Ken Worthington Rocks!

I haven’t had the honor to meet Ken Worthington, but I have talked to him on the phone, and he is the most honest and sweetest man I have had the honor to meet. He reminds me of my Grandpa Tuff, who was a fiddle player. He is absolutely a great addition to the Weiser Fiddle Festival. There is a wonderful amount of knowledge to be learned from him.

Ken Worthington was born in the cold month of December 1935, in Gannett, Idaho. He attended one-room country schools from 1st to 6th grade. He graduated from Bellvue High School in 1953. Ken went on to the University of Idaho and graduated with two BS degrees in Animal Husbandry and a minor in Education.

Ken bought his roommate’s guitar and drove him batty (not really) learning chords, etc…He is self-taught by listening to tapes, other players, and using instructional books. “I have never yet failed to learn something when playing in jams or one-on-one. You never stop learning.”

He started teaching in 1958 and retired in 1996. He joined the Idaho Old Fiddlers and played with them until they broke up. At this point, he joined up with Fiddlers Inc., heading them through the present time.

“We host Mannie’s Jamboree the second Saturday in July.” This is in honor of the fiddle legend Mannie Shaw. “The Idaho State Fiddle Contest the second weekend in April. Everyone is welcome to play and participate in all of their activities!”

You can catch Ken and friends Thursday, June 20th, at Memorial Park from 2-3 pm at Weiser Fiddle Festival. Be sure to check him out it will be unforgettable.

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Damian Regalado, Magician Extraordinaire

Damian Regalado eating fire!

Damian Regalado is opening up for us on Saturday, June 22nd, from 7-7:30 pm at Memorial Park for the Weiser Fiddle festival. I think that is the coolest thing ever! I would love him if he could make my wrinkles disappear! At any rate, he is a sword swallowing, fire eating, extraordinary magician!

Damian Regalado’s magic show is far from a typical magic show. Since the age of seven, he started performing magic after watching a YouTube video on how to make a card float. After that, he went on to learn as much as he could and created his own show to perform for neighborhood kids. Since then, he has gone on to create slightly better shows.

With his unique combo of mixing sleight of hand magic, with genuine sideshow skill, he creates an experience unlike anything seen before. In one show he’ll swallow swords, eat fire, read minds, perform sleight of hand, swallow needles and bring them all back tied onto a foot of thread, and so much more. And at the age of 18, he is one of the youngest professional sword swallowers in the world.

So, come one come all! If you ever wanted to see a one-man circus. Minus the clown look of course.

Jim Bateman, The Smiling Silverado

Jim Bateman performing at The Sandbar in Marsing, Idaho

We met Jim Bateman for the first time at a showcase we were hosting for local talent at Powderhaus Brewing Company in Garden City. This sweet hearted musician is always smiling. One of the things I find so endearing about him, beyond his personality, is that I could always tell when he makes a mistake because he gets this funny smile on his face. He has also performed with us at The Dale Grovesnor’s Car Show in Parma and The Sandbar in Marsing. We adore him!

Jim Performing at Powderhaus Brewing Company

Jim’s Story

” I started out with music by being amazed at the way my mom could play the harmonica, sing, and dance around the house when I was knee-high to a grasshopper. My dad could play harmonica, too, but not like my mom. She used to play a song called “Old Shep”, which made me cry every time because it was so sad.”

“When I was in the 6th grade, we owned a grocery store in Norland, Idaho. One day a couple that was down on their luck came into the store wanting to swap a guitar for some groceries. Of course, my folks went ahead with the deal, and that started my music career.”

“I used to run the checkout stand, and we had that guitar sitting behind the counter. One day a cowboy who worked at the Bruneau Sheep Company herding cows came in and asked if he could play a song on our guitar. I said, “Sure.” Man, that guy could play! I was totally amazed and wanted to play like him!”

“I met a guy my age named Jimmy Pena, and he taught me a couple of chords, E, A, and D, and off I was into the music. I learned the rest of the chords and practiced. By the 8th grade, we had a group called “The Precious Few.” We played at a talent contest at the high school and really sucked, but I kept on playing.”

