In December I was on assignment documenting a day in the life of Idaho's newest house speaker, Scott Bedke, at his Oakley home and ranch. The southern Idaho cattleman maintains a family tradition lasting generations, like many ranchers in Idaho.
Spending the day with Bedke as he loaded hay, fed cattle and attended the Burley livestock auction was similar to other assignments I've taken in the past. However, this one awakened memories as a child when I helped my grandfather with chores at his small farm in Rockland. Like Bedke, Grandpa Mac also had a ranch dog that followed us around faithfully from one chore to the next.
Grandpa Mac would let me drive the tractor in a big circle in the pasture while he unloaded hay for his herd of cattle. He taught me how to test an electrified fence with a green stalk of alfalfa and laughed when I jumped. After a day of hard work, he still found time to make willow whistles for grandchildren.
Once he took me to the same Burley livestock auction where Speaker Bedke paid a visit on my assignment. Thirty years later the atmosphere at the auction was still familiar, and the memory of Grandpa Mac a welcome bonus.
Darin Oswald: 377-6434