Merle Parsley, an ex-state senator from Sandpoint, recalls his scrape with the late Ron Rankin differently. Last week, Huckleberries told of the 1966 fight at the old North Shore resort parking lot between Parsley and Rankin. Rankin’s wife, Alice, and eyewitness Gary Ingram confirmed the account. Also, Rankin told me a similar story more than once. Parsley told Huckleberries his version from his Boise home. He said he caught Rankin and Ingram at the state Demo convention putting “garbage literature” against Parsley’s gubernatorial candidate (Lloyd Walker) under car wiper blades at 2 in the morning. Parsley’s account: “Ingram ran like a gut-shot coyote. Rankin tried to run, but he was too fat. Rankin was about 300 lbs. and 6 feet in height. I was about 150 lbs. and 5 foot, 6 inches in height. I got a hold of Rankin, but he easily threw me to the ground. I got up quickly and started to circle him. I feigned that I was going to put a left hook into the right side of his gut. He doubled over trying to protect himself as I thought he would. I then leveled the most beautiful straight right hand on his nose, and the nose exploded like a smashed tomato. His knees buckled, and he turned to run as the blood spurted from his face. As he tried to run, he said: “You broke my nose, and I’m going to sue you!” Parsley goes on to say that Rankin filed charges against him for assault and that he was found innocent by a jury that deliberated only one hour.
You can read Merle Parsley’s complete account of the fight here.
You can read the account of the fight as told to me and/or HBO by Ron and Alice Rankin and Gary Ingram here.