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‘Wallace, Idaho’ Poet To Visit

Linda Beeman will be reading poems from her just-published chapbook celebrating the history of Wallace over the Father’s Day weekend in Spokane, Coeur d’Alene and Wallace. Reading-signings are scheduled at 5 p.m. on Friday, June 14th at the Northern Pacific Depot Museum in Wallace, at 2 p.m. on Saturday, June 15, at Auntie’s Bookstore in Spokane and at 1 p.m. on Sunday, June 16, at Hastings in Coeur d’Alene. According to reviewers, Beeman mixes the journalistic, historic and lyric to tell the story of a mythic, rough-and-tumble mining town that enriched the Inland Empire with its vast silver deposits. She writes about Wallace’s early labor wars, the devastating 1910 fire that consumed the town, and a Sunshine Mine disaster that asphyxiated 91 miners. Interspersed with those dramatic events are quieter memories of a 1960s childhood. More here.

DFO: I've read Linda's poems. Very, very good.

Question: Do you enjoy poetry? Favorite poet?

Hucks: Wallace Poems Harken Back

A book of poetry about “Wallace, Idaho,” that recalls the bygone houses of prostitution begs reading: “Every 12-year-old charged/with selling something to benefit anything/knew like the Lord’s Prayer/the first steps you climbed led to brothel doors.” Whidbey Island, Wash., poet Linda (Hall) Beeman wrote those lines in “Hook Houses.” In a telephone interview, she told Huckleberries that she didn’t visit the Oasis, Lux and Sahara to sell school candy while growing up in Wallace, 1952-’65. But a classmate named Bruce did. Beeman was inspired to celebrate Wallace in rhyme after returning to her hometown for the centennial of the August 1910 fire. “That set off a series of memories and flashbacks. It flowed pretty naturally,” she said. Late mining magnate Harry Magnuson earned an entry: “His accounting and penny stock savvy/build inroads and a fortune.” And “Miners,” she wrote, “unhinge me/their raw edginess a glimpse into hot dark underground.” Linda penned poems about the 1972 mining disaster, the 1910 fire, I-90 and the Cataldo Mission, too/DFO, SR Huckleberries. More here.

More weekend SR columns:

Question: Do you read poetry?

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.

Wallace, Idaho

Linda L. Beeman's booklet of poems re: "Wallace, Idaho" has just arrived. Top-notched rhymes of the Great Fire, prostitutes & Uncle Bunker, including "Hook House," which begins:

"Every 12-year-olds charged/With selling something to benefit anything/Knew   like the Lord’s Prayer/The first steps you climbed led to brothel doors"

And: "On the Rocks," which begins:

"By 1955 only weathered screeds/painted on the odd boulder/denouncing Wobblies survived/hinting at savage battles—/union versus mine owner."

And: "Harry," which begins:

"Harry lived down the block at First and Bank/grandson of one of those Bull penned/miners caught up in early labor wars."

If you love history and/or Wallace, "Wallace, Idaho" is a must read. It's available from Amazon.com for $10, plus shipping and handling, or signed copies can be ordered from the author, lbeeman@whidbey.com, for $14, including shipping and handling. And you can tell Linda that Huckleberries sent you. More info here.


Poems Celebrate ‘Wallace, Idaho’

Readers can feel the personal witnessing of history, says Frances McCue of Linda Beeman’s just published book of poems, “Wallace, Idaho,” and it’s really powerful. Beeman mixes the journalistic, historic and lyric to tell the story of a mythic, rough-and-tumble mining town that enriched the Inland Empire with its vast silver deposits and the vivid people attracted by them. Her keen observations could only have come from a native daughter. She writes about Wallace’s early labor wars, the devastating 1910 fire that consumed the town, and a Sunshine Mine disaster that asphyxiated 91 miners. Interspersed with those dramatic events are quieter memories of a 1960s childhood, such as

every 12-year-old charged

with selling something to benefit anything

knew like the Lord’s Prayer

the first steps you climbed led to brothel doors

This collection pays homage to a time, a way of life and a gritty place with fondness and grace. Wallace, Idaho is available from Amazon.com for $10, or signed copies can be ordered from the author, lbeeman@whidbey.com, for $14, including shipping and handling.

Question: What is the last poem — or book of poems — that you've read?

Cindy: Singing The Blues In Wallace

Some parents take their kids to Disneyland for vacation, some travel to the Oregon Coast, others prefer to go camping. We took our kids to Wallace, Idaho. The area’s rich mining history didn’t prompt our pilgrimage, nor was it the lure of the Oasis Bordello Museum. It was the blues that drew us – specifically, the inaugural Historic Wallace Blues Festival. Derek and I love blues music, and our youngest two sons have inherited our appreciation of this American art form. None of us had ever been to Wallace, so our trip felt like a true adventure/Cindy Hval, SR Front Porch. More here. (SR file photo of downtown Idaho)

Question: Do you enjoy blues music? And/or: Wallace?

