Author Archives: Dave Goins

About Dave Goins

Dave Goins is a former IDAHO magazine managing editor and the owner-operator of Idaho News Service, a Boise-based news agency. He lists among his accomplishments being a member in 1977 of the first Greenleaf Friends Academy basketball team in school history to qualify for the A-4 state tournament. In his spare time, he likes to write non-rhyming or off-rhyme poetry.

Cornerstones

If you happen to be an Idaho sports history junkie with a penchant for stories of big-name athletes who have competed in the Gem State, or if you’re just in the mood for some charmingly obscure sports anecdotes, Myron Finkbeiner’s The Cornerstones of Idaho Sports (Resilient Publishing, 2014) should make your must-read list.

Finkbeiner, a longtime coach and founder of the Boise-based World Sports Humanitarian Hall of Fame, did his research. I found myself chuckling quietly while reading Chapter 26, “Outlaw Basketball, City Basketball in the 1940s.” As the author notes, it isn’t about prison basketball leagues, but about an oddity of small Idaho towns that happened well before my time. I began a local sports-writing career in Nampa in 1979, but I’d never heard of outlaw basketball. I won’t spoil that story for you, though. Continue reading

This content is available for purchase. Please select from available options.
Register & Purchase  Purchase Only
Posted on by Dave Goins / Leave a comment

Final Inning

For me, nothing that summer was like the thrum of American Legion baseball. It was 1982. Fresh from college and pursuing a freelance sports journalism career on a diet of ramen noodles, store-bought pizza, and cheap beer, I spent a lot of my time at Caldwell’s Simplot Stadium, covering home games of the Silver Streaks Legion team for the Idaho Press-Tribune.

Beyond the stadium’s business-billboard fences, the summer scene was defined by railroad tracks and the Caldwell Night Rodeo. Sometimes during those lazy evening innings, trains would traverse the tracks, slipping through the season’s high desert heat, bound for somewhere in America. Baseball is America. So that was perfect. That was my backdrop for watching baseball in Caldwell.

At Simplot Stadium I first met William Bryan “Pat” O’Connor, the lightly redheaded, pot-bellied, and immensely popular guru of the local baseball scene. Everyone called him Pat. A Caldwell native and seemingly omnipresent fixture at sporting events, Pat was a professional baseball scout in those days, and onetime general manager of the Chicago Cubs’ Caldwell-based minor league affiliate. He also owned a local sporting goods store.

He had graduated from The College of Idaho some five decades earlier, and he asked what my major had been in college. I told him English.

“An English major!” he exclaimed, in mock excitement. He said when he was in college, an English major had become romantically involved with his girlfriend and had replaced Pat in her affections. From then on, he called me “the English major.” I took it as his way of being friendly. Continue reading

This content is available for purchase. Please select from available options.
Register & Purchase  Purchase Only
Posted on by Dave Goins / Leave a comment

The Little Mellow

Greenleaf in the mid-1970s was a Quaker version of the sitcom town of Mayberry, except there was no Sheriff Andy Taylor or Deputy Barney Fife.

There was no law enforcement at all in Greenleaf—except for the incidental fact that then-Canyon County Sheriff George Nourse lived just down the street from the Greenleaf Friends Church parsonage where my family and I lived, and that Canyon County deputies occasionally set up speed traps on the Highway 19 portion running through Greenleaf. Maybe they still do, I don’t know.

Dad, who was then pastor at the Friends Church, once told me Sheriff Nourse had left a note on our front door advising us to keep our doors locked at night. Nourse wasn’t a Quaker, to my knowledge, nor was Elton Winslow, whom I’ll mention later.

I don’t know that anyone kept statistics on it, but I think it’s safe to say Greenleaf’s crime rate during that era was extremely low. The only “crime” I remember in Greenleaf happened during my high school days in the mid-70s when rambunctious classmates of mine climbed onto the Greenleaf Friends Academy roof, resulting in a call to the Canyon County Sheriff’s deputies to intervene. I wasn’t actually there to witness it, but that’s my memory of the second-hand story. If I got it wrong almost forty years later, I apologize.

I do clearly remember Greenleaf at that time and even later as a very mellow, even idyllic setting. The aroma from mint fields permeated town in summertime, while sprinklers on crops tick-tick-ticked in a kind of magical country rhythm, and the corn-on-the-cob from Mom’s garden was sweet. Continue reading

This content is available for purchase. Please select from available options.
Register & Purchase  Purchase Only
Posted on by Dave Goins / Leave a comment