Editor’s note: President Roosevelt’s September 1937 drive along Warm Springs Avenue and his visit to Boise wasn’t his only stop in Idaho. As the Statesman reported:
“After Boise, President Roosevelt saw Boise and Snake river valleys where irrigation has turned hopeless looking sagebrush into prosperous farming territory. Leaving Boise early Monday afternoon, the president’s party and a caravan of 50 automobiles carrying Idaho and Oregon officials, Boise Valley residents and newspaper correspondents wound through 75 miles of rich farming areas to rejoin the train at Ontario.
“At Ontario, the crowd pressed close around the train to cheer a smiling president who waved and shouted: ‘A great day.’ ”
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[Related: See a collection of photos from FDR’s visit ]
David Klinger’s article in the Sunday, Sept. 27, Statesman about President Franklin Delano Roosevelt and his wife Eleanor’s visit and praise of Boise has prompted me to share my experience during this brief trip to Idaho.
I was a fourth-grader in the Homedale school system, about 15 miles from Wilder, where my father, Arlie L. Parkins, was the superintendent.
Upon hearing that the Roosevelts were to come out to Wilder via a motorcade (in the open-air limo shown in the Statesman article) to view the beautiful fields of onions being harvested at the outstanding Peckham farm in Wilder, my dad made sure that the whole Homedale student body (grades 1 through 12) was bused to Wilder. There we stood along Main Street to wave at our president and his wife.
My impression as a 10-year-old was of Eleanor waving at all of us as they were driven through Wilder out to see the fall crops.
I didn’t really see much of the president, and I really didn’t understand what it was all about until later — years later. But I was impressed by the open car and the large number of people lining the street in Wilder.
Artylee Parkins Turnbull, 90, lives in Eagle.