Fugitive arrested in Center of Universe

MISSOULA, Mont. (AP) — A man who failed to appear in court on charges he caused a disturbance at a Missoula hotel was taken into custody by a bail bond company after a standoff at a Wallace, Idaho, hotel.

Michael Dell Babinski, 42, was booked into the Missoula County jail early Tuesday, the Missoulian (http://bit.ly/HHBR9U) reported.

Chase Investigations owner Kelli Martin told the newspaper her team took Babinski into custody at about 2 a.m. Tuesday at the Wallace Inn. She said he raved about bombs and the federal Department of Homeland Security during the standoff.

Babinski initially was arrested Saturday at the Hilton Garden Inn. He had been kicked out of the Missoula hotel on Thursday for having a dog. He returned on Friday. On Saturday, prosecutors said Babinski was again asked to leave and threatened to "take down" the hotel. Officers said he was carrying several knives, a semiautomatic handgun, a stun gun and pepper spray and had a large dog with him.

Officers who searched Babinski at the jail Saturday reported finding eight hydrocodone tablets and 7 ½ tablets of lorazepam, an anti-anxiety drug.

Babinski was released from jail Sunday after posting bond on $50,000 bail. Justice of the Peace Karen Orzech issued a $100,000 bench warrant Monday when Babinski failed to appear in court on two counts of criminal possession of dangerous drugs, criminal trespass and carrying concealed weapons.

A records check showed he had four restraining orders in Spokane County, Wash., and Shoshone County, Idaho, according to the affidavit. Two of those orders prohibit him from possessing firearms, it said.

Drinking With Miners In Wallace

Ask a local what people do in Wallace at night and you’ll likely get a laugh, a smile, or some variant of what is apparently a standard answer. “Drink,” says 16-year-old Randy Towne, a waiter at the 1313 Club, a popular pub on Bank Street. Towne, who attends Wallace High School, has lived in this tiny historic burg since he was 2. People his age, he says, tend to party at home, in garages, cursing their rivals at nearby Kellogg High School. Bartender Liz Lane, 22, adds that most people her age already have kids, but the rest go out to the few little bars along Bank and Cedar streets and toss them back. “Hunt, mine, drink,” says Towne. “That’s our life.” Sounds good to us/Joel Smith, Inlander. More here. (Inlander photo: Joel Smith)

Question: Anyone ever sampled the nightlife of Wallace?

Wolves Attack Dogs In Wallace Area

Correction: Wild dogs attack Rottweiler in Wallace/Mike Perry, KHQ

Domestic dogs were attacked by four wolves around 6 p.m. Wednesday night on the 600 block of Burke Road, just outside Wallace. One dog died and another sustained a facial bite, said Shoshone County Sheriff Mitch Alexander, and there were many wolf tracks in the area. A neighbor reported the dog that died was a Rottweiler. Idaho Fish and Game notified residents in the area and informed them that it is legal to shoot the wolf pack. Calls made to Idaho Fish and Game official Josh Stanley about the attack weren't returned. Mullan resident Barry Sadler didn't just have his dogs attacked by wolves a few years ago - they chased his daughter into the front door and came right up on his porch. Sadler shot and killed one of the offending wolves/Kelsey Saintz, Hagadone News Network. More here.

Question: Do you still think Br'er Wolf is harmless?

Megaloads Eye Wallace For Pit Stop

The city is discussing the idea of a megaload staging area that would be set up in the parking lot across from the visitor’s center. During a special city council meeting Thursday, members unanimously gave Mayor Dick Vester the authority to enter into a contract to use the space for megaload parking and maintenance for six months. “It’d be good for commerce in Wallace,” Vester said, because crews would utilize hotels, restaurants and stores in town/Kelsey Saintz, Shoshone News-Press. More here. (AP file photo: In February, the first ConocoPhillips megaload staged in Kooskia awaits the next leg of its journey to Billings)

Question: Wallace seems to be welcoming the megaloads with open arms, while they have triggered protestors in Moscow and indifference in Coeur d'Alene. What's the difference?

North Idaho rail trails continue to garner headlines

TRAILS — North Idaho continues to get a steady stream of good press from its world-class rail trails — the Route of the Hiawatha near Lookout Pass and the Trail of the Coeur d'Alenes that runs from Mullan to Plummer.

Rails-to-Trails Conservancy publication recently published a feature about Wallace entitled, "In Idaho, Former Silver Mining Town Reinvents Itself as Trails Destination." 

"When we use the phrase "destination trail," the Route of the Hiawatha in Idaho is exactly what we have in mind," the author says. "The trail itself is the draw; people come from across the country, and sometimes the world, to ride this 15-mile rail-trail through the spectacular Bitterroot Mountains and wilderness area, including a 1.6-mile tunnel."

As recreation enthusiasts add it to their "bucket list" of adventures, the Rails-to-Trails Conservancy named the Hiawatha to its Rail-Trail Hall of Fame earlier this year.