“One of the guys from that group, Delphino Martinez on rhythm guitar, his brother Cedro on bass guitar, a guy named Neil Lewis on lead guitar, and myself on drums started another group called “The Sun Cycle.” We became pretty tight. We played a couple of weddings, a couple of small get-togethers, and also played in a Battle of the Bands in Jerome, Idaho. We came in 3rd place out of 3 bands, but we sounded pretty good.”

“Our band broke up, and I sold my drums to go see Jethro Tull in Salt Lake City, Utah. I kept on playing my guitar and bought myself an acoustic Yamaha. I kind of let my music take a back seat to work and raising a family. I got pretty rusty, but I continued to play occasionally.”

Wyatt, Kristi, and Jim at Powderhaus Brewing in Boise. Photo by Jaz Fagan

“I played rhythm guitar with a worship band in Boise and really began getting serious about music again. We started a band called “The Third Tradition” playing at dances. After playing four dances, our bass player quit to go out long haul truck driving and our band broke up. We were really starting to get good.”

“My brother and I started up a trucking company. We went out long haul truck driving and, all of a sudden, I began writing songs. I’m pretty much about writing about God in my music because I probably wouldn’t still be here if it weren’t for God. Not all of my songs are about God, but some of the best songwriters I listen to like, Bob Dylan, The Doobie Brothers, and many others write about God.”

“I love music and would like to just write, play, and perform, but I haven’t quite got to that point yet. I guess you could say that God isn’t done working on me yet. Music is part of my soul and keeps me out of the blues, it rejuvenates me, and I just love music.”

You can catch Jim at Memorial Park during Weiser Fiddle Festival on Wednesday, June 19th, from 3-4 pm, and again on Saturday, June 22nd, from 6-7 pm where he will be opening up for Saturday night’s headlining band “The Sofisticats,” You can also go to https://www.reverbnation.com/silverado9 to listen to some of his wonderful songs.

Walt and Teresa Huntsman of “Seattle Goes South” Playing at Weiser Fiddle Festival Memorial Park.

“Seattle Goes South”, Walt and Teresa Huntsman

I first met Walt and Teresa Huntsman when we were hosting a showcase of local talent at Powderhaus Brewing in Garden City. They are a very talented couple. I think that one of the things I found most unique about them was that Teresa was playing guitar and Walt was singing. You don’t see that often, if ever, usually it’s the other way around. The guy plays guitar and the girl sings. You can catch their act at Memorial Park during The Weiser Fiddle Festival on Saturday, June 22, from noon-1 pm. All the events are free for this week long festival.

Walt Huntsman is originally from Seattle and does the lead vocals, percussion, and harmonica. Teresa is from the deep-south and plays acoustic guitar and does backing vocals. They serve up an acoustic stew of folk-pop, seasoned with a dollop of blues, and a dash of country. Their original songs are crafted from everyday events, stories inspired by the past, and observations about life and love.

If it crosses Walt’s mind, there’s a good chance it will end up coming out of Teresa’s guitar. This year they have taken the band name “Seattle Goes South.” They cover tunes from artists who inspire them such as James Taylor, Tom Petty, John Prine, and many others.

Walt Huntsman

“Music was pretty much the one constant in my life growing up. After I was born in Seattle, the family moved to Portland, Oregon for a short stay, then on to Los Angeles. After my parents divorced, my mother remarried, and we moved to Rosamond, California, a small city west of Edwards Air Force Base. When I was 12, my mother, my sister, and I moved back north to Seattle.”

Walt and Sister Laura

“During this time, I gravitated to classic singers such as Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, Ella Fitzgerald, Nancy Wilson, and Sarah Vaughan. I also had a real affinity for big bands, like Glenn Miller, Benny Goodman, Buddy Rich, and Duke Ellington. In fourth grade, I began my first forays into music, taking up the alto saxophone, an instrument I played until I finished high school.”

“My musical tastes are somewhat eclectic. My record collection of over 500 albums and later several hundred CDs ranged from ABBA to ZZ Top. I listened to everything from Barry Manilow and John Denver to Jethro Tull, Robin Trower, and David Bowie. In more recent years, I have begun listening to more artists that aren’t as well known, such as John Gorka, Mary Black, and Luka Bloom. I’ve also developed a real affinity for the music of Leonard Cohen and John Prine,”

“After I graduated from high school in 1974, I began my first attempt at a college education. This is when I began writing really bad song lyrics. By now, I had also started listening to more contemporary artists. In 1978, I began a life-long love affair with the music of Elvis Costello. In 1978, I left college without a degree to seek fame and fortune in broadcasting, taking a radio announcer job in Raymond, Washington.”

