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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883

Author shares life stories in ‘Growing up Pinecreek’


Ryan Wood, a teacher at River City Middle School in Post Falls, self-published a book about growing up in the Pinecreek area of the Silver Valley. 
 (Jesse Tinsley / The Spokesman-Review)
Robin Heflin Correspondent

Rusty the Rooster terrorized the Wood children, attacking anyone that got too close to the eggs in the henhouse. Unfortunately, it was the Wood children’s job to collect the eggs.

“We had to use a two-man team to get the eggs,” recalls Ryan Wood. One kid worked as the gatherer, while the other served as “blocker.” Their complaints about the rogue rooster fell on deaf ears.

“Dad didn’t believe us,” Wood said. “We came in crying one day and he called us sissies.”

Then Wood’s father Ron had a run-in with Rusty. “He went out there unprepared. The rooster split his leg.” Wood said. So Wood’s father shot and killed the rooster.

“It was a great day,” Wood said.

The tale of Rusty the Rooster is just one story Wood tells in his debut book, “Growing up Pinecreek” about living the rural lifestyle in the Pinehurst area of North Idaho.

“The things my family did then I thought was normal at first,” Wood said. As he got older and got out into the world, “I saw more and more odd people and I realized it wasn’t them.”

Wood lampoons the oddities of his family, particularly his father and brothers, in his book, which is a little bit truth, a little bit fiction and quite a bit of humor. “I took it easy on my mother and sister. My brothers and my dad can handle it,” he said. Like any tall tale, the stories he recalls grow with the telling and with his imagination.

“We don’t remember (Wood) being the hero in as many of the stories as he does,” said David Dose, a longtime friend who’s read the book. “Speaking tongue-in-cheek, there are those of us who think we need to write a sequel.”

“It made me laugh,” said Ron Wood. “Anyone who grew up in a small town, in the country, can relate. It sort of relates to the way things happen … it’s a funny book.”

Wood said he originally wrote the book for his family and to make people laugh.

He’s taught high school in St. Maries and currently teaches history and video production at River City Middle School in Post Falls. Wood said he’s always been a storyteller. “I’d tell these stories. Before I put them down, I’d tell them to my kids (his students).”

“Seeing people laugh made me tick. I started jotting it down,” Wood said.

One of the stories in the book is of rescuing his sister’s cat from a tree. “The cat had been living in the tree for six days. There were a lot of other things in the tree besides the cat, (like) cat manure.”

He talks about his father’s seeming dislike for ladders. His dad once built a pole barn by standing atop a trash can, which was placed on top of a Jeep. A picture of Ron Wood on the trash can building the barn is on the cover of the book.

Ron Wood said having a ladder wasn’t a big deal. “I never had a ladder. Now I have a couple. I sent him a picture of me on a ladder,” he says in his defense.

“Growing Up Pinecreek” made its debut in November and Wood says he’s sold about 400 copies of the self-published book and has another 150 or so committed. He’s already planning on future books, one about hunting and fishing trips that have gone awry and another on adventures in coaching.