Idaho - Famous for its Potatoes

Speaking in Idaho this past week has enabled me to have presented in all of our states that begin with the letter I - Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, and now Idaho. And so I have now dotted all the i`s and crossed all the t`s! The T states are of course Tennessee and Texas.
I have been fortunate to have now spoken in 36 of our beautiful states - need 14 more to make it the entire 50.

It took time, a long time and much effort on the part of Meléa Bates, currently a high school senior in Eagle, Idaho to accomplish my visit to Idaho. Meléa was in the 6th grade at her Eagle Middle School when she first read my memoir, Four Perfect Pebbles. It was then that she decided she wanted me to visit and speak in her school. Meléa phoned me, and told me her plans. But plans often take a long time in becoming reality.

That reality finally came this past week. Meléa`s persistence, perseverance, and hope never wavered for a moment. With the help of her mother, Melissa, and school officials, grants were written.

It was Sunday night, January 27, that we arrived at the Boise Airport after a 2 1/2 hour delay due to runway snow removal and deicing at the Salt Lake Airport. 
When we walked into the arrivals hall at the Boise Airport and saw what was going on, I wished that I had combed my hair better. Waiting to greet us was an enthusiastic group of high school students and adults holding welcome signs. All of this was captured on video by the Boise NBC affiliate, KTVB, and broadcast later that night on the 10 pm news. This welcome was also recorded by the Idaho Public Television crew, headed by producer & host, Marcia Franklin. The photo shown of Meléa and me was taken by Idaho Public Television the next morning at their studio, where Marcia Franklin is doing a documentary on my visit to Boise. By the way, we were told by the locals that the proper way to pronounce Boise is BoySee!

During the week I was privileged to speak at the Bishop Kelly High School in Boise and at Boise State University. Spoke also at Eagle Middle School, Eagle High School, and at an evening community event in Eagle, ID.

More about our incredible visit to Idaho, and meeting the many beautiful, warm and fine people of the area in my next newsletter.