“When the station was sold, I left and worked in retail for several years before landing a television job in Miles City, Montana, (once again) resuming my search for fame and fortune. Ten years later, after stops in South Dakota, Louisiana, returning to Montana and Louisiana, and on to Alabama, I ended my broadcasting career, having found neither fame nor fortune.”

“By this time, I had begun to take a more active role in music, joining one of the church choirs at a Catholic church in Madison, Alabama, where I met Teresa. Throughout this time, I had continued to write lyrics. In 1993, when Teresa and I were engaged to be married, we collaborated on the music for our wedding, which was a full wedding Mass. After marriage, I continued to write lyrics, although I still wasn’t doing anything with them. (I returned) to college and pursued the degree I had abandoned in 1978.”

“I stopped writing lyrics for several years and only wrote sporadically after we moved to Idaho in 2003. It was after attending a concert at Lucky Peak Park in September 2014 and learning about the Idaho Songwriters Association that I began writing again with an actual goal of one day sharing my songs with others. Up to this point, they seemed more like journal fodder.”

“With Teresa’s help that became a reality when we stepped on the stage of The Sapphire Room at the Riverside Hotel for the first time in February 2015. Since then, I’ve continued to write and have since begun learning how to chord and arrange some of my songs. Over the years, I have written lyrics for an estimated 1,500 songs. We currently have more than 100 original songs chorded and arranged that we can perform with more coming all the time. Now that I have some mileage under me, I feel I am writing the best songs of my life at this stage. I hope the people who give us a listen will agree”

Teresa Huntsman

Teresa grew up in the ’60s and ’70s in south Alabama listening to her sister’s Herman’s Hermits, Tommy James, and Gary Lewis & The Playboys mixed in with her brother’s Cream, Johnny Winters, Seals & Crofts, Three Dog Night, and Leo Kottke records. In 1972, Teresa discovered Chicago in the midst of their classic influential jazz-rock years and began her life-long love affair with their musical stylings.

Teresa Huntsman

Two years later, she started to play rhythm acoustic guitar at age 14 and played in the church choir through high school and college where she attended Auburn University and got a degree in industrial engineering. Over the years, she played with different guitarists and pianists, learning, growing, and progressing with every musician.

Her favorite past time as a teen was to record pop music off the radio onto a cassette player to try to figure out the words and chords so she could play the songs. This skill was to become a big part when, in 2014, Walt resumed his songwriting. Since he could not play the guitar, he had not learned yet how to use chords.

Walt would sing his song creations to Teresa, and she would figure out how to play them on guitar. Later, Walt took guitar lessons and over time increased his ability to chord his own music. Teresa continues to come up with chord progressions and rhythms that inspire some of his songs. Teresa still loves learning new songs after researching them on the internet and perfecting them, and Walt has become more prolific in his songwriting.

In 2015, they began to perform occasionally in the Boise area. Today they perform over 100 originals and nearly 300 songs by over 150 different artists. These songs range from tender love songs to pop and rock tunes. Please, check them out at The Weiser Fiddle Festival on Saturday, June 22.

An introduction to Doug Slagle. One of the Most Diverse and Creative Musicians I have Had the Honor to Meet!

Doug Slagle Playing at The Saphire Room, Idaho Songwriters Forum, in Boise in early 2000. Photo Jim Gilmore

I have worked with many different musicians throughout the years, but Doug Slagle is by far one of the most creative and innovative musicians I have ever met. He is an amazing lead guitar player and vocalist, banjo, fiddle, and mandolin player. Don’t even get me started on the penny whistles that he made out of PVC pipe! Yes, he actually sat down with PVC pipe and made penny whistles, tuned them in, and set them up! That was my birthday present one year from him.

I was at the beginning stages of being a rhythm guitar player and had been a lead vocalist for well over 30 years. Doug comes into my life when I was playing at Crescent Brewery. He’s this amazingly talented guitar player. He also just happens to play mandolin and fiddle. We hooked up playing music together and he made me better at rhythm guitar. He loved the Celtic music that I was playing at that time, and we became fast friends.

