Sunday, October 14, 2012

Old Bruneau by George E. Steunenberg

The following comes from among some papers and letters of my mother's. Her mother, my grandmother, Frances Beardsley Wood Steunenberg, apparently transcribed this verse written by Major George Steunenberg after it had appeared in the Idaho Statesman. The transcription is not dated, but I am guessing the poem appeared at a later date in the Statesman, perhaps circa 1930's-40's, and grandma Frances copied it sometime during that period. Maybe the Statesman or someone else has a copy of the original article so we could pinpoint the publication date.

If George's reference to 46 years is his age at the time, that would date his having written the original approximately 1916.

There are additional notations from my grandmother Frances and my mother Brenda on the back (below) indicating my grandfather Julian always kept a copy of this poem—but I am not sure if the reference is to this transcribed version or perhaps a clipping of the one published in the Statesman. I do have another transcribed typed version put together by my Crookam kin at a later date (1994). There are some very slight grammatical and punctuation differences but both versions are essentially the same.

Old Bruneau by George E. Steunenberg
Courtesy of DB's Travel
A picture of Bruneau Valley;
    I hold it to gaze and gaze!
That winding river, those same old hills
     That I knew in my younger days.

Just 46 years in the distance.
    I've girdled the globe since then.
But I never forgot that darling old spot,
     And I long to see it again!

Bruneau Past
Old Bruneau was simple and rustic;
      And hardly a slave to the law,
With its chattering hoofs, and jovial men
    Who swallowed their whiskey raw.

Oh I long for that old time freedom!
    The smell of the sage in the air!
But I'll never go back to old Brueneau,
    Because it just ain't there.
Yes, I know the maps all show it.
    The highway is smooth and fast.
But never an engineer has built
    A road back to the past.

You may follow the maps till doomsday,
    But the places are new and strange.
And the Bruneau of forty-six years ago
    Is ever beyond the range!
Bruneau Past

I know there's a gasoline station
    Replacing the hitching rail.
There's a dirty garage that stinks of grease
    Beside that winding trail.

And instead of the campfire chorus,
    And the songs that we used to know,
Some Hollywood crooner is whining away
    On a hell-born radio.

Bruneau Past
 Yes, I know it's the march of progress.
    I now that is has to be.
But Bruneau Valley and auto gas -
    They just don't sit right with me.

So I will cling to my old time picture -
    I may be old-fashioned and slow-
But I'd rather remember old Bruneau
    As it was in the long ago.

Editorial note: The Statesman (Idaho) is indebted to Major Steunenberg for this delightful bit of verse, to which many pioneers of the district will say "Amen."

Monday, October 8, 2012

KTTV 11 TV Icon 'Sheriff John' Dies on Saturday at 93

I lost an old friend in Boise this past weekend. Never met him but we "talked" nonetheless just about everyday when I was a young preschooler growing up in the 1950's. He was a part of my history. Not sure how many Boiseans realized the treasure they had living out his later years within their midst. 

John Rovick donned a sheriff's
 hat, khaki uniform and badge to
become Sheriff John on KTTV's
 daily "Cartoon Time" show.

 (Rothschild Photo/KTTV)

Idaho Statesman

KTTV Los Angeles

 "Sheriff' John dies at 93; popular L.A. children's TV host

Remembering Sheriff John

"Sheriff John" (Rovick) Birthday Tribute  

While growing up in in Southern California, Sheriff John was a regular stop on my childhood TV itinerary.  Of course we had the same name, so that was cool, and what kid wouldn't want to be a sheriff and have a badge. To top it off,  it didn't get any better then the birthday club, especially on the day Sheriff John would read your name live on the air and wish you a happy birthday. I remember the day it finally happened, as for some reason mom had to make sure I was tuned in on the old black and white TV and paying attention to the show. On that day, I watched and heard Sheriff John say my name before the daily singing of: Put Another Candle on my Birthday Cake. 

Yes, Sheriff John was kind of corny, as were a lot of kid shows in those days. We were innocent (this sheriff had no guns and never shot nobody),  taught us manners, no cuss words, how to treat people with kindness and respect and to celebrate our family and friends. Seems we could use a little more "corny" back in our lives and on our big screen 3D HDTV's of today.  

Rest in Peace Sheriff.
"Laugh and be Happy" everybody.

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Golden Arches

Nothing new here but just happened to run across these two photos next to each other in an album from my parents house. A couple of famous and very similar Idaho sandstone arches. Unfortunately, the Idaho pen arch is gone. A lot of folks, and certainly most all the players in our Steunenberg assassination and Haywood trial saga, past under and through both of these entryways at one time or another.
IDAN-HA Hotel circa 1940's. The car on the left in front of the hotel says "Idan-Ha Cab" on the door.
Idaho State Pen circa 1940's.

And from elsewhere on the bog, the Steunenberg block in Caldwell with it's many mostly brick arches.
An original McD's still in Downey, CA
In terms of my personal arch related history, I was known to walk quite frequently through arches just like these when I lived in Thousand Oaks (aka T.O.), CA circa 1960's. Outside service only with no place to go inside and sit like you could do at the Idan-Ha or the pen. The original arches in T.O. are now gone as are the 20¢ burgers (25¢'s usually, as I always wanted cheese) and an extra 15¢ for fries and 10¢ for a coke.

Thursday, July 9, 20
THE GATE ON WARM SPRINGS ROAD (Idaho Penitentiary, Boise, Idaho)

Not a sandstone archway but the other famous gate in our story: Friday, January 30, 2009
"The Gate on 16th Avenue" - A Century Ago and Today

Boise Sandstone (ISHS Reference Series)

List of Quarries in Idaho & Quarry Links, Photographs and Articles