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Carlson: So long, Cece

When Cecil Andrus first ran for governor in 1966, his campaign manager was Leo Krulitz, a brilliant young attorney from Mullan, a graduate of Stanford and Harvard Law. He came up with what he thought would be the winning slogan: Cecil Andrus for Governor — “My kind of man.”

In today’s politically correct world Krulitz would probably come up with something else. The slogan did not resonate with the electorate even back then. Andrus lost the 1966 election not once, but twice.

In saying so long to the longest-serving, most successful, progressive governor in Idaho history it is important to understand the man behind the public figure.

Andrus was an extraordinary person who filled the multiple roles required with grace, character, elan and panache.

He genuinely liked people, and had a photographic memory for people’s names. If he met a person once then did not see them for years he would still instantly recall their name.

Despite his phenomenal political success he was at heart a humble man. “I put my pants on one leg at a time just like every other man,” he would state. He always drove his own car, and eschewed security details. He never was one to brag, either. He let success speak for itself.

He had a great sense of humor and took pleasure in telling self-deprecating stories. While speaking he once was rubbing his hand across his balding head saying that “grass doesn’t grow on a busy street,” A voice from the rear of the audience loudly piped up saying “neither does it grow on a rock.”

He was a natural teacher who always took time to explain the teaching moment whether it involved kneeling down to look a youngster seeking an autograph in the eye or underscoring a life-lesson in a matter troubling an aide. He cared about the person regardless of who or their station in life.

He was a religious man, but didn’t wear it on his sleeve. He let his actions, his compassion, his caring speak for his adherence to the Gospel values. He participated in a monthly Bible group for years that few knew about.

Largely self-educated, few knew he was a prodigious reader.

He was a devoted father who loved his daughters and knew the best thing a man could do for his children was to love and respect their mother. Like most dads he was a soft touch for his girls but he always had time for them to offer advice and counsel when asked.

He loved to hunt and fly fish in Idaho’s great out-of-doors. A holdover from his own hard-scrabble youth was a sense of the need to fill the freezer each fall with the deer and elk he shot, the ducks, geese and pheasants he brought home. He ate what he killed and was a genuine conservationist.

Because he loved hunting he kept and trained a hunting dog which always became a devoted companion that he and Carol would walk in the Boise foothills. His current bird dog, Maisy, was next to him when he died.

He wasn’t afraid to show emotion and shed tears in front of others. Once, while visiting him at his home I walked into the living room quietly only to see him sitting in his recliner with big tears rolling down his cheeks as he was watching the tv. A Fish and Game ad he’d done several years earlier was running and the video was of him and the hunting dog he had then and deeply missed.

He understood the importance of one taking responsibility for his actions, of not being afraid to admit a rare mistake now and then. He never pretended to be perfect. Like the “gyppo logger” and saw mill operator he was before being elected to the Idaho Senate and entering the industrial insurance business, he could get angry. Those who lied to him never had a second chance, and the only times I ever saw his eyes flash and thought he was about to punch someone was when his integrity was questioned.

In this monochromatic world where society seems to be striving to homogenize everyone and minimize gender differences, he stood out as an authentic man — a real man’s man. He stood on life’s stage as a giant, often surrounded by pygmies. It is doubtful Idaho will ever see the likes of him again.

Krulitz had it correct, after all. Cecil Andrus is and was my kind of man, your kind of man and Idaho’s man for all seasons and all reasons. His trail ride is over but it was one heck’uv a ride. I will always believe he could have been president if he had wanted to be. He loved his family and Idaho too much to put them through the rigors of that pursuit. He will long live on in our hearts and in the many legacies he left us.

As he rides off into history you can almost hear him saying “I’ve been rode hard and put up wet a few too many times” but it was my honor to serve the people of Idaho.

Rest in peace, Cece.


Mailbag
Letters of Thanks

Glanbia supports community

Glanbia is known for its cheese, but it certainly isn’t “cheesy” about supporting our community.

Rock Creek Food Bank was among those who were the beneficiaries of Glanbia’s latest donations. Rock Creek Food Bank provides food for those in need in the Kimberly, Hansen, Eden and Hazelton area. Although the recipients change as their financial circumstances change, the RCFB provides about 40 families with food assistance twice a month. As RCFB depends entirely upon volunteers and donations from the community, this generous gift of $7,500 from Glanbia is much needed and appreciated. It will provide many healthy meals for those in need. We thank Glanbia for their generous support to Rock Creek Food Bank and for their support of the many other organizations which benefit from their community spirit. We are fortunate to live in a community that cares about all of its residents.

