Folksinger on Canvas

A Long-Ago Visit with the Late, Great Archie Teater

By Betty Derig with Melissa Derig

When I wrote a letter to the Teaters many years ago, asking to visit and to interview Archie, his wife Patricia’s two-word answer, “Please come,” made me feel I would be warmly received.

In their driveway, I stepped out of my car to the sight of a small but distinctive sandstone house cantilevering over the Snake River Canyon near Bliss, above the tumbling river. The house was designed by Frank Lloyd Wright, with whom the Teaters worked closely, making several trips to his Arizona studio, Talieson West, to discuss the site and the furniture that the famous architect also would design. The canyon sloped away from their front porch, offering a view that would tempt any painter. Wild flowers bloomed seasonally, along with sagebrush, wild cherry, and sumac. “The house is so comfortable and suits us so well, we never like to leave it,” Archie told me.

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Betty Derig

About Betty Derig

Betty Derig is an Idaho native living in Caldwell who graduated from Washington State College and earned a Masters degree from the University of Montana in history with an emphasis on Northwest Americana. A past member of the Board of Trustees of the Idaho Historical Society, she taught at Treasure Valley Community College and has written several Idaho books. Her granddaughter Melissa Derig helped to prepare this manuscript.

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