Sunday, June 04, 2006

My own private Idaho



You're livin in your own Private Idaho. Idaho.
You're out of control, the rivers that roll,
you fell into the water and down to Idaho.
Get out of that state,
get out of that state you're in.
You better beware.

You're living in your own Private Idaho.
You're living in your own Private Idaho.
--Private Idaho, B-52's

If you have never lived here, you probably don't think of Idaho as being hot. It is. At least southern Idaho and Boise are. It has been in the 90s here. But unlike my childhood here, I now have air conditioning. It helps.

I imagine they had air conditioning when I was a kid. We just didn't have air conditioning. We had fans. They managed to keep the hot air circulating until night. Then we had windows. But the heat got to me. It slowed everything down to a painful pace. Too slow for my young mind.

Summer in Boise was a dead time to me. Everything turns brown in the heat. It rains in summer here, but not enough to make the place green. It's like that now...brown. Boise's aura has always been brown.

The photo above is of Table Rock, the landmark plateau that overlooks Boise. The white cross has been there for as long as I can remember. It stands there as if waiting for members of the Klan to light it up at any time. But as far as I know there are no KKK in Boise. There used to be a pretty larger contingent of John Birch Society members, however.

I'm actually at the airport in Boise now. They have free Wifi access, which is very progressive. I drove to my mom's before coming to the airport and said goodbye. I left her standing in front of her house moving the sprinkler around.

I guess I accomplished what I came her to accomplish. I sat with my mom for hours listening to what she could remember about her family and growing up. I brought home a few more old photos that I will scan and add to the family archive I have begun.

I guess the sense I have ended up with is that my mom remembers what she can but has blocked much of her childhood out. It was not a happy time for her. Mom mother has always giggled when she is nervous or uncomfortable. She giggled when she told me of the blackeye her father gave her when he thought she was dating a mormon boy.

She also giggled when she talks of the nicknames all of her brothers and sisters had growing up. Her's was simple "Fat." She never was fat, but she always saw herself that way because of her childhood.

Her brother Edgar's nickname was Bert. Mom said that she and Edgar were inseparable as children but she couldn't say, "brother." It came out "Brrrr" which people interpreted as "Bert." The name stuck.

Bert never went to high school because "the old man" didn't believe in education in the same way he didn't believe in associating with mormons. My mom snuck off to go to high school. She was the first one in her family to graduate.

I learned, or relearned many things about my mother, including how she met and married my father. So it was time well spent.

Still I am glad to leave this place and the heat that slows down your brain, despite the air conditioning. I'm sure I will return, but Boise will never be home to me again.
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