and how politics can help both thrive.”
Q: And after retirement from your federal position, you became the Executive Director of the Idaho Coalition of Land Trusts? A: “Yes, but I wasn’t looking for a position. Governor Otter had appointed my husband head of commerce, and we moved to Boise. I was serving on the Arts Commission and really enjoying it. The associations came to me, and these were people I’d worked with all along with The Lemhi Land Trust, the Teton Valley, The Nature Conservancy, middle-ground organizations politically. They just want to take care of the land and their communities. So, I took the job and helped create the Idaho Coalition of Land Trusts. While I was doing that, I was exposed to Midas Gold, which is now, Perpetua Resources. They came to me and asked me to be on their board.” Q: But isn’t that a conflict of interest and priorities, serving conservation and being on the board of a publicly-held resource extraction company? A: “My governmental and conservation background is exactly the viewpoint Midas needed to hear. Working for the congressman, I’ve been familiar with a lot of mining projects in Idaho. I knew bad ones and good ones. But this project was different, like nothing I’d seen before. The Stibnite mining area outside of Yellow Pine was a mess and is still a mess today because the government mined it during WWII and the Korean War for tungsten and antimony. These were necessary elements for the war effort, but we didn’t have the regulatory requirements enforced today. They weren’t required to improve it. This company intended to go back in for the gold and antimony, but also restore the area back to the way it was 100 years ago. They were actually going to make the area better. That’s what appealed to me. And two years later, when they offered me a position, that’s why I accepted.” Q:Where are you in that process now? How has this process of guiding the company through NEPA (National Environmental Policy Act) approval taught you about the reality of balancing your love of environment and citizens with knowing the purpose of the operation is to make a profit? A: “Those results do not have to oppose each other. We’re making headway and getting close to our record of decision, which I believed would happen. I knew DC, the
Forest Service and regulations. I was prepared for due diligence by all my past lessons. Politics had also prepared me for going into a male-dominated industry. But truthfully, I don’t think I was prepared for this, the mining industry.” Q:How so? Does the type of industry really matter, when a woman walks into a room of men who have been running the show since time began? A: “Working for the congressman, I’ve been in lots of meetings as the only woman in the room. But the mining industry didn’t have any women at the top. Ever. I found the key to maintaining self-confidence came with the recognition that women think and look at things differently. And if you bring your ideas forward with that in mind, all points of view can be valued for being different, as opposed to being right or wrong, or female or male. And as a woman and leader, you have to be bold about hiring other women. Today we have 33% women in the leadership of our company. The company is stronger because of it.” Q: Is this the direct result of your leadership? A: “I can say yes, proudly. And I can also confidently say those women have helped the local community trust that the company maintains a strong social license. We care about their families. We offer jobs. And when they look at me, they see someone who understands if a woman, or man, engineer, or backhoe driver, needs a flexible schedule to take care of their kids.” Q: But what about environmental buzzwords like “arsenic” and “superfund site?” Don’t those raise not only eyebrows, but quality-of-life and limb protests? A: “Another thing that makes me different in the mining industry is that not that I’m not a geologist, or an engineer. I think politically which requires balancing (there’s that word again) and addressing people’s questions and concerns. Eventually, when the mine gets through the regulatory process, I’ll step aside. But my attention to the integrity of the operation will not go away, even though someone who knows how to construct and operate a mine will take my place.” Q: What are the odds it will be man? A: “Who knows?” she said, laughing. “What were the odds I’d be here today?”