He’d been side skipping over the world of music for many years. in the 1950s their mother had twins. They were singing cowboy songs at the local fair and talent shows in their hometown at an early age. They were bookends. Probably cute, but, more of a comedy act. 

Dave and Doug Slagle playing ukeles at a very young age!

Around 1960 their cuteness faded fast as did their budding cowboy bookend careers. They moved on to tap dancing, Doug thought his mom was hoping he’d be the next Danny Kaye.

“With zero coordination, a shaky voice and a tin ear, there was little hope. Growing up in a little town with three and a half TV stations and a few AM stations, big band, country, and bubble gum rock… kind of stunted my musical growth… the big bands and country swing was pretty good. Some of the folk stuff was OK. Every now and then you heard Johnny Rivers doing a remake of some old blues or R&B tune.” Doug recalls.

He found music that really moved him like John Lee Hooker and some of the R&B songs floating around at the time like “You Put a Spell on Me”, and “Midnight Special”. Early stuff by Elvis was pretty good, then, along came the Beatles! Their music was OK, but, the hoopla surrounding them was about as alien as anything he’d ever seen. “What was the big deal?” He asked himself. Of course, the bubblegum pop station was buried in The Beatles.

One day, in the early 60s, his dad brought home a guitar. It was a wall ornament really. The bridge was in the wrong position. Doug couldn’t make anything work so, he hung it up, and never thought about that guitar again until a few years later. His dad got a guitar and amp as collateral for a bill at the store his family owned. He tried some stuff on the guitar, and he could finally make sense of it. That guitar went away when the bill was paid off by the customer. Later on, in 1966, when he was in high school, he got an acoustic guitar with a sound hole pickup and just started making noise. He’s been doing it ever since.

Eventually, he created a band. His twin brother Dave was on drums, with a few friends from town, and Doug on the guitar. They made their own brand of noise everywhere they could. The band was more of a social club than a musical entity. It kept them out of trouble.

Dave and Doug Slagle, High School Era.

He played in the marching band in school. He wanted to play sax or trumpet but was persuaded by the instructor to take up the sousaphone. Music and sports all in one instrument. The music instructor heard he was playing guitar and told him if he learned some stage band charts he could play in the stage band. So he did.

“I think the band instructor took pity on me when I got near high school graduation and recommended me for a music scholarship at the Junior College in the “big” city, (Wenatchee, WA). All I wanted to do was play music. All this real-world stuff kept rearing up its ugly head. I spent a year playing and studying all kinds of music and attending Wednesday night keggers. I decided the following year (that I) would be just playing music. Spent most of it playing bass guitar for a band in a strip joint. What an education!”

Of course, the world had other plans for Doug. The Vietnam war was still going on, and his draft number was low. Eventually, he wound up doing pushups in “The Ice Plant” on a beach in California. Yep, he was in the military now. “Well, my illustrious military career included staying stateside with minor excursions elsewhere. I’d have to shoot you if I told you,” said Doug.

The Army got him into other music though, more blues, soul, southern rock and a bit of Irish. The Irish and southern rock stuck with him. The Irish thing was weird to him. He was hitchhiking from Fort Belvoir to Washington D.C. when a young fellow picked him up and had Irish music playing on his car stereo.

“I think it was the Chieftains. The modality and voices and rhythms all stuck with me. I spent some time trying to find Irish, Scottish stations/programs. I was at the time pretty much convinced that I was mostly German background. Little did I know my background, more Celt and Anglo Saxon than German Saxon.” He loved it and carried it with him through the next few years.

He got out of the Army in the middle 70s and all of the music that was just happening. The artists that died like Hendrix, Morrison, and Joplin all had effects on him. Then eventually Ronny Van Zandt and Stevie Ray Vaughn all affected his music. He did one semester at Washington State University right out of the Army. He didn’t like his advisor and, as a result, his major in college. He decided it wasn’t for him.

After the military, and his semester at WSU, he was now living on the Columbia River, and then in the Cascade mountains. There were working orchards in the valleys where he could find work but it was the end of the hippy era.

