Being There: The Idaho Experience
I spent my childhood summers on this dock at Priest Lake, a good portion of those days anyway, because my Grandparents on the Parsons side had a house on the east shore of Priest Lake where this dock still sits. That was 50 years ago. I often rowed a dingy out toward that island to fly fish the clear water for Westslope Cutthroat. In that unbelievably clear water, you could see them rising fast to your dry fly from 10 or 15 feet down. What a thrill! What fine training in focus and patience!
See also Living in a Dream, The Dream and the Passion and Sundance Estate Legacy
Being There is Half the Fun
Wishing you were, is the other half. I figured out fifty years ago that the great pleasure grown men took from the tedious work of tying flies was in the reminiscing that takes place while you do work at the bench. The act of preparation, like the act of perusing old photos, takes you back in your imagination to the memorable experiences that ultimately mean so much later in life.
It’s almost as much fun as being there. Almost.
But when I look at photos like the one below, provided by Dick Villelli of the stream near his home at Marie Lake, I want to GO THERE! It’s Big Idaho, Big Mountain country.
I’m standing in a crowd at the Seattle International Airport, or in Dallas, anywhere that’s really crowded. Suddenly someone near me pulls up this photo by Villelli on a cellphone and puts it in my face. I start twitching and fidgeting. Within moments I’m lost in a dream. I start pushing people aside, breaking into a run, scrambling through standing bodies as if they were trees as I rush to the early morning stream where I know trout are feeding.
A loud speaker breaks the serene silence of the woods with something about not leaving your bag unattended. Pop! My bubble of enthusiasm bursts into adult reality. I’m at an airport.
“Huh?” I utter, feeling a bit sheepish. “Oh, yeah…I…I…ah…heh, heh.”
I stop, turn around and see by the maddening crowd of hurried travelers that no one took notice. They are all far to busy within the waste of time to care or imagine that I was just wanting to be on one of those great Idaho trout streams again, with tennis shoes and blue jeans carrying a stick pole with 6-pound mono, a bobber and garden worms in pursuit of Mountain Brook Trout like those you see in this photo.
Do you know it’s a fact?
Catching brook trout like these is not only fun, but just about the best freshwater table fare you can get, pan-fried with eggs over-easy and crisp hashbrowns, and toast with homemade huckleberry jam that your grandmother prepared for you and you learned later how to make yourself because there’s nothing better on a crisp slice of warm bread.
Yup! It doesn’t get any better.
Thank you, Dick and Marie Villelli, for bringing me back to my passion and the secret to long life. Home, like your place at Marie Lake, is where inspiration lies waiting for you in the halls of imagination ready to spring that pleasant surprise of good memories past all the years of strife.
The Villelli boys (5 of them) had a childhood like mine, living on a dream lake in a home to beat all homes in a place where the nearest post office is Good Grief, Idaho.
That’s not a joke. It’s true. Good Grief!
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— PridahoProperties (@PridahoProp) March 16, 2015
Dwayne Parsons, the owner/editor of SandpointPR,
is also a Realtor with
208-290-2300 Dwayne’s mobile phone