As a woman and leader, you have to be bold about hiring other women. Today we have 33% women in the leadership of our company. The company is stronger because of it.” www.idahomemagazine.com
Free Eats Project
A MOTHER AND SON DUO SHOW LOVE THROUGH FEEDING THE COMMUNITY BY HEATHER HAMILTON-POST
“I think sharing whatever one might have to offer to one’s community is ingrained in my culture, both ancestral, as a Black biracial woman, and proximal, as an Alabamian. I love to cook and I love to feed people,” says Amber Pollard–who founded the Free Eats Project in Boise with her son, George. “Pre-pandemic we would often host elaborate dinner parties and potlucks; Our house had an open door policy. If you were hungry and you showed up at my door at supper time, you ate,” she says. The project, which has been forming in Pollard’s mind for years, seeks to show love and community through food. That’s something she says she immediately missed when Covid-19 halted dinner parties and visits with friends. “Not being able to feed people–to show them how much I love them with food–really motivated the formation of Free Eats Project,” she says. With her son, Pollard feeds around 70 people a week, a number that keeps growing. The response from the community has been overwhelmingly positive. People are eager to help, offering everything from monetary donations to food donations (including Doug Martsch, of Built to Spill, who hosted an online fundraiser) and donations of kitchen items. Pollards says she and her son, who has been baking since seventh grade, have never been closer. “It’s not uncommon for me to spend the entire day in the kitchen on a Saturday. Whether it’s fixing up an elaborate meal or just organizing the cabinets. Now I get to spend the entire day in the kitchen with George and instead of cleaning or organizing we’re cooking for 70 people,” Pollard says. Once a week, the mother and son duo craft a delicious vegan menu. Their Instagram is filled with rave reviews and mouthwatering 32
pictures. “Each week we receive feedback from folks who say, ‘this meal was the best meal yet,’ or ‘this week’s meal was perfect,’ and then the next week we receive the same feedback, so it’s hard to tell what the biggest hit has been so far,” Pollard says. “I will tell you though, people won’t stop asking for George’s brownie recipe, so maybe that’s the biggest hit,” she adds. Pollard hopes the Free Eats Project will grow into a nonprofit with a small commercial kitchen space that can feed people for free on a daily basis. For now, she and George offer food for pickup on Sunday evenings, prioritizing food insecure folks and BIPOC community members, although there is often enough to feed anyone who wants to eat.
CREATIVITY “I am not a talented artist, so when school projects called for a visual component I would often bake cakes and such instead of putting together a poster. I learned to bake from science projects,” says George.
Amber and George’s vegan dishes get rave reviews. George’s brownie recipe is a popular request.
To sign up or learn how you can help, visit @FreeEatsProject on Instagram.
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BY KAREN DAY
n the 1980’s, Muffy Davis was 16 years-old and racing toward a spot on the U.S. Ski Team. Within reach was her childhood dream of competing in the Winter Olympics. And then, one morning in Sun Valley, racing down Bald Mountain at 45 miles per hour, she sped through a safety fence and hit a tree. “The best way to explain my paralysis is from the bra down,” Davis says, with a shrug and wry smile. “Women get it.”
MUFFY DAVIS: POWERING AHEAD
Interviewing on Zoom, Davis wears a tank top and sun visor, with biceps impressively well-toned and tan from vacation sun. Her physical handicap is nowhere apparent. Indeed, the same goes for her life as a mom, wife, motivational speaker, winner of three gold medals in the 2012 London Paralympic Games and Guinness World Record-holder for the most gold medals in Paralympic Road Cycling. Currently, she is serving her second term as a Blaine County Representative in the Idaho State Legislature. Ironically, this elected position proved to be one of her most dangerous endeavors. “I have limited lung capacity and I’m fully vaccinated now. But, this year, serving in the acting legislature during COVID, if I contracted it or brought it home to my daughter, who has asthma and allergies, the results could have been tragic,” she says. Davis is referring to the Idaho House (and Senate) that both recessed abruptly on March 19th after seven of the 70 House members tested positive for COVID-19. Seven of the eight sickened lawmakers refused to wear masks during session. The estimated cost to Idaho taxpayers for the legislative delay: $300,000. “My first lesson when I entered the House was that you can go in swinging, but the best way to make progress as a minority (D) is to work behind the scenes. Don’t introduce your own bills that will never get a hearing. Support 34
legislature brought forward by the party in power that also serves the best interests of your constituents. It’s more effective to amend or modify what’s actually coming to the floor for a vote. Workarounds, not fist-fights, get results,” Davis says.
A test of Davis’ hard-won insights arose with the recent decision of Republican lawmakers to refuse a $6 million federal early-learning grant. Idaho made national news
for all the wrong reasons when the House killed HB226 and one representative claimed funding would, “make it easier or more convenient for mothers to come out of the home…” Davis was pictured on U.S. News and World Report in front of the Statehouse, rallying women in protest from her wheelchair. “Who Let the Moms Out?!” said their signs. “Many Republican lawmakers were as outraged as I was,” says Davis. “So, it was clear that we (Democrats) should not be the most vocal opponents, or it would be labeled ‘liberal agenda.’ Davis shrugs. “It’s a cliché, but true. Pick your battles to win the war.” Two days later, the offending GOP legislator apologized for his “sexist’ remarks.” HB226 was brought back and barely passed the Senate (18-17). As of this writing, the grant bill sits on the House floor, awaiting a second vote. Going forward, Davis plans to run for Blaine County Commissioner. Whatever the future challenge, Muffy Davis will continue powering ahead, a lifelong work in progress.