The nearby Trail of the Coeur d'Alenes, North Idaho Centennial Trail and Old Milwaukee Road corridor, has meant to local populations have made "giant impact" on local communities, Wallace businessmen told the writer. The 72-mile Trail of the Coeur d'Alenes passes directly by Wallace, a geographical key to transferring trail-user numbers into commerce that fills up to 20 percent of the beds in the Wallace Inn during the summer trail season.

Info:  Friends of the Coeur d'Alene Trails

Post Falls Biker Dies In Wallace Crash

A Post Falls man is dead after a motorcycle crash sent him flying off the elevated portion of Interstate 90 at Wallace today. The Idaho State Police said Francis L. Cox, 67, was riding a 2008 Yamaha motorcycle eastbound on I90 at 11:43 a.m. today when he failed to negotiate a left-hand curve at milepost 61. His bike drove off the right shoulder and hit a jersey barrier, vaulting Cox off the bike and off the elevated portion of the freeway, ISP said. He landed in a parking lot adjacent to Bank Street in Wallace, police said, and was declared dead at the scene/Spokesman-Review. More here.

Wallace: The Center Of The Universe?

Apparently when you drive 80 miles outside of Spokane, you arrive at the center of the universe. In some cultures, they call that Wallace, Idaho. It may be the coolest town on I-90 between Coeur d’Alene and Missoula. In fact, I’m pretty sure it is. It’s home to the Oasis Bordello Museum (a former brothel), the Northern Pacific Depot Railroad Museum and most recently, the Wallace Brewing Company. That was my first stop. I was drawn to the word, “brewery”, like a Pacific Northwest Tree Octopus is to a tree. Ten minutes later, I walked out with contact information and a list of their brewskis, but that’s another story for another time/Blush Response. More here.

DFO: I'm posting this blog item to introduce you to new "Friends of Huckleberries" blogger Blush Response and to point out that a street sign in Wallace reads: "Center of the Universe."

Question: Is there a more appropriate place in the Inland Northwest to be dubbed "the center of the universe" than Wallace, Idaho?

Nothing says Valentine’s Day like Beer Pong

If you're looking for a special way to celebrate Valentine's Day with your sweetheart, Taryn Hecker sends along this idea: The 4th Annual Wallace Beer Pong on Feb 12. Info here.

Do you think your sweetie would be interested?

Clark: Time To Get Our Fright On

We’ve reached that time of year when we all start getting our fright on. And it seems like this Halloween season is offering more scares than ever to choose from. I’m talking terrors like Scarywood at Silverwood, the Amaizing Corn Maze, the Rossi/Murray debates …You know, blood-curdling stuff. But if you’re looking for a gentler haunt and a scenic drive, here’s a suggestion. Head to Wallace, where you can spend the night with a 100-year-old ghost named Maggie/Doug Clark, SR. More here.

Question: Do you like to scare yourself by watching scary movies or going to haunted houses or through cemeteries on Halloween or places that you know ghosts roam?

Maggie’s Ghost Still Haunts Jameson

Maggie the Ghost needs to get busy throwing plates and shattering coffee cups. Legend has it that a woman named Maggie checked into Wallace’s Jameson Inn decades ago and never really checked out. Apparently, she waited patiently in her room for months and months for her rich suitor to return from a trip back east, and he never did and though she finally gave up and left the hotel in life, in death she has returned to wait it out for eternity. I can’t blame Maggie for being in a rotten mood, but unfortunately her bad vibes seem to have put a curse on the service level and quality of food in the old Inn’s restaurant/OrangeTV, Get Out! North Idaho. More here.

Question: OTV had a bad experience trying to get a hamburger and then nachos at the Jameson in Wallace. Have you had a better experience eating at the Jameson?

Wallace: The Center Of The Universe

Once you land in Wallace take a deep breath and relax. Park your car in the shade somewhere (parking is free) and plan to spend at least a couple of hours wandering through antique and secondhand stores. If this is your first visit, stop at the Wallace District Mining Museum at Fifth and Bank streets. Here you’ll find all the tourist information you can carry with you, including how to get on the Sierra Silver Mine Tour, which has a trolley running from downtown. /Pia Hallenberg, SR. More here.

Question: My visiting family and my family spent a fun day a few years ago kicking around Wallace, including a tour of the Sierra Silver Mine and museum. How about you? Have you ever taken a road trip to Wallace?

Tim Bush, Former Montana Grizzly All-American, dies in Galena Mine Accident

A former All-American football player at the University of Montana died this morning of injuries he received in an accident at the Galena Mine near Silverton, Idaho. Tim Bush, 29, sustained internal injuries in a rockfall in the underground mine, which occurred about 8 a.m., family members said. He was taken to Shoshone Medical Center. Bush was a standout wrestler and football player at Kellogg High School who later played football with the University of Montana Grizzlies as a defensive end. During his football career he was named an All-American and set the school record with 34 sacks and tackles, past news reports show/Spokesman-Review. More here. And: KREM2 video here. (Photo courtesy of 2003 University of Montana media guide)