He was now playing guitar in the local taverns with some coastal musicians. They played lots of Bay area music from Santana to Mark Almond, as well as The Grateful Dead. At this point, he worked the harmonica into his repertoire.

Doug Through the Years

Doug got married and decided to go back to college, this time at a trade school in Spokane. He liked music technology, so he got a degree in analog electronics. He took the digital courses that were available at the time but felt that music was always going to be analog. So far only the transducers, guitar pickups. microphones and other electronic equipment had remained analog.

Spokane introduced him to a fellow from Texas that performed everything from Tex Mex to western swing. He didn’t realize that he had missed country western as much. “Good stuff. My maternal grandmother died, and I wound up with a fiddle. I started playing that. Picked up a banjo and toyed with that as well.”

After he graduated, he wound up in Oregon working for a scientific instrument manufacturer. Oregon introduced him to fusion music. He ran into music such as Jean Luc Pontee, Chick Corea, Bob James…some blue grass as well.

Move forward to the 1980s. While in Oregon he was taking Engineering classes. After his son was born, he got an opportunity to go to college in New York. In Central New York he wound up playing more country music and old rock and roll with many different bands in many situations. The Irish thing started working back into his life. He had some exposure to Celtic bands through local music societies.

In 1990 he moved back west after ten years of being away. He learned more old-time fiddle, bluegrass and Celtic tunes involving contra dancing and bluegrass bands associated with folk music societies. He also played banjo in a light opera called “Shenandoah.” It was at this point that he picked up the mandolin.

Doug’s marriage ended. He spent months working on a suite of guitar instrumentals that go from alternate tunings that flow from one to another to minimize stress on the guitar. He wound up moving to Idaho, where his twin brother Dave lived and picked up playing with him again. They started playing venues with a female vocalist playing top forty country music with a smattering of Irish as a sideline. When that ended, they took up with a five-piece vocal-oriented band and played a few venues. At this point, he got a day job back in NY.

In 1996 Doug and Dave formed Slaglebois, a 2 piece guitar duo that plays country, rock, folk, and originals at Crescent Brewery and other venues. Doug, always being the forward thinker that he is, is always looking for the next great adventure with music.

In the 2000s in New York state, he revisited and played mostly country music with sideline work in a light opera playing bass with “Always Patsy Cline”. He played with a country band and did weekly dances and many honky tonks in central New York. He also became interested in Harley Davidson bikes. He’s an avid rider to this day.

He did solo gigs playing instrumentals and his own tunes in local restaurants and at art shows. Had a friend who made guitars and they started an owner’s group. They had get-togethers with folks having pretty eclectic music styles. They wrote several tunes together and Doug, as always, moved forward.

In about 2010 he moved back to Idaho. He got a duet going with his brother. They played the local bars using MIDI backup tracks. They played originals, Celtic, old country and rock tunes and played lots of free shows. He wound up doing some shows at the Crescent Brewery in Nampa. There he met me and I was performing mostly Celtic tunes of the Welsh variety. They wound up doing many shows together. It was quite the learning experience. 

These days he solos sporadically. “…not as young as I used to be. I do a Celtic round every Monday in Nampa at Crescent Brewery that is called Ceol de Luain, and once or twice a month Dave and I play a show with our MIDI backup tracks. Dave’s wife Barbie sings many tunes with us.”

His solo show at Weiser will consist mostly of his own tunes with some of his favorite Celtic tunes that he’s learned over the years. Since he’ll be performing solo, he will be playing acoustic guitar and six-string banjo.

Doug will be performing from 12-1 pm at the Weiser Fiddle Festival at Memorial Park on Friday, June 21st. Stop by and check him out. He’s an amazing musician, and I am very fortunate to know him. He has enriched my life as both a musician and a friend.

Sandra Cooper, The Amazing Executive Director of National Oldtime Fiddlers’, Inc. It’s Never A Dull Moment!

Sandra Cooper, Executive Director, NOTF, Inc. 

I met Sandy Cooper 4 years ago when I was doing a solo project and played the Festival that year. This is our 3rd year back working together and you couldn’t ask for a nicer person to deal with. She is warm, inviting, and just a lovely person to be around and talk to, I wish all festival directors could be so easy. I swear she needs to be an octopus to handle all of the great things she does for The Weiser Fiddle Festival. She gives 100% of her time and energy to all the musicians and performers she juggles. She’s an amazing friend and a beautiful spirit. I am going to reprint her bio, as she puts it, because that is so much easier than me trying to put words in her mouth.

