what you’ll find in this issue
Cortright Talks Ox and Goats STORY & PHOTO BY KAREN BOSSICK
A Historic Ketchum and Sun Valley Bus Tour Every Friday Page 9
Bellevue Open Studios this Friday, Saturday Page 23
Basking in Basque History at the Trailing of the Sheep Festival Page 27
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chorus of “ooohs” and “ahhhs” rang out as Linda Cortright showed a slide of a brown baby goat amidst a sea of white cashmere goats. “You would never see this in China because it’s not perfect,” she told the men and women packed into the Sawtooth Botanical Garden building. “Brown or tan goats will produce oatmealcolored cashmere.” Cortright regaled standingroom-only crowds at the Botanical Garden and The Community Library this past weekend as she spun stories of the animals and the people around the world who provide the fiber for our coats and blankets. Cortright left a corporate world in Philadelphia in the late 1990s when she figured out “there was a part of me that knew I was not doing what I was put on Earth to do.” She headed to Maine to raise cashmere goats but there was no book on raising cashmere goats, which had just been introduced into the United States in the late 1980s. But, it turned out, the vice president of the Eastern Cashmere Goats Association lived just 10 miles down the road and so Cortright’s quest was on. When that wasn’t enough, Cortright started “Wild Fibers” magazine—a magazine rich in imagery and culture—“as a farmer with a passport” and $6,000 in her savings account. “I thought, ‘I can’t start a magazine—I’m not a writer.’ Then I realized my biggest
see more trailing
See more on this year’s Trailing of the Sheep on page 27.
reason for not starting the magazine was that I was scared of failing. Now I have 50,000 subscribers,” said Cortright, who also offers tours. The magazine opened the doors to some amazing adventures. One trip took her to New Zealand where she accompanied herders who were rounding up renegade sheep in New Zealand’s mountains by helicopter. The herders would jump out of the helicopter onto the sheep, tie them up and transport them by helicopter—the sheep folded into little balls of wool beneath the chopper. Another took her to Tibet where the climate is so dry that the nomads can only operate their mill five months of the year. She’s trailed goats with 12-year-old herders who used slingshots to keep birds of prey from swooping down on their baby goats. She’s visited sheep penned alongside the sea in Scotland that have learned to thrive on the seaweed the tide brings in. And she’s watched nomads ripping up the soil that fed their animals in order to harvest worms that fetch $50,000 a pound from Chinese who think they can be turned into a wonder drug. Cortright cautioned against taking fiber-producing animals out of their natural environ-
teve d’Smith and Melody Mauldin star in Rodgers and Hammerstein’s “The King and I” Thursday through Sunday at the nexStage Theatre in Ketchum. The play, put on by St. Thomas Playhouse, starts at 7 p.m. nightly, with additional 2 p.m. matinees Saturday and Sunday. Tickets are available at Iconoclast Books in Ketchum or by calling 208-726-5349. COURTESY Photo
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shortest day of the year to see muskox in their natural environment. She didn’t see a single muskox, only to return to the small town where she learned the muskox had been hanging out by the airport all day. While at the Trailing of the Sheep Festival, Cortright visited the May Ranch near Twin Falls and John Peavey’s sheep herd grazing out Corral Creek. “This festival celebrates what’s so important to this community,” she said. “I have such great respect for this festival—it honors man, the animal and the land. And it’s nice not to have to hire a translator.” tws
Fools, Center Present ‘Happily Ever After?’
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ment. Muskox used to living in the barren Arctic have such an incredibly simple immune system that they get parasites that kill them when you try to domesticate them and put them on grass, she said. And cashmere goats raised in lush environments develop a coarse fiber rather than the soft cashmere that makes them the “ultimate luxury fiber.” “Fine cashmere comes from really hungry goats,” she said. Not all of Cortright’s trips have produced the images and stories she wanted for her magazine. She spent $5,000 to fly to an island off Alaska to spend six hours snowmobiling in minus43-degree temperatures on the
The King and I Starts Thursday
Mon– Friday 8 a.m. - 5 p.m.
Linda Cortright says that muskox are smaller than cows, contrary to popular thought. They naturally shed their fiber so you can pull it right off.
On November 9 and 10, Company of Fools and the Sun Valley Center for the Arts will present Happily Ever After?— an enchanting concert at The Liberty Theatre in Hailey that explores fairy tales in the American musical theatre. Happily Ever After? will feature music from some of Broadway’s favorite fairy-tale musicals, including Into the Woods, Cinderella, Once Upon a Mattress and The little Mermaid. R.L. Rowsey and John Glenn direct an ensemble cast of extraordinary talent—from Broadway and the Wood River Valley—to create the happiest of evenings. This program has been fully sponsored by Jeri Wolfson and all ticket revenue will support the evolving partnership between the Company of Fools and the Sun Valley Center for the Arts. For this special production, Company of Fools has assembled a stellar
ensemble of guest and local artists featuring Jana Arnold, Teri Bibb, Liz Larson, John Mauldin and Andy Umberger. Company of Fools’ Season Sponsors are High Country Fusion, Main St. Market, Cox Communications, Wood River Insurance, and media sponsor The Weekly Sun. Tickets are $30 for adults, $20 for seniors and $10 for students. “10 for $10” tickets will be available for these performances as well as a special group rate: six/more get $20 tickets! Tickets may be purchased online at companyoffools.org, by phone at 208.578.9122 or at the box office starting one hour prior to curtain. “10 for $10”: Ten seats are sold for $10 each on each night at the box office starting one hour prior to the performance. Limit two tickets per person. Shows start at 7 p.m.
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October 17, 2012
ID. DLR. 4591
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