12 May 2009

Jim West Accepts the Award

Here is the official photo of Jim West accepting the Take Pride in Idaho Award at Sun Valley:

Karen Ballard, Administrator of Tourism for the Idaho Dept. of Commerce is holding the award, a photo of Sun Valley with a brass inscribed plate on the frame inscribed for “Governor’s Pride in Idaho Award for Historic Preservation – Potlatch Depot Restoration Project”. [Photo Credit: Idaho Tourism]

The official list of winners can be found at:

An excerpt of the note today from Jim after returning from Sun Valley:

... when I gave my short speech on the importance of the depot that was no longer noticed, a structure that had housed the Potlatch Lumber Company offices which established the Weyerhaeuser/Laird/Norton group of Midwest lumberman’s move into the northwest, which led to the development of Boise Payette (Boise Cascade) and Weyerhaeuser, two companies, along with Potlatch, that became the lifeblood of the Pacific Northwest, both Earl Holding and Wally Huffman, [37 year] owner and [32 year] manager, respectively, of the Sun Valley Resort, nodded in agreement. I found their attention to my words very encouraging.

When the depot project slide show was introduced before I spoke, Ron Gardner, the emcee, put in a plug for us about needing money to complete the depot’s interior, and I reiterated our willingness to accept donations, large or small. I concluded with a request that all the luncheon participants open their eyes a bit more when they returned home after the conference, to look at their familiar surroundings with a more objective eye, for they, too, might have an unpolished gem awaiting notice in their own home town.

One humorous side note. I didn’t realize the award was a secret, so I let the cat out of the bag when I was introduced to our northern region representatives. When I told them why I was there, they gave a startled “whoop!”, then covered their mouths, since they had no idea our region was receiving an award! To their credit, and my relief, they pretended to be surprised when the time came for the “official” announcement.

The presentation was very nice, emotionally uplifting and rewarding. We are seldom acknowledged for preservation work, so I found myself a bit emotional when speaking. The luncheon was fantastic. It was our first time to Sun Valley, and Becca and I enjoyed being there, if only for a few hours.


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