Using the analogy of streets, at the risk of getting Doug Clark started again, I'd like to address aging. First, there is no training for this. One day you are lively, svelt and full of piss & vinegar. Liken to the four seasons here in North Idaho, the following day you are old.
My face in the early years started out like a smooth newly poured sidewalk. Soon I turned into an average street. Later, my countenance became more like a blacktop street with a chuck hole here and there. Now, it's more like a washboard gravel road, leading nowhere and becoming slightly overgrown. As I age, I'm more compelled to chase my family's past. We'll leave out the part during prohibition where my Dad, an uncle and cousin cooked up some suspicious remedy for what ailed the folks in the area.
In a recent post, I mentioned the school my Mom taught at, the Spirit School in the area north of Colville. Spirit doesn't exist anymore. It used to sit on the Colville Northport highway, referred to as the Aladdin Road. Aladdin doesn't exist anymore either. The original Spirit lay athwart the Y just north of the Blue ridge mine. According to folks I've made recent acquaintance with, there was a store, gas station and post office.
Since finding that school, I found the school my Mom first taught. It is the Onion Creek School, that sits on the side of a mountain between Colville and Northport. According to some of my sources, the local economy is driven by agriculture. Some of that is allegedly kind of not legal. The noise level in the area is raised by DEA helicopters blanketing the area. I would guess they aren't growing carrots and tomatoes up there, but I digress.
The older I get the more interested in the past of my family. Next summer, I will trek with my son, up to Onion Creek for a trip down nostalgia street. The Onion Creek School is not just a school. It's also a school district all it's own. They currently have 43 students and the original school is still standing, along side of the teacher's cottage.
According to Myra who is either the school secretary, or maybe district administrator, they still use the little school my Mom taught at as a rookie first assignment teacher. That would have been around 1927 or so. Pictured above, are the school and teacher's cottage.
Photo by Taryn Hecker Thonpson.
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