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HucksOnline Interviews Linda Beeman

Huckleberries contacted poet Linda (Hall) Beeman, formerly of Wallace, who has written a book of rhymes, entitled “Wallace, Idaho.” Here's the phone interview from moments ago:

Huckleberries: What inspired you to pen a book of poems about Wallace, Idaho?

Linda Beeman: I came back for the centennial celebration of the 1910 fire a few years ago. That set off a series of memories and flashbacks. It flowed pretty naturally. I also read several books about Wallace and the area, like Timothy Egan's “The Big Burn.” I was amazed how much I didn't know about my home town.”

  • Huckleberries: How long did you live in Wallace?
  • Linda Beeman: I was 5 when we moved there in 1952 until I graduated from high school 1965.
  • Huckleberries: Did you actually go to Wallace's infamous houses looking for school donations?
  • Linda Beeman: I did not but Bruce Austin did. I went door-to-door in our neighborhood. Bruce was in my class. I think he ended up living in Spokane and selling insurance. He was a real entrepreneur. He would go to the houses — and our class always won prizes for selling the most candy.
  • Huckleberries: Which poem in the book is your favorite?
  • Linda Beeman: The one about my father, “R.G.” He was a poignant subject for me. He was a careful, prudent man. I think he always longed for a wider world. He was in the Navy. After that, I felt like he settled in order to provide a good home for my mother and myself.
  • Huckleberries: Have you written any other poetry?
  • Linda Beeman: Yes, but this is my first book. I have some collections but they've never been published like that before.
  • Huckleberries: What took you away from the Silver Valley?
  • Linda Beeman: Mills College in Oakland, Calif. I now live on Whidbey Island.
  • Huckleberries: Is there any North Idaho/Spokane book store selling “Wallace, Idaho”?
  • Linda Beeman: I'm working on it. I'm talking to Aunties in Spokane. I'm sure next summer I will be doing some readings in Missoula, Moscow and Boise.
  • More information including how to buy Linda's book here.

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About this blog

D.F. Oliveria is a columnist and blogger for The Spokesman-Review. Print Huckleberries is a past winner of the Herb Caen Memorial Column contest by the National Association of Newspaper Columnists. The Readership Institute of Northwestern University cited this blog as a good example of online community journalism.

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