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Virginia Woolf Sums It Up LESSONS FROM THE ENGLISH AUTHOR ON GRIEF AND HARD TIMES BY HARRISON BERRY
There’s no good time to deliver bad news. And so, on a warm summer day filled with birdsong, I took a call from my mother, whose first three words changed my life: “He’s leaving me!” Writing this, I have just received my first injection of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccination. The clouds from a year of quarantine and death have started to lift. With that release comes a new tension between wanting to make sense of what has happened to the world and my life, and the knowledge that, like my parents’ divorce, understanding may forever elude me. So it was for Woolf, whose life and work struggled to reckon with the havoc of the early 20th century. My parents’ marriage lasted 35 years, produced two children, and survived the collapse of the family business. In the months following its seemingly random demise, friends and family would forward their theories of what happened, and my parents would never explain why they split sheets the same way twice. From my mother’s announcement of the divorce to today, I’ve followed Virginia Woolf ’s observation that, “there is also the highly respectable opinion that character-mongering is much overdone nowadays.”
Born to a famous intellectual and a Pre-Raphaelite beauty, Woolf was raised among some of the greatest minds of the 19th century and with the full use of her father’s vast library. She was sexually abused early in life by a family member and, in 1895, her mother Julia died, kicking off a string of family calamities. She had a playful side. Her cadre of friends became the Bloomsbury Group, and in 1910, they participated in the Dreadnought Hoax, dressing as members of the Abyssinian royal family to gain access to the Royal Fleet and humiliate the Navy. A lifelong pacifist, she was deeply affected by the First World War. Her first groundbreaking novel, Jacob’s Room (1922), from which I cribbed the above quotation, obsesses over its titular character, who was killed in that conflict. Its narrator lurks behind bushes and spies on Jacob socializing, but the truth of him confounds: “It is no use trying to sum people up. One must follow hints, not exactly what is said, nor yet entirely what is done.”
Photo by WikiCommons
Thought to have suffered from bipolar disorder, Virginia Woolf was “one of the most professional, perfectionist, energetic, courageous, and committed writers in the language,”
her literary biographer Hermione Lee said.
Her characters reach for the cup of knowledge while Woolf pulls from the tap of grief. In her, depth of feeling meets breadth of output. Even in a sick year—Woolf probably suffered from bipolar disorder—she would send one novel www.idahomemagazine.com
to the printer and start writing another, all while keeping a diary, publishing shorter fiction and nonfiction, and reading voraciously. Describing her as “one of the most professional, perfectionist, energetic, courageous, and committed writers in the language,” her literary biographer Hermione Lee admitted, “I think I would have been afraid of meeting her. I am afraid of not being intelligent enough for her.” I first read Jacob’s Room as a freshman in college, my professor telling me that Woolf and I were “eminently distracted people.” Her language and ideas are high-gloss, easy to read but difficult to understand. Woolf taught me “I thought how more than anyone else that words depend on each other unpleasant it is to for meaning, like people, and be locked out; and this strongly influences my I thought how it is writing and my relationships. worse, perhaps, to I later wrote my thesis about be locked in.” gender transformation in her -Woolf on the novels, and her books on my lockdown during shelf serve as testament to my the approach of the pride in that project. Second World War.
Then came life-graduate school, failed romances and the deaths of grandparents. I began my journalistic career just as newspapers slipped into decline. The divorce fell in there, and speaking with my parents I felt as shamefully mute as Lily Briscoe did in To the Lighthouse (1927), when Mr. Ramsay came to her with his grief after the death of his wife. Mom and Dad bore their souls as best they could to assuage the fears and answer the questions they were sure I had. Sometimes, I wondered if I was a bad son for not feeling as intensely as they did? Perhaps, like Lily, I, “should have known how to deal with it.” Experience suggested fresh re-readings of her classics, and Woolf didn’t disappoint. As the Second World War approached, London prepared for the Blitz. “There is no society, no luxury, no splendour, no gadding and fitting,” Woolf wrote of the great metropolis on lockdown. “I thought how unpleasant it is to be locked out; and I thought how it is worse, perhaps, to be locked in.” Life similarly contracted in the present crisis, but the planet nonetheless rotated and robins now sit outside my window in yellow warmth. Do you hear their songs?
sister Tennessee, in spring 1870, Woodhull opened a brokerage firm on Wall Street, Woodhull, Claflin & Co., the first brokerage firm intended for—and headed by—women.
