Idaho – True West of Memory and Myth
I was born in the American West. It’s been more than a century, in 1896, when my great-great-grandmother, Maggie Jones, made the trip from the Cherokee Nation, Oklahoma, to Boise, Idaho, with her husband Robert and their two children, in a cart full of hope and scarce resources. The best memories of my childhood were those summer days spent fishing with the grand-son of Maggie Jones, and my grandfather, a dead ringer for Robert Mitchum, for salmon and trout on board his small boat on the reservoir Lucky Peak, in the countryside of Boise. These warm dry days and cool air from the desert at night are part of me forever. Just like rodeos, the open-air cinema, soft drinks and corn dogs served at the drive-in A&W by young girls on skates, fairs, horses, real cowboys and Indians, firearms and drunken family brawls.
The Boise from my childhood has become a haven for Californians, high-tech industry employees and retirees, with its expanses covered suburban shopping centers and flashy houses. Nevertheless, the remains of a more authentic West still exist – small family farms, pow wow Indian of the Paiute-Shoshone tribe in the reserve Duck Valley, picnics after church in the city park, teenagers jumping from a rope in the Boise River, county fairs, life in small towns.
Although I no longer live in Idaho for over 30 years now, it’s always a place that I claim myself. These images are a journey through memory and myth and together they are still part of the present.