American Elephants

From My Second Story Window… by The Elephant's Child
January 4, 2023, 2:56 pm
Filed under: Politics

The sky, today, is uniformly white with very pale smears of blue in some few spots. Not promising. But the clouds don’t seem to be rain clouds either. Twinkling light far off to the South, but it is not moving at all. Not a plane or radio tower. No idea. I do like to be able to identify what I am seeing with my own eyes. That shouldn’t be an outrageous request! My second story window faces east, towards the Cascade mountains, although I cannot see the mountains from my window at all. If I want to see snow, I would have to drive up to the pass. City snow is not a desirable outcome.

I grew up with snow, usually around 4 feet, all winter. Which one discovered by looking out the window or the front door. Steady plowing and shoveling, good sledding. We built an igloo one winter, and a maze another.We had a dandy sledding hill, steep enough for a fast and fun run, not so long that it was a pain in the neck to haul a sled back up the hill. Constant battle with the section hands who wanted a completely snow and ice-free crossing, and we wanted a compromise. The railroad tracks were at the bottom of the paved hill, heading on north. Busy when there was a lot of logging for the lumber mill in the next town to the South, and briefly when carloads of cattle where sent off to market. Had a lot of cattle ranches in our country. Herfords. Lumber mill in the nearest (9 mi.) town. Superintendent of the mill was our star border. We had a small hotel open in the summer months, but he stayed with us all year. Hotel in the nearest town was not a particularly attractive option.

The dining room in our hotel was ranked as the best in the state. A young man was making his way through the Great Depression by writing reviews of local restaurants for local newspapers. Not much that was spectacular. My favorite in those years was “The Mechanife” This was a small restaurant in Boise that was built around an enclosed rubber belt that brought your order, and you grabbed it from a sliding window at your table. If you missed it you just had to wait until it came around again. My parents hated it, but I loved being able to open the little sliding window and grab my dinner. The young man writing reviews was named Duncan Heinz, (yes, that one) who eventually became a cake mix. There are lots of interesting stories from the Great Depression, and a lot of new things were created because of it.

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