Posts Tagged ‘Twin Falls’

Shoneshone Falls, as painted by Thomas Moran. One of the nicest things about Twin Falls, Idaho was its scenic location near the Snake River Gorge and this waterfall, which was located just six miles away from my home in town. The original of this painting was found in the local library during my two-year stay in the small Southern Idaho town. I remember those days, and my former boss, Steve Hartgen fondly.

Men do, Too Many Women Don’t

I recently received news that Steve Hartgen, the former managing editor of the Times-News in Twin Falls, Idaho, where I worked as regional editor for two years in the mid-1980s, had died.

I had accepted the job at the small local newspaper during a transitional time in my life.  It was the first time that I was entirely on my own. Divorced and with all my children on their own in the world, I was kind of full of myself.

Steve was a hard-nosed newsman who didn’t go easy on his reporters when he didn’t think they were doing their best. I respected him, and we got along well, mostly I think because he allowed me to stand up to him when I thought he was wrong. I never thought of him as sexist, but several of the female reporters did. They complained to me — because I was a woman like them and would understand — that our managing editor was harder on women than he was on the male reporters.

I didn’t see it that way. There was no question in my mind about Steve being hard on the female reporters, because he was. But as I saw it. Steve treated both the men and the women exactly the same harsh way. So, what was the difference? I asked myself this question, and then began to look for answers. It didn’t take long for me to come to a conclusion.

 When the men received a lecture from the managing editor, they listened, nodded, then afterwards shrugged it off, not convinced they had done anything wrong, certainly not something they should worry about. The women, meanwhile, took every word of the boss’ admonitions to heart, some even crying about it. They feared being fired, and always promised to do better.

The difference was clearly the amount of self-confidence the men had, and the lack of self-confidence the women suffered from. It was something I had seen before but not understood, and something I would see again many times during the remainder of my journalism career.

I learned a lot from working with Steve Hartgen those two years, especially the need to stand up for myself because no one else probably would. As to Steve, he will be missed. The news media needs more of his kind today: Hardnosed newswomen and newsmen who believe facts and truth are important for readers to know, but especially those whose only agendas are truth and facts and not their personal agendas.

Pat Bean is a retired award-winning journalist who lives in Tucson with her canine companion, Scamp. She is a wondering-wanderer, avid reader, enthusiastic birder, Lonely Planet Community Pathfinder, Story Circle Network board member, author of Travels with Maggie available on Amazon (Free on Kindle Unlimited), and is always searching for life’s silver lining.

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Shoshone Falls near Twin Falls, Idaho

“I long, as does every human being, to be at home wherever I find myself.” — Maya Angelou

They say you can’t go back home again. Of course you can. It’s just that nothing will be the same. Both people and cities change. Friendships, however, can be more durable. My stop for lunch in Twin Falls, Idaho, this day proved this.

While the huge Rose of Sharon bush, that had grown in my front yard and whose blooms I had treasured during the two years I lived in this Magic Valley city no longer existed, the bond between me and my friend, Kris, was as strong as ever. Over sandwiches at a new restaurant on Blue Lakes Boulevard, where businesses had expanded all the way from the city center to the edge of the Snake River Gorge since I moved away, she and I picked up just where we had left off 25 years ago.

 While we usually only see each other about once every three years, and seldom communicate between times, it always feels as if we had just talked the day before when we do finally get together. . I think people who have such friendships understand this miracle that time and distance can’t erode. I’m not sure how to explain the phenomenon to others.

 Kris is the person whose rough laughter cheered me when I was down or had made a fool of myself. Kris is also the person I nearly drowned when first learning to white-water raft. It happened on a section of the Snake River between Haggerman and Bliss before I knew that turning off the area’s irrigation water turned this stretch of water into a white water torrent that would capsize my small raft.

Fortunately all of us in the boat this day survived – although we had a five-mile walk back to our vehicles after the raft continued on down the river without us. Incidents like this can either destroy or strengthen friendships. I’m so glad for the direction ours took.

 While I always enjoy revisiting nature’s wonders in the Magic Valley – Shoshone Falls, The Snake River Gorge, Thousand Springs – it’s friendship that keeps me going back. It was the motivating factor this time for my choice of a driving route through Idaho.

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