Thursday, July 21, 2011

My Favorite Memory

In celebration of Clearwater County’s 100th Birthday, the Clearwater Tribune would like to publish our readers’ favorite memory of their time in this area. Here are the latest submissions.

Submitted by Eunice Weinmann Kincaid

My name is Eunice Weinmann Kincaid. I live in Damascus, Oregon, now, but I lived in Orofino from 1938 to 1956, with a couple of summers back there while I was in college in Lewiston. I have no photographs of my 18 years in Orofino, and I have a thousand memories. One of my best memories was in a playoff basketball game in Lewiston in 1954-1955. Our band was there, and the electricity suddenly went off.

As good Maniacs, as one man, we began to play the fight song in the dark. That was electrifying! Our team won and went on to win the division. I always thought that I was the one to suggest playing our team song, but in later years, I have heard several others claim the credit - so I think the idea hit a bunch of us at the same time.

Submitted by John R. Werner, New York

In the summer of 1962 my bride Lucy (whom I’d met at the Univ. of Wash. journalism school) and I returned from Pittsburgh following my graduation there in printing management, to produce the 50th anniversary edition of the Clearwater Tribune, then owned by my mom and dad Bob and Vera Werner.

We worked all summer long preparing the extra pages that were printed and accumulated for assembly and distribution in August. That made for lots of extra work for printers Julian (foreman) and Jack Dahl who typeset all the material on the old Linotype and Intertype machines, and for pressman Wally Rugg.  Leonard Knotts may was an apprentice printer along about then, as well. This is but one wonderful memory of my work there, good newspaper training before joining The New York Times Western Edition in Los Angeles late that summer.

Earlier, about 1955, before Dworshak Dam was built (named for the late Senator Henry Dworshak), the Idaho State Land Board would make an annual week-long junket down the North Fork on big rubber rafts used by PFI for its annual log drive. Learning about and seeing first hand land and, importantly, sustained forest utilization was the mission of the trip. CTPA chief Bert Curtis hosted the governor and legislators among other dignitaries on this cruise from Boehl’s cabin each summer.

That left me and the office staff to produce the Clearwater Tribune while dad floated with the others on this trip.  On that Thursday morning I flew with bush pilot Tom Kiiskila in his Piper Cub into the North Fork region to drop the latest edition of the Clearwater Tribune (and Lewiston Tribune—we were ecumenical) to the travelers on the beach. As we approached the beach spot, Tom flipped open the Piper’s right windows, rolled the Cub up on its right side, so, leaning out I was looking straight down at the ground.

Over the roar Tom shouted to me to make the drop. “Make dam sure you throw the bundle hard enough to miss the plane’s tail,” he cautioned. I did. Earlier, in 1948, dad had worked in Wash. D.C. as administrative assistant for his old friend Sen. Dworshak. [That spring, (I was in the 5th grade) we lived in WDC and thus missed the flood of 1948.] This friendship persisted and when Congress approved the Dam, it and the fish hatchery that followed were subsequently named for him.

Submitted by Joe Goffinet, Lewiston

It was the fall of 1960 and the school year had just started. The County Fair was three weeks away. In those days the Junior Class, then the class of 1962, by tradition was in charge of the high school float for the parade. We were an innovative group and we decided that we had to have the best float ever, not just from the school, but from the whole community, but we had only three weeks.

I am almost certain that the theme that year was "Grow with Idaho" or something close to that. We decided that our float would have the theme of "Idaho Grows Through Education". That part was easy. Then we had to get down to the nitty gritty. Bill Cummings gave us a trailer and a place to build it. His shop was up on the hill behind the elementary school. I think that now it is the Shamion Body Shop.

That was one hurdle overcome, but what would the float look like? We decided that we would do a big three dimensional state of Idaho and put all the institutions of higher education on it. We built the frame in the shape of the state and then covered it with chicken wire. We also had to have a skirt of chicken wire around the trailer.

This "Idaho" was very big and very tall. All that chicken wire had to be filled with napkins. Of course blue and white would have been perfect but for whatever reason we could not get enough blue napkins, so it ended up being pink and white. But size was not enough for us. We wanted to Wow the crowd so we managed to figure out a way for the "Idaho" to be on a pivot and it would rotate. Butch Engstrom won the honor of lying on his back and rotating the Idaho. It was so tall that we had to lift utility lines along the way to get it to the parade.

This was a major undertaking stuffing all those napkins in the chicken wire. We recruited everyone we could to help. We did not have a lot of time to build this thing and we worked late into every night to finish. No one would go home for dinner, so one night my mom cooked a big pot of chili for all of us. It was very easy for us because I lived very near. We ate and went back to stuffing napkins.

I do not remember who paid for all of those napkins. I think we had a small budget from the school, but I am sure that parents pitched in for most of them. We recruited any body that could help stuff napkins, from all classes. Having girlfriends and/or boy friends from other classes helped.

The day of the parade we were still finishing up. But it was done. Butch was put inside and guys who had to lift up utility lines to get the float downtown and finally we got the float down to Johnson Ave.(It is still Main Street to me).

I must say that it was magnificent. I know that there had never been a float like it in the parade and I am not sure there has ever been another one like it. In addition the first color photo to be used in the annual "The Prospector" was in the 1961 edition.

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