J.R. Simplot's Legacy

Simplot siblings didn't see much of father, each other when growing up

Simplot's two oldest sons didn't see much of their father or younger siblings when they were growing up. The boys were rarely at home.

"Scott and Gay were home but spent a lot of their time with a governess,"Don Simplot said. "Dick and I were shipped off to school."

Don and Dick Simplot went to a series of boarding schools in Palo Alto and Santa Barbara, Calif., Faribault, Minn., and other cities.

"We got in our share of trouble,"Don said. "Nothing real bad, but still trouble. We got booted out at Menlo for making wine in the bathtub."

When classes let out for the summer, he continued, "Dad would ship us off to Loon Creek (the family retreat on the Middle Fork of the Salmon River). He'd fly us in there, and we'd spend the summer. He'd come up four or five times a summer and go fishing or float the river with us. But he was always talking business, even then."

The boys' long absences did little for relationship-building with other family members.

"I never had a family relationship with Gay and Scott and probably still don't," Don said. "We see each other at executive committee meetings, and that's about it."