Picture courtesy of the Spokesman-Review
It was 20 years ago this Memorial Day weekend, that I uprooted from Dalton Gardens and moved into my elite single wide mobile home. I call it elite because very few trailer trash get the view I have. Chan, when he converted back to RV's was kind enough to allow me to live out my days here on the hill.
For me it is amazing that it happened so quickly. I suspect to others it passed to slowly, but hey, you can't be everything to everybody.
My first experience with Bayview was a summer commute to Coeur d'Alene. As I returned home that day, I found a long line of RV's stopped at the Kiosk which still stands at the entrance to Farragut State Park. The other lane was coned off. When at last it was my turn the bright young blond girl greeter had charmed three tourists. Unfortunately it was at my expense. Here it was happy hour at the Wheel and I was late.
Having an extensive background in both Real Estate Sales and Mortgage lending, I immediately knew that the Park was in violation of several laws, the most serious being blockading a state highway. Now it is legal to do that temporarily for street repairs or emergencies. I pointed this out to the young lady, who promptly said, "Not in a state park it isn't. I promised her she would hear from me soon.
The following day I called the State Police office in Hayden to file a complaint. The area commander was at the time, Captain Powell, now commandant of the department. Always the politician, he did the guppy thing and finally said you'll have to put this in writing, so I can forward it to Boise where they will address the problem.
After lunch, I typed out a criminal complaint charging the park manager with a deliberate crime. I then suggested that the park was no better than an individual and that it was blatantly illegal to block a state highway. When I submitted it that afternoon, I asked how long he thought it would take for this matter to be addressed. He wisely allowed for Government sluggish habits, and promised at least 2 weeks.
The next day, sitting in my office, the phone rang. It was a conference call which included Captain Powell, the Boss men at IDT and the parks department. It turned out that when the captain faxed the letter to Boise, a sh*t storm happened. The competition between state agencies was in full swing and I had given ammo to the Highway Department.
These worthies immediately asked me what it would take for me to back off. I thought about it for a few seconds and said,"keep one lane open for through traffic at all times."They quickly agreed. That afternoon, a little sign painted black with white letters and arrows pointed to park lanes and through lanes. The sign was painted in the ITD maintenance shop that afternoon. The paint couldn't have been dry long.
The thing that hit me was apparently a couple of state legislators had appealed to the park's better nature. They don't have one. Here I was, a resident in Bayview that essentially knew nobody in town and I was making decisions that really I didn't have the power to make. However I was the nail that was sticking up and they accepted my lead. Later they rerouted park traffic to where it is now, leaving the highway clear. Afterward, I called a spy in the transportation department who told me, "The Parks Department thought they had more horsepower than us. They were wrong."
The parks department tried to hedge on this but I insisted that they state in writing that they would never block the road again. I got a hold of one of the officers of the Bayview chamber, and gave them the letter for safe keeping. It is still filed under 1995 documents.
Not all of my 20 years have been so interesting, but hey, what an introduction for a new resident. From time to time I take issue with things, but by and large, I just try to live my life, not others'.
Here is the story by Susan Drumheller: