Friday, February 06, 2009

What Sun Valley Guide stories would I like to read?
Thanks for asking. It would be great to see an in-depth story about Demi Moore’s old town Hailey dollhouse collection, perhaps even interviewing the star, to focus on specific aspects of her collection. For example, how did she come to start it, what are some of her favorite childhood memories regarding dolls, how does she see E-Bay affecting the art of doll collecting, what is her oldest / most precious doll, etc. Ultimately, it would be nice to see a virtual tour of her grand dollhouse linked in with Sun Valley Guide website.

It would also be nice to see her open the dollhouse to guided tours more often than Halley’s Comet. In conjunction with the celebrated Fourth of July parade, perhaps these openings could coincide with small fundraisers for doll-deprived children; or to help bankroll the fireworks themselves: culminating with a grand finale of skyrocketing pinwheels, which resemble untarnished Love American Style, red, white and blue doll-babies of all races, creeds and colours.

And what about a detailed history of Hook Draw Saloon? As with the dollhouse suggestion, the owner would need to be willing to reveal this well-hidden secret.

Second suggestion:

A story that focuses on specifics of the new Baldy Gondola, including a detailed map of the futuristic system. (Another good virtual tour link for Sun Valley Central?)What other North American towns have gondolas and how effective are they there? Will they allow mountain bikes to transport up, via the Gondola? What about paragliding equipment?

The gondola article could work as a lead-in for another article about Sun Valley’s wall of fame at the Lodge. You could revise the decade-old article Pat Murphy wrote about this, or expand it by focusing on another aspect of the wall, like recently added stars.

For a Sun Valley Company trifecta of sorts, include a follow-up article or sidebar about the magnificent new golf course lodge, adding how this nineteenth watering hole is an inviting place for watching television sports of all sorts, even during wintertime.

A brief history of Muldoon Canyon would fit in well with the fall issue, perhaps with the story branching over for an encompassing interview with one of the former Forest Service fire lookouts who summered at Bell Mountain tower. (Contact the Forest Service to get a list of those people’s names)

Sometimes, I’ve thought that a hunting article should be included in the Fall Guide. Especially one about bow hunters and how they train. If hunting doesn’t fit, I think there would be broad reader appeal for a tracking article. A tracking article would fit better in the winter edition, considering how easy it is then to discover abundant animal snow prints. A tracking article would naturally include photos of the animals and their respective prints. You might even interview the Sheriff’s department or Search & Rescue for their take on trackers within the department and throughout this region. How often do they use professional trackers to help solve crimes, find bewildered hikers, etc. When someone’s car is broken into in the winter, do the police try to gain evidence by taking photographs of footprints in the snow for later comparison to viable suspects’ prints?

Jeff Cordes’s January 2007 article entitled, “Week on Baldy makes Ancient Skiers feel young again” is another story worthy enough for reprint consideration in a Sun Valley Guide. (Maybe this has already been done, I don’t have these articles memorized as well as I used to)

Tying this story in with a longer tribute to Idaho war veterans, is another idea, I would be delighted to elaborate on if anybody is interested.

A fictional story called, Ode to the elk that jumped the Warm Springs corral:

In early 2006, when the Fish and Game made a final round of elk on the Warm Springs golf course, one cow Elk somehow managed to rise up and leap out from the tall fenced-corral. For a time it seems many people in the community were curious about what happened to this mythological creature. I think it would make a good writing prompt, for a schoolchildren’s composition class. A fictional story about what happened to her in the days and weeks thereafter. And from those submissions, I would bet you could find a few versions, fit to print in a future Sun Valley Guide.

One last thought: I’ve been reading that the Warm Springs ridge is now closed again, out of concern for wintering elk. Could any of these elk be the same ones that found their way back here after Fish and game relocated them to far away areas of the state. And does Fish and Game have ways to determine that? If so, this reminds me of the American Bison near Fairfield that jumped out of its pen a few years back, and then nonchalantly waltzed its way over to the Bellevue Triangle, where he found a new girlfriend!

As some of my friends often like to say, Love will always find a way.
Part two:
I would also like to see somebody interview Clint Eastwood about his films in Idaho. Why he originally chose Idaho, and why he stopped filming here after Pale Rider. Especially since he has been widely quoted as saying, “The only tough part about having about having to film in Idaho is when you have to leave.”
Local author Tony Taylor’s book Alpine Sentinels, which chronicles the way of life of the legendary Sheepeater Indians, distilled into a shorter version by extracting some of the best parts, could make for a gripping Sun Valley Guide story - as long as you don’t cut it too short!
Part three:
Three more ideas:

1. Another group that you could make look good in the Sun Valley Guide is the Elderhostel program, focusing on their educational traveling program in Idaho. You could center on what they like to experience when they visit the Sun Valley area. The Elderhostel group from Pocatello traditionally has been a huge fan of Sun Valley Guide and when I used to work there, they usually called in advance, to reserve several dozen copies for their reading pleasure, while they based out of the Tyrolean.

2. Yet another story, I would be interested in reading, is about travelers who commute between Sun Valley and Seattle on a regular basis. When I worked with Horizon Air, several people living in the Wood River Valley commuted between here and businesses in Seattle. Submitting such a story for reprint in Horizon Air magazine, could even help improve the working relationship between the airline and our community. Perhaps your graphics department could create a map, to make the line indicating the route between Seattle and Sun Valley, resemble an olive branch.

3. In addition, I’ve always wanted to see more written about the Wood River Valley’s sister cities. It seems like these relationships have stagnated for far too long.
Again, mailing a few copies of the guide (or suggesting that the respective sister city chambers of commerce kindly link your guide story into their websites and vice-versa) would help foster better working relationships between the Wood River Valley and our sister cities, via generating more tourism interest all around.

To gauge how unaware most locals are about their sister cities, the newspaper could conduct a man on the street segway, asking locals to name just one. I bet you would garner some interesting responses.

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