Thank you, Pappy!

I was born in Chicago and was raised in Alaska and Idaho. I’m a thorough Yankee. Not so my ancestors. Six generations of them lived in Texas, but I never set foot in the state until I was an adult. Since I became interested in family history I have visited often–twice a year, even. When I do, I exclaim “Thank you, Pappy!”

It was Pappy, my grandfather, who moved the family from the dustbowl of west Texas to Sandpoint, a lakeside logging town in the mountains of northern Idaho. I love Texans, I love my kin there, I love to walk the land my ancestors owned, but–no offense, please–it’s too bad they’re all in Texas. It’s hot, humid, and flat; or dusty and flat; or mountainous (if you know where to look) and dry.

I’m sure Pappy received the same reaction I do at the mention of Idaho: “Huh? You like potatoes?” Or they confuse it with Iowa. Logging drew Pappy to Sandpoint, but the lake in the summer and the skiing in the winter drew me to the same town. We’re a little isolated–six hours by car to Seattle, nine hours by air to Houston, and three hundred miles to the nearest potato patch–and that’s how I like it.

Thank you Pappy!


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