National Oldtime Fiddlers’, Inc. Executive Director Sandra Cooper is a Weiser native who grew up on a cattle ranch north of Weiser. She brings experience garnered from diverse business ventures and careers. She spent ten years in farming, ranching, and real estate sales after graduating high school, then moved to Southeastern Idaho, married and opened a daycare center in Shelley, Idaho. In 1988, she purchased a hotel and restaurant, the Nezperce Inn, in Nezperce, Idaho, operating there until returning to Weiser in 1990 to help with the care of her mother.

From 1990-1997, Sandra worked for Hillcrest and Vencore Corporations as an occupational and physical therapy aid, working primarily with geriatric patients. She spent many weekends and evenings attending Idaho School of Massage Therapy and The Dynamic Arts Institute in Boise, Idaho, from 1993-1996 and became a Certified Massage Therapist. She continued to work full-time for Vencore as she built her massage therapy practice, eventually splitting the working hours between the two until 1997 when she opened her practice full-time in downtown Weiser. In 2001 and 2002, she operated Enrituals School of Massage in Weiser, teaching others healing arts and anatomy and physiology.

She continued with her massage therapy practice until 2005 when she and her husband, Dennis M. Cooper, attended “Income Builders International” training in Los Angeles.  Inspired by the program and the concept of “Super Teaching,” they spent two years traveling, as Dennis, a musician, entertained at resorts in the Southwest.  Sandra spent her time booking his appearances, selling his CDs and other merchandise at their booth at the Arizona Marketplace in Yuma, AZ.  Between customers, she wrote a beginners’ harmonica instruction book entitled “Harmonica Boot Camp.”  The first printing was sold out before it was printed. 

The Coopers recorded an accompanying 75-minute instructional CD demonstrating the techniques taught in the book, enabling many students to experience “break-throughs” in their playing when concepts of “Super Teaching” were employed. The book and CD are entirely self-produced, from its design and printing to its marketing. As a result of the book and CD’s popularity, she was contracted by Bass Pro, Inc. to write the accompanying instruction booklet for their Special Edition “Camo” diatonic harmonica in their 2007 Holiday catalog.

She became active in the Weiser Little Theater beginning in 2002 as an actor, then as director of five plays, and is a past president of the Theater Board.  She remains active in that organization.  In 2010, she wrote, directed, and acted in a play, “All the Best- Love, Daddy” for a special program presented by the Weiser Architectural Preservation Society that honored the history of the Little Theater. She is currently writing a comedy, “Runnin’ for the Gumbo,” based on her grandparents’ lives during the Great Depression.

In the spring of 2007, Sandra went to work with National Oldtime Fiddlers, Inc. as an administrative assistant. In the Fall of 2007, she was promoted to Festival Director, a position she held until 2010 when she became the Executive Director. Since taking that position, she has worked to broaden the scope of activities within the organization, including the purchase of a permanent headquarters, historic Slocum Hall, where developing the National Oldtime Fiddlers’ Hall of Fame is a cherished project. Additional events are now being held throughout the year, such as concerts, workshops, and music camps.

Sandra believes strongly in using the organization’s influence and reputation for perpetuating old-time music to further nurture and preserve the knowledge of related traditional arts. She has had a long-standing vision of creating a place where families and individuals can come together to study and perpetuate traditional music, folk arts and crafts, creative writing, and other artistic means of expression.

This vision is being fulfilled in the creation of Co-Opportunities, Inc. a 501 (c ) 3 corporation that is the parent company of The Bee Tree Folk School, currently being developed in two historic downtown Weiser, Idaho buildings. Founded by Sandra and husband Dennis, along with Gary Eller, the school became recipients of nine collections from the Simpson-Vassar Collection, gifted by the estate of Roderick E.Simpson. The non-profit’s volunteer staff is creating a museum with music and reading libraries, African Folk Art collection and many other items of artistic, educational and historical significance that will enhance the offerings at the Folk School, which will re-open in mid-summer at the historic Pythian Castle in downtown Weiser.

