Remembering Elma

A Citizen of Soldier

By Diana Hooley

I’m glad there was enough snow in December for Soldier Mountain Ski Area to open. Brundage in McCall, Bogus Basin in Boise, and the Sun Valley Resort are all great if you’re an avid skier and like lots of runs to choose from. But my husband and I prefer the smaller, friendlier resorts like Soldier, or Pomerelle in the Albion Mountains west of Malta.

Every time I think of Soldier Mountain, I think of Elma Goodman. I met her several years ago in a weight loss group I’d joined in Glenns Ferry. Elma was fifty years older than I and she once told me that losing weight was not for sissies, but neither was getting old. She and her husband Wesley lived in Glenns Ferry, but she’d grown up just north of Fairfield in the town of Soldier.

“I know, dear, nobody knows where Soldier is,” she said to me. “Even people who ski on the mountain miss my little town. But it’s on the way. You’ll turn right in front of the old bank to get to the resort. I remember when I was little girl riding my horse down Main Street in Soldier. We even had an Opera House. Now Soldier’s almost a ghost town.”

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Diana Hooley

About Diana Hooley

Diana Hooley spent several years as a professor at Idaho State University before returning to journalism and freelance writing. She has written recently for the Idaho Statesman and the Twin Falls Times-News as a guest commentator on environmental and agricultural issues. Visit her at

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