Robyn Moss, chairwoman

RCFB board of directors

Thank you for a great Beer Fest

The Blue Lakes Rotary hosted their 6th Annual Magic Valley Beer Festival fundraiser on Aug. 5 under the shade trees of Twin Falls City Park. It was a gorgeous day with an amazing selection of beers to sample, live music to dance to, games to play and great local food to enjoy. We, the members of Blue Lakes Rotary Club, would like to express our appreciation to those who made our event such a success!

Thank you to our generous sponsors.

Golden Barrel: Barry Equipment & Rental and Coburg Fence

Silver Pitcher: Standard Printing Solutions, Watkin’s Distributing, TEC Distributing, Hayden Beverage, Craig Stein Beverage, Pepsi, Fisher’s Technology and Clif Bar

Bronze Pint: Falls Brand, S & S Audio, Gem State Welders Supply, Argo, Idaho Power, and Make-a-Fish Foundation

Friends of Blue Lakes Rotary: ProMasters,Tour Ice, Worst, Fitzgerald & Stover, TitleFact, Inc, Alliance Title & Escrow, Service Master and Clear Springs Foods

Thanks to all who contributed silent auction and raffle items, and to the Southern Idaho Parrotheads for volunteering to pour beer. Also, cheers to the nearly 1,400 people in attendance. Your patronage is the reward for our efforts and makes possible our support for numerous charitable projects.

Michelle Carpenter and Marianne Barker

Blue Lakes Rotary Club

Beer Festival chairwomen

Thanks for the sod

I would like to thank Raft River Sod for donating sod to the Cassia County Fairgrounds. The sod was laid behind the new bleachers in the rodeo arena as part of my Eagle Scout project. Please support this business, as they are supporters of our community.

Thank you again.

Deegan Hanks

Thanks for the help

Thank you to the couple that helped me when I fell in front of Shopko Sunday. You were angels.

Betty Albee

Buhl


Editorial
OUR VIEW
Our View: Cheers and Jeers

Cheer

Every baby born is a special gift of life, but when your child is born during a once-in-a-lifetime solar eclipse, it’s just a little more special.

Such is the case for Lucas Tone Pola, born at 11:59 a.m. Monday while the moon was blotting out the sun.

His mother, Sara, went into labor about 10:30 a.m. at St. Luke’s Magic Valley Medical Center, just as the eclipse was beginning. She and her husband, Bryson, named the boy Lucas, which means “the bringer of light” in Latin.

The name was picked out long before the eclipse, but isn’t it poetic?

Jeer

For being a seasoned politician, Raul Labrador fumbled his reaction to the Charlottesville rally by releasing a long and mealy-mouthed statement in the wake of the Nazi rally.

A few days later, Boise State University President Bob Kustra referenced the statement in a speech at the university.

Then, Labrador went on the attack. In a radio interview, Labrador suggested that Kustra should be fired. Further, Labrador blew a pretty hard dog whistle when he pointed out that Kustra is from a liberal state, Illinois.

Thing is, Kustra is from Illinois – where he was a Republican in both houses of the state’s legislature and also served as the state’s lieutenant governor. Kustra may run a university these days, but it’s disingenuous to suggest he’s a liberal.

If that’s any indication of the thickness of Labrador’s political skin, he’s going to be in for a bumpy campaign as he runs to become the next governor of Idaho. You can count on plenty of folks lodging much more pointed criticisms of Labrador than what Kustra said.

Maybe Kustra shouldn’t have jumped into Labrador’s pool, but he certainly doesn’t deserve to lose his job over it. And Labrador knows better than to suggest it.

Cheer

Cheers to College of Southern Idaho President Jeff Fox and other community leaders working to form a City Club of the Magic Valley.

The college’s upcoming Constitution Day will serve as a test of sorts for whether there’s community interest in forming the club.

We hope there is.

City clubs already exist in Boise and Idaho Falls, where the clubs tackle important community issues and help shape public policy.

This isn’t just another service club. While clubs like Rotary and Kiwanis do untold good in the community, a City Club is more focused on debating the big issues. Consider what the Magic Valley is going through now: refugee resettlement, economic growth, education reforms and quickly changing communities. A City Club could work outside the boundaries of government to bring community leaders to the same table.

In Boise, the club’s motto is “Things happen when people start talking.” Sounds like that’s just the kind of ethos the Magic Valley needs.