The National Old Time Fiddlers’ Contest Begins Monday, June 17th, and wraps up Saturday, June 22. There are 46 performances at Memorial Park by musicians, dancers, cloggers, magicians, and storytellers. The contest in and of itself is a different venue up at the high school that is organized by Cindy Campbell and Aimee Burdett and all of their very hard work. Dennis Cooper and his band of merry men and women run sound for all the musicians playing at Memorial Park and help bring the music to life! It’s an amazing time, and there is also a carnival and parade to keep the kiddies happy. For the adults there is a beer garden near the stage hosted by Crescent Brewery in Nampa and owner Jerry Ferguson, as well as other beer hosts. I am going to try to cover as many performers as I can before it kicks off, so stay tuned. I felt that Sandy was the best place to start, as she is responsible for lining everyone up at Memorial Park. It is due to her work as well as all the other volunteers that this turns out to be the best week in Weiser, Idaho.

Snake River RV Resort is Lovely!!!

Mike Fagan
Photo by Jaz Fagan

Mike and I sold our home in Caldwell and really didn’t have a vision as to where we wanted to live, we just knew we wanted to be away from the insanity that has moved into the Boise, Nampa, Caldwell area. Boise is becoming crazy with traffic, and we wanted to get away from the ever expanding busy life in the Treasure Valley.

I found an ad on craigslist advertising a beautiful 1500 square foot manufactured Fleetwood home. This was a huge plus! We doubled our size and our payments were staying about the same, plus we got a few fun neighbors and a great view!

Barbara
Photos by Jaz Fagan

Everything here is peaceful and quiet. The worse thing you hear is owls in the trees at night and a sense of peace. The people that stay at the park are the nicest people you could ever want to meet.

Many people come out and play games, fish, play a family game of kickball, volleyball, ride bikes, play a game of horseshoes or just sit around the campfire. Whatever makes you happy! Even hanging out and reading is fun. Each camp site has a fire brazier and the restrooom facilities have showers and a laundry room. The sites are all on grass with pull throughs for even the biggest rigs! There are also smaller sites for tent campers. Each site has a water pump and the grounds are emaculately maintained by the park manager Dave Ellis and his crew of merry men and women!

The most amazing thing I have found is some really cool people that come from all over to hang out here. Because we live in an RV park you get to meet people coming from as far away as North Idaho and others that live as close as Nampa that just want to experience camping without going into the mountains and it definitely has that feel here. We meet people from all walks of life including church groups.

12 members of the L.I.F.E. Sunday School class from Karcher Nazarene Church in Nampa gather here and have done so for the last 4 years. They say they absolutely love it. The members include Paul and Judy Battershell, Milo and Yvonne Wittkopf, Pam and Boyce Crass, Steve and DeAnna Brumbaugh, Wayne and Judy Skeen, and Joy and Jerry Kern.

Photos by Jaz Fagan

You meet tons of people in your path in life, but nothing tells you more about people than the way they smile and treat their animals. We had the good fortune to meet Dennis and Jackie Sims and their lovely little dog Sokie from Sagle, Idaho.

We also met Terry, Desi, Casey, and Kiara Bostard and their HUGE Mastiff Dungey, who has the sweetest personality ever. He’s a gigantic dog with a big heart. You can’t help but love him. Casey seems to be flipping over being here at Snake River Resort!

I was also fortunate enough to meet another fun group that included Tom and Debbie Graham and Hal and Julie Rene. They are so much fun and full of life! This was the last photos I was taking for the magazine article while I was shooting Dave Ellis and they made the whole thing amazing! Such fun people!

One of the really super cool things about the park is the manager, Dave Ellis. He runs this park like a smooth engine. If there is a problem he takes care of it swiftly and without any trouble. He is a very talented person that can handle many issues. He goes above and beyond as a park manager.

At the end of the day it is absolutely lovely living here. Mike and I can’t begin to believe how lucky we are to be here. It is everything we could have wanted and more because we are so far removed from the stress. It’s not perfect by any standards, but what is? We are very lucky, we have great neighbors and we meet very cool people along the way! Sure the drive is a little out of the way but most days it is simply peaceful. I want to leave you with this very cute photo of a Schnauzer.