Author Archives: Lorie Palmer

About Lorie Palmer

Lorie Palmer Russell grew up in Custer, Washington, on the Canadian border, but Idaho was always a big part of her life, as her mother graduated from Sandpoint High School in 1953 and her dad from Kellogg High in 1954. Lorie obtained a BA in English literature from Northwest Nazarene University in Nampa and for decades has worked as community editor for the Idaho County Free Press in Grangeville. She and her husband have three grown daughters, two grandchildren, and one spoiled chiweenie named Crockett.

A Horsehair Potter

When I first heard the term “horsehair pottery,” I had a vision in my head of ceramic pieces wrapped in long strands of chestnut-colored horsehair, a bit like swathing pieces of thin rawhide around a vase. But the actual process turned out to be nothing like I expected, and the result like nothing I had ever seen.

I had heard about Jean Anglen of Cottonwood from a friend who said she made “beautiful horsehair pottery pieces.” I was skeptical. The idea of hair-wrapped ceramics didn’t really float my boat. But as a reporter for our local newspaper, I figured it didn’t really matter what I thought. Visiting with Jean might provide a nice feature story at some point, so I called and traveled the seventeen miles to the home she shares with husband Eldon. Continue reading

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Still Dancing

I grew up in a non-dancing family. Our church didn’t allow it back then, and after I moved to Grangeville, I was a little afraid to sign up my oldest daughter, Avery, for dance class.

Probably only a few non-dancers would know the strange reaction I had upon entering a dance class for the first time. It was like walking into a hall where my hearing was muted and even my vision of the students was blurry.

By the time my daughter Hailey was old enough to take dance, I felt more familiar with the experience. Now a high school freshman, Hailey began dancing in preschool, which was the first time I met Shirley Wilson Sears. Right away, I knew she meant business. Continue reading

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Mountain Man

On a Tuesday last September, I got a call from Eldene Wasem in Grangeville. She thought I might be interested in writing a story on a man whom her nephew, Monty Spears of Harpster, had discovered setting up camp near their family cabins at McComas Meadows east of Grangeville in the Nez Perce National Forest.

Working as a reporter at the Idaho County Free Press for going on twenty years, I listen when Eldene calls. In her eighties, she is an active go-getter who knows the history of Idaho County like, well, the back of her hand.

Although I couldn’t make it up the mountain the day she called, I got hold of Monty, who, along with his wife, Brenda, owns an RV park, store, and bar at Harpster, which is thirteen miles northeast of Grangeville. I made arrangements to meet him at the store the next day. It was a rainy morning when I piled in with Monty and he drove me eight miles up the mountain outside Harpster to the old Adams Camp area of McComas Meadows. Monty knows the place well, his parents having met at Adams Camp. Years later, he and Brenda were married there. Continue reading

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