THAT'S IT FOR THIS TIME
REMEMBER, IF YOU DON'T WANT TO RECEIVE OUR
WEBSITE AND BLOG
JUST UNSUBSCRIBE AT THE BOTTOM OF OUR EMAIL
If you know a friend or neighbor who would like to
get on our email list, have them email us:
|CRIME IN BERMUDA DUNES
|“The principal purpose of this website is to provide useful information for residents of Bermuda Dunes. It is not possible, however, for The Blog Folks independently to verify information submitted to us.
Accordingly, our listing of goods and services is not intended to be, nor should it be construed as, an endorsement. The purchasers of goods and services listed on our website are encouraged to perform
their own due diligence.” This website is owned, operated and paid for exclusively by The Blogfolks. We are not affiliated with Riverside County or any other entity.
LIFE IS GOOD IN BERMUDA DUNES
|Today is Thursday, October 20, 2016
Meets the 2nd Thursday
every other month
supervisor benoit's office
760 863 8211
Lt. Mike Manning
760 863 8784
760 540 1878
760 393 3344
Bermuda Dunes Community
Dunes Community Center
1 951 955 3333
1 866 732 1444
760 320 1048
1 393 3344
Dept of Animal Services
760 343 3644
Bermuda dunes Airport
Robert Berriman, Mgr.
PH: 760 345 2558
ABOUT BDSA AND
4th Thurs. of every
Bermuda Dunes Security
Association (BDSA) is
responsible for streets
(potholes, cracks, street
drainage and dry wells),
Security entry/exit, patrol
vehicles, cable TV
agreement, fee collection
& payment, gates & gate
lights, medians, walls,
guardhouses and all
BDSA is managed by
Desert Resort Mgmt
John Edward Clark
760 346 1161
The Admin Office is open
Monday thru Friday for
questions and concerns.
Admin staff can also
with access to the
Resident Login System
Admin hours are as
If this is urgent, please
contact Security at:
Main Gate: 760-360-1322
Glass Gate: 760-772-
Here is what
(BDCA) is responsible
most problems relating
property owner's home
and lot, dogs,
draining, trash cans,
at the main gate.
Committee reports to
Dues are $100 per year
and are payable in
January in lump sum
New Manager is
The Management Co.
39755 Berkey Drive,
Suite A • Palm Desert,
P: (760) 776-5100 x6343
F: (760) 776-5111
THE BLOGFOLKS CONTACT INFORMATION
Email us: Theblogfolks@bdcommun.com
|Help restore the
Take your support for
the Salton Sea “on the
road.” You can reserve a
specialty license plate of
the Salton Sea and do
your part to help restore
the Sea’s air quality,
wildlife habitat and
precious water. When
7,500 people have sent
in their reservation form
and paid the
corresponding fee, the
plates will go into
Be one of the first to
Save the Sea! -
|FERAL CAT AND KITTY
REMEMBER...IF YOU ARE
FEEDING FERAL CATS
YOU ARE RESPONSIBLE
PLEASE email MRS. B
if you find kittens that need
attention prior to 8 weeks. I
will come and get them and
take care of them.
|BERMUDA DUNES SECURITY
|Dates for the 2016 Hwy 62 Open
Studio Art Tours are:
October 15-16th and October
The Hwy 62 Open Studios Art Tour, sponsored by the
Morongo Basin Cultural Arts Council, is an annual
gathering in October over the course of two weekends
of artists living in the Morongo Basin who open their
studios to showcase their art and share their creative
process with the public. Visitors create their own
self-guided tour using the printed catalog to map their
way through the open studios.
|FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Bruce Larson
Author and Sunset garden editor Johanna Silver joins a team
of desert garden experts at the 11th Annual Desert Garden
August 22, 2016 – Join the desert’s landscape and garden
enthusiasts at UCR Palm Desert on Saturday, October 15
from 8:30 AM to 1:00 PM for a day of workshops,
demonstrations and informational exhibits.
Learn how to create and maintain a lush, low-water garden at
this free event presented by Desert Horticultural Society of
the Coachella Valley and sponsored by host UCR Palm
Desert. Special guest presenter Johanna Silver joins a host
of desert garden experts who will show participants how to
create and maintain a desert-friendly garden and reduce
water requirements, responding to Southern California’s
ongoing drought conditions and water restrictions. She will
talk about her new book, The Bold Dry Garden: Lessons from
the Ruth Bancroft Garden (Timber Press, September 2016).
Classes and demonstrations include garden design, DIY
grass removal, irrigation practices, patio and courtyard (small
garden) design, proper pruning techniques, growing
vegetables in the desert, and much more. Desert Garden
Community Day has something for novice and expert
gardeners, including exhibits and information booths from
local businesses, water agencies, garden clubs and others
that support desert-friendly gardening, all free of charge.
UCR Palm Desert is located at 75080 Frank Sinatra Drive,
Palm Desert, CA 92211
Class schedules, speakers and additional information will be
available online mid-September on our website. Visit us at
deserthorticulturalsociety.org Or visit us on Facebook at
The Desert Horticultural Society of the Coachella Valley
(DHSCV) is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization founded in
2005 to promote the use of desert appropriate plants that
support local wildlife and conserve water. Each year, DHSCV
supports community projects including desert landscape
conversions and scholarships for Coachella Valley kids.
|THIS EVENT IS RUNNING FROM OCTOBER 29TH 2016
UNTIL APRIL 8TH 2017.
