to celebrate 150th year in 2012, area history included
(History continued from last week)
This week our focus (if we don’t go astray) will be on the early to mid 1970’s.
First we want to mention all the good people who seem to like the way we are trying to preserve some of our past history. As we often mention, we are just trying to do our part in keeping this for generations to come, 20-50-100 years down the road. Just like the 300 or so stories that will make this project go, we are trying to reflect the difference in the way people feel or remember events both, within the family and in the greater area covered here. Some people, it seems, would rather forget the past and look only to the future. Our experiences show the knowledge of history really makes quite a difference in our future. “It’s a lot easier to learn from our mistakes made in the past than to make the same error over and over again.” As one of the old timers often repeated “To figure out what and when you have to know where and how” also it was repeated “People who don’t care where they are going often find many roads going there.”
Back to the things going on around in our world back in the seventies. The people from this area now were all sitting on the same side of the gym. The school public meetings had many more people there and the school board had a new look.
Various changes in busing, class size, sporting events all took place with a sense of caring and understanding. The Job Corps was being shut down and it was decided, after a number of public meetings, to establish a wing of the Idaho Dept. of Corrections here at the unused former Air Force facilities. With the help of the three road districts and the National Guard, the athletic fields were improved and with the help of many, Prairie Public Schools was off and running and now we became a real factor in both state education and in most of the sport programs.
About this time saw big changes in U.S. 95 as it passed through the area. People who lived in town along the old US 95 route remarked at the huge difference in traffic and noise.
On television All in the Family with Archie and Edith Bunker started on TV. Apollo 14 landed on the Moon. Huge rallies in D.C. and San Francisco protest the war in Viet Nam. A couple months later Apollo 15 goes to the Moon and uses ground transportation to get around before their safe return. D.B. Cooper pulls of a plan heist and jumps out between Portland and Seattle. In June the Watergate scandal happens and President Nixon is mixed up in it.
In March 1973 the last U.S. soldier leaves Viet Nam. In August 1973 Nixon resigns and Gerald Ford takes over as President.
With improved communi-cations and transportation we all here in our own little world have become more and more involved in all the national news and happenings. In January 1975 the Pittsburgh Steelers defeat the Minnesota Vikings.
Somehow are interests have widened and all the trouble in Ireland, Europe and Asia seem to be another worry and point of concern.
Here we talk politics different than we used to. Lifelong party affiliation goes by the wayside. We vote one way, then the other. It seems like a new face pops up and his ideas sound good. We vote his way in and in a year or two our new man has joined in the corruption and mess and no longer sounds like the guy we voted for and elected. More and more people give up and go to the political trough! The government system that we only read about in Europe has seeped into our system. Political crime and corruption, like always, has become a way of life. Here in Idaho County the benefit points we receive from the government exceeds the taxes we pay. We celebrate our bicentennial with a mixture of feelings. The next fifty years brings many new ideas but we are “hooked” on the new system and forge on ahead.
Every time we go out on the prairie and see what’s now left of the great mountains all around us, we realize how small our own history is compared to the Butte or the Bitterroots to the east. We can only guess how this land was formed in the “big bang.” We like to feel somehow we have left a mark-but a few thousand years from now it might be pretty hard to see. Whether our concerns today will measure up to those who follow? If we had long or short hair? Will it matter?
Our next meeting of this outfit will be Feb. 9 at 2 p.m. in the Library. Among other things we will be discussing the time frame as we decide on printing and layouts and shape our policy for “drawing up the strings.” Our count now stands at about 240 stories in the box of personal family stories and about 90 more works in progress. Then we have 40 to 50 business and organization stories to also lay out. This is right on target of approximately 350 to 375 total stories. This will go a lot easier if we set a final date for stories and go to finishing this up. Thanks to all for your interest and help. The 150 year committee will decide on the way we proceed from here deciding on the arrangement of all this information and if it will be possible to get it in one very large book or if we will go to two books, possibly about 350 pages each. Depending on several decisions now being made our target date is still August for the book to be printed and then delivered to the people who subscribe first. Hopefully we will set the first price and how to subscribe within the next month.
The sons of Henry Forsman, Sr., who homesteaded in Keuterville in the 1890’s. From left are Robert, Lou, Herman, Ben, Lawrence, Henry, Alvin, Charles and Frank.
The Henry Forsman homestead site.
Henry and Mary Forsman of Keuterville. Wedding photo, 1899.
No matter where you went, some of the people ended up reminiscing or telling stories? I had a few uncles, in fact most all of them, who were good storytellers! First off, when I was a boy it seemed like everyone was old, but they all started “a few years back” and most stories were better than getting it our of a book. Nowadays it’s “I’ll bet you don’t remember when you saw more horse outfits on Main Street than cars.”
Remember when it seemed there was always ditch digging going on? The digger usually had a file to keep his shovel sharp and a wood chisel to keep it clean. It wouldn’t be long before you’d get a lesson on the right way to do it! “If you use your head, you don’t have to use your back so much.” One dollar an hour moves a lot more rock and dirt than 75 cents used to!
Remember when rockpicking and weeding was done by hand in the fields as well as the gardens?
When the “bindles” cut and bundled the hay and the “shocks” were set up by field workers? Sitting on a cushioned seat cutting hay, with an air conditioned cab, it’s hard to visualize the older generations in the same fields swathing with a hand swept scythe and then going over the same field tying bindles and pitching either hay or grain several times before it landed in sack or in the hay mow. No wonder 45 or 50 years use to “use up” a body!