The Right Gravity

In One Place Only

By Mary Lou Nosco

Photos Courtesy of Mary Lou Nosco

Wherever my family went when I was growing up, we always returned home to Twin Falls to visit my grandparents. I would wait, hardly able to breathe, for the lights of the Magic Valley and Twin Falls to come into view.

I was born in Twin Falls, population fourteen thousand at the time, and raised there until we began moving, when I was in seventh grade. The Twin Falls of my youth was a safe town. In kindergarten, each day I walked the eleven blocks to school alone. By the time I was in third grade, I rode my bike across town to the library. Twin Falls was home.

My father, grandfather, and uncle owned McRill Auto Repair. When I was in fourth grade they purchased the Studebaker dealership but two years later Studebaker declared bankruptcy and our family business was gone. My father began selling cemetery lots, vaults, and markers. He worked with a group that contracted to sell spaces in a certain geographical area and when those spaces were sold, they moved on to somewhere else. And so did my family.

As a new student in the small town of Kellogg, I was a novelty and suddenly popular. We lived in the last house in Moon Gulch on an old mining property. We were the last stop for the school bus and once my sister and I got home we were there to stay, as my father used the family car for his work. I spent hours reading and playing my flute.

Those hours of practicing my instrument paid off when we moved to Lewiston, where I sat first player in the flute section.

We then spent one school year and two summers in Salem, Oregon, where my sister and I worked in the fields picking strawberries and green beans for spending money. By this third move, making new friends became easier for me although finding a sense of belonging was harder. I looked forward to our twice-yearly trips back to Twin Falls, my grandparents, and the feeling of being home.

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Mary Lou Nosco

About Mary Lou Nosco

Mary Lou Nosco holds a BA from Boise State University and an EdD from Drake University. A retired Army officer and educator, she teaches at the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute of Iowa State University, and enjoys her grandchildren, biking, playing the Native American Style Flute, and writing.

One Response to The Right Gravity

  1. Debi Miller - Reply


    Hello, Mary Lou. My name is Debra “Debi” Barrett Miller. I think my Grandfather and father sold the Studebaker dealership to your family. My Grandfather was John A Barrett and my dad, Lloyd Alfred Barrett. My dad’s brother was Havard and his younger sister, Barbara. My husband and I are going to visit Twin Falls, for the first time, in September. I hope you are well.

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