The Christmas Card Effect

On Cedar Street in the Dark

By Corki Hibbard Mattila

It’s strange that I don’t remember my family’s first drive to Wallace, a week or so before Christmas in 1966. 

I barely remember where we stayed, and I couldn’t tell you how many days we spent there. I recall looking at a few homes. Mining was on the upswing and there were very few housing choices. One rental, a grand old home built around 1910, stole my heart. Not only was it a huge two-story house with a big front porch and a beautiful interior but it was directly across the street from the high school. What could be better? The buildings downtown were architectural wonders, and the turn-of-the-century homes inspired fanciful imagery in my young brain. Wallace was something to see in those days: two train stations, department stores, small shops, and a few unusual businesses that I knew nothing about. What I remember most from that trip was a dark December afternoon on Cedar Street, when my love affair with Wallace began. Fifty years later, I recall that moment as clearly as if it were yesterday. 

I have lived in Idaho all of my life.  When my family moved from Salmon to Wallace, I was fifteen. It was a change I had thought could never happen. Graduation from Salmon High School seemed a certainty. How could I leave my lifetime friends?  My life had a plan, or so I thought. It included graduation, college at a southern Idaho school, and someday a wedding in our family church.  

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Corki Hibbard Mattila

About Corki Hibbard Mattila

Corki Hibbard Mattila is a lifetime Idaho resident. A retired screen printing/graphic design teacher, she now owns and operates a small sublimation printing business (Corki’s Whatever You Ink). Corki works from the basement of her historic Wallace home. She divides her time between community activities, printing, and enjoying retirement with her husband Elmer.