BY DIANE RAPTOSH
o you know the first woman to run for president? The first woman to have a seat on the Stock Exchange? The first woman to own a newspaper? To speak before Congress? They were all Victoria Claflin Woodhull (18381928).
Born into poverty—far from the inherited wealth that characterized most female suffragist leaders, Woodhull embodied several radical causes, from women’s right to vote to international socialism and free love. Most historians agree that Woodhull was the first woman to run for U.S. President. Indeed, Woodhull was nominated for this post by the newly formed Equal Rights Party in May 1872 in New York City, with abolitionist Frederick Douglass as presumptive running mate. Some historians, however, question the legality of her run, citing one of the following reasons: her age (she was a few months shy of the constitutionally mandated age of 35), the fact that the government declined to print her name on the ballot, or the fact women could not legally vote until August 1920. Notably, Douglass never acknowledged his nomination, serving instead as presidential elector in the U.S. Electoral College for New York State. Nonetheless, delivering such slogans as “Women and Negroes and the Workingman’s Passage,” Woodhull saw her historic nomination ratified at the June 6, 1872, convention.
Well before presidential hopeful Hillary Clinton was mocked as “the devil” by certain powerful sources, 19th-century tabloids used Woodhull family photos, featuring bedraggled characters and caricatures of Woodhull as “Mrs. Satan” as stock to lampoon all suffragists. Anti-suffrage men and women alike exploited tawdry Woodhull representations to discredit the movement as a threat to class privilege. Prominent suffragists such as Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Susan B. Anthony—once ardent supporters of Woodhull’s platform—eventually turned on her. In the six-volume account of the early women’s movement that Anthony and Stanton compiled— considered to be definitive—there appear no plaudits, no pictures, no mention of Woodhull in the index. According to suffragist leader Anthony, after May 1872, Woodhull no longer had a place in the women’s movement, nor in its history. My upcoming book, Run: A VerseHistory of Victoria Woodhull, to be published as part of a triptych of works by female poets (Trio, Etruscan Press, August 2021) seeks to redress this erasure, to ensure Woodhull a place in Victoria Woodhull was mocked as American history’s “Mrs. Satan” by tabloids because of her future. suffragist efforts. Photos by WikiCommons
A Place in History’s Future
Despite a background characterized by severe poverty and a childhood in which Woodhull and her sister Tennessee Claflin suffered alleged abuses from an alcoholic father, Woodhull and Claflin became well-known spiritualists and healers. The sisters railed against Victorian hypocrisy and exposed in their radical weekly newspaper Woodhull and Claflin’s Weekly the alleged adultery of America’s most highly revered preacher, Henry Ward Beecher. Woodhull was one of the few women to live out in public the principles of female emancipation, as well as to exemplify sexual and financial freedoms typically foreclosed to women. With
CONTRIBUTORS Heather Hamilton-Post is a writer and editor in Caldwell. She holds degrees in both agriculture and creative writing and is herself surprised by that. When she’s not writing, catch her at a socially distanced baseball game with her husband and young sons. Find her work across the web and buried in the lit journals you didn’t know you had. After graduating from the University of Iowa with a master’s degree in journalism, Harrison Berry returned to Boise, where he spent eight years working for Boise Weekly, rising to the position of managing editor. His work has appeared in publications from Business Insider to American Theatre. He currently works for Boise State University. Hailey Minton is a freelance writer and loves painting with her words. She approaches life with inquisitiveness whether in writing, raising her daughter, or developing her hobbies. With a Bachelor’s in Business Management, she has a love for seeing innovators bring solutions to our ever-changing world. Diane Raptosh’s fourth poetry collection, American Amnesiac (Etruscan Press), was longlisted for the 2013 National Book Award. Her latest collection, Run: A Verse-History of Victoria Woodhull, will be published by Etruscan (2021) as part of Trio, a triptych of works by three female poets. She teaches English at the College of Idaho. Lex Nelson is a Boise-based reporter, ghost writer, blogger, and food enthusiast. She specializes in food, art, and environmental reporting, and her work has been published by Boise Weekly, The Idaho Press, Edible Idaho, Visit Idaho, and more. President of The Alturas Institute, Adler has lectured nationally and internationally on the Constitution. The author of several books, he was Professor of Political Science at Idaho State University, and has held the McClure Professorship at the University of Idaho and the Andrus Professorship at Boise State University.
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