The Old Dress

Discussion in 'Other Reminiscences' started by Yvonne Smith, Mar 7, 2015.

  1. Yvonne Smith

    Yvonne Smith Senior Staff
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    My mother and father went through the Great Depression at the old ranch house in Paradise Valley, near Bonners Ferry. They still lived there until after I was born, and they then moved to Sandpoint because my dad had the lineman's job with Northern Lights.
    One of my happiest times as a little girl was when we made the trip up to Bonners together, and went to the old abandoned ranch house. There was a beautiful old-fashioned pump organ in the living room, and I loved to sit there and play it.
    I know that this is what started my love of organ music.

    My folks would search through the house for things they wanted to bring to Sandpoint, but over the years; things disappeared. Vandalizing teenagers dumped over my pump organ, and we found it, smashed to smithereens on the floor.
    Mom cried.
    She must have loved it as much as I did. She said she would much rather that someone had stolen the organ than just smashed it up like that.

    Eventually, the house got too dangerous for someone to go inside. It was built in the 1800's, and said to have originally been a stagecoach stopover for travelers going to Canada.
    Years passed, my parents both passed away, and the old farmhousse had to be demolished for safety's sake.
    When I was in my mid-fifties, I moved back to Bonners Ferry, lived in a little trailer on the back of the same property, and got a job working for Ruralnorthwest.com, an online newspaper that also had a printed free version that was handed out once or twice a month.
    My job was to deliver the bulletin and to set up advertising, and I also went along with "Uncle Bud", our local feature writer, when he was on writing assignments.
    One such assignment took us to the studio/home of a local artist, Jean Mace.
    While visiting together, I explained to her that my parents had lived in the old farmhouse at the top of Paradise Valley hill, and she said that she well-remembered the place, and had actually been inside it several times, exploring.

    She said they had needed a costume for a party and she rummaged through the old clothes left in the upstairs bedroom at the ranch, and found a beautiful old dress that was perfect for her to wear to the costume party.
    Then, she went to her closet, brought out my mother's old dress, beautifully preserved, drycleaned and on a hanger.
    We both shed tears as she gave me that dress, and a tangible piece of my family history.
    The story was featured, along with pictures, in the local newspaper, and the dress is safely being kept for my daughter at the home of my son and his wife.

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  2. Pat Baker

    Pat Baker Well-Known Member
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    Beautiful vintage dress, glad you have been able to preserve the dress for the future.
     
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  3. Joe Riley

    Joe Riley Veteran Member
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    What a neat story, and photograph, Yvonne! Thank you!

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  4. Patsy Faye

    Patsy Faye Veteran Member
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    The picture above is so lovely. I missed this story first time around, pleased it came back for another airing, its a great
    story ! :)
     
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