A chapter from “Growing Up Wild”

Author’s note: Growing Up Wild has a book within the book entitled Alex’s Restaurant. This is an excerpt from the book inside the book. Big Dog’s mama didn’t really name him that. She named him after his two grandpappies, Brian O’Shannahan and David Broadwater, but neither name stuck as well as his initials did, because Brian David Broadwater grew up… Read more →

Sandy Compton Chief Joseph Nesplem

Visiting Chief Joseph — September 19, 1999

“NEZ PARCE CMTY.” — An excerpt from  Side Trips From Cowboy Journal entries, September 19 — Dawn, The Keller-Nespelem Divide, Washington. I have just met Alfredo. He and his crew of five young, Spanish-speaking men showed up as I stuffed my dew-soaked bag into its sack. They turn their music up, bring out chain saws, hard hats, gloves, chaps, goggles.… Read more →

Surviving the Mother of All Overscheduled Weekends . . . and watering trees

Sandpoint, the nominal capitol of the vague state of Montaho was VERY busy last weekend. Hundreds of folks from as far away as Athol — heck, maybe even Spokane — strolled the streets with melting huckleberry ice cream running down their arms, because it was also hotter than a firecracker. I probably shouldn’t even say “firecracker.” We’ve been smelling smoke… Read more →

Photography is one of my great loves

And, some days photography even loves me. I took this picture at Nespelem, Washington, in the Nez Perce Cemetery on the Colville Indian Reservation. The tree is an ancient elm that arches over Chief Joseph’s grave. People have left many gifts hanging in that tree. Notice that the cross is accompanied by a coach’s or referee’s whistle, as well as… Read more →

The Girl Who Needed Glasses

There were four of us who arrived in Russia together; Gerald, Hazel, Eugene and I. We arrived in Moscow as most Americans do, dead tired and unprepared for the seemingly eternal phalanx of forms and uniforms one must pass through to enter the Mother Country. Time is already distorted for someone who has just flown half-way around the world, and… Read more →

God's Will — by Sandy Compton

God’s Will and Testament

God’s Will I, God, being of infinite mind and inscrutable body, do hereby declare My continuing Will and Testament, human edition. Planet Earth, I leave to its inhabitants, large and small, magnificent and mundane. The smarter should take care of the not-so-smart. I leave it to you to figure out who or what that might be. The rest of the… Read more →

Twenty Questions

Twenty Questions Are you an addict? There is really only one person who can answer that question and that’s you. Others might be able to see it in you, and be convinced of it by your actions, and even take their own steps to obtain help for you or themselves. But you are the one who must decide whether you… Read more →

Step One

Step One “We admitted we were helpless over the problem — that our lives have become unmanageable.” So, let’s talk about addiction. I have already expressed that I think of it as cancer of the soul, a malignancy that begins growing in our spirit when we first indulge our addiction and eventually replaces maturity: growupus interruptus. I have already told… Read more →

Links to Recovery

One day at a time, you can get your life back through the Twelve Steps. Resource pages for addicts and addiction information are collected below in no particular order. We have  first included links to associations and twelve step programs that are open and free. If something is eating up your time and money, or providing a place to hide… Read more →

August 2015: Good Dog!

There’s a snowshoe hare living somewhere around my yard. I see her (him?) almost every day. Medium brown. Medium sized. Medium-length ears. Extra fast. Most often, I see it when I come home from somewhere, sitting sentinel in the yard. As soon as I drive in, it blitzes off into the brush. GC — my dog — has either not… Read more →

Sandy Compton

Growing Up Wild

When my mother was growing up and her children and her grandchildren, many of the kids living between Hope, Idaho, and Paradise, Montana, grew up wild, and they still do. Folks trying to get started in the Clark Fork valley often have to work so hard to plant themselves that there’s no time to cultivate the children, also. Instead, we… Read more →

Antigone

Following the message, a long, plaintive beeeeeeeeeeeep told Della that Mix hadn’t checked messages for some time. It was as if the machine was as lonely as she, also lamenting his neglect. She imagined it listening for his fumbling fingers at the door, praying he would get the key into the lock before it died of longing. When the phone… Read more →

The Trouble With Loving Angel

The trouble with loving someone like Angel is that sooner or later, it’s going to break your heart. Sooner or later, she will fade out of your life completely and leave you wondering whatever happened to that girl with the aversion to makeup, the perfect eyes, the smile that twisted left and the slightly whacked sense of humor. You don’t… Read more →

May your children live in interesting times — a Chinese curse

This morning, I’m at White Bird canyon in north central Idaho. A red-tailed hawk sails along the bottom of a scree slope below me at the edge of the White Bird Battlefield segment of the Nez Perce Trail National Historic Trail. I am standing in a display that explains the beginnings of the Nez Perce War of 1877. Below me,… Read more →