IT IS NEXT OCCURRING ON OCTOBER 29TH 2016
Art On Main Street
Enjoy a relaxing day in beautiful Old Town La Quinta
featuring the original art of 70 artists, including paintings,
photography, ceramics, glass, metal sculpture, jewelry,
and textiles. Art on Main Street will be held the following
Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. 2016: October 29,
November 12, & November 26. 2017: January 21,
February 4, February 18, March 18, April 8. Admission
and parking are free and all Old Town restaurants and
shops will also be open.
|A Not-so-Spooky Zoo Adventure
Sunday October 30 ● 10am - 2pm
Free for members or with paid admission
Monday, October 31 ● 6pm - 8:30pm
Free members night & $10 for non-members
The Living Desert's family-friendly Halloween event returns with
the wildly popular H.N. and Frances C. Berger Foundation's Howl-
O-Ween, a not-so-spooky zoo adventure.
Visitors are encouraged to dress up in their favorite costumes and
enjoy the exciting activities planned. Howl-O-Ween attendees
under 12 will receive a candy bag to hit the trick-or-treat trail with
a large variety of treat stations.
New this year, Howl-O-Ween visitor ghosts, goblins, and super-
heroes can visit the park's African animals- trick or treat with the
cheetahs and zebras, say boo to the warthogs, and wander
through Village WaTuTu.
Additional activities include pumpkin bowling, pumpkin
decorating, face painting, a monster maze, live entertainment and
more. Zookeepers will provide special animal encounters and
The Living Desert's zoo mascots will also be making appearances
WE COULD USE YOUR HELP WITH THE PAW PATROL ANIMALS
WE WOULD LIKE TO HAVE WATER BOWLS AVAILABLE, AS
WELL AS TREATS
WE WILL BE BUSY WITH THE 'TRUNK OR TREAT' EVENTS THAT WE
CHRISTY AND CARLEY
Hi and thanks for asking. I will get it done along
with my little buddy to my right!
2016 celebrates the 52nd Parade on Sunday, October
30, with the fabulous ‘Golf Carts, Ghosts & Glitter’
The World Famous Palm Desert Golf Cart Parade
originated in the early 60s, put together by several
individuals who just wanted to have fun. Production
was “iffy” depending upon whether a chairman could
be found for that year or not. The parade wasn’t an
every year event until 1983.
In the early days, it was “Christmas in July” for the
benefit of local residents who found the summers
boring. The FireCliff Lodge served up turkey dinners
and the carts were all decorated for Christmas.
Now of course, the parade is in October with 15,000
to 30,000 spectators lining El Paseo.
And believe it or not, organizers field questions about
the parade from media around the world! Recent
requests for information have come from the
Philippines, France, Germany and Japan.
|NOTE FROM MRS. B
MARK YOUR CALENDARS
Congratulations to the gals working on the
'Trunk or Treat'
I have lots and lots of neat adult Halloween costumes that
I am selling. Very reasonable.
Get your Trunk or Treat costumes here.
Call Janet McMurtrey
760 391 8322
I am cleaning out items and have Christmas
ornaments, frames, pictures...and lots of other
My garage is full of stuff - call me
760 391 8322
Love the trunk trick or treat idea; do we bring our own candy?
Article said help hand
Hi Mrs B
To answer the trunk or Treat questions... We have so many
kids scattered about the country club that it's hard for them to
get a good trick or treating in. So what we need is our
neighbors help by decorating their golf carts or trunk, bring a
bag of sealed candy to pass out and enjoy all the little ghouls,
goblins, princesses and super hero's trick or treat from cart to
cart. And or course there's a prize for the best decorated cart
|NOTE FROM MRS. B
Paw Patrol you need to be at this event? And anyone else with a pet is invited!
DRESS YOUR PETS IN COSTUMES
WATER AND TREATS FOR THE DOGS
Click HERE to view Video of Paw Patrol
|Click for the latest information.
Desert Horticultural Society
Our family, as in each Thanksgiving past, is coming to
the desert for the Thanksgiving Holiday. Anyone in
BDCC have a home to rent, preferably 3 bedrooms for
Wed., Thur, Fri., Sat.(Nov 23,24,25, 26) for reasonable
rent. Call Judy Baker 760 200- 9136 or
|Beauty in the Desert
Executive Mobile Spa Services
Exclusive to Bermuda Dunes
Therapeutic and Essential Oil Massage
Natural Facial Packs, Steams & Lifts
Menu of Services
Therapeutic Massage Face Treatments
Please look for Beauty in the Desert
under 'M' for massage
|COMMENTS FROM FRIENDS AND NEIGHBORS
Doug and I (Pam) are selling our home at 43301 Lacovia Drive,
on the 12th hole of the Classic course, and we were wondering
if you could post this on your Blog in the For Sale section or
whichever section you feel would get the most exposure. Word
of mouth is usually the best way to reach those outside of our
community who may be looking for an opportunity to live in the
beautiful BDCC area. Maybe somebody knows somebody...
If I could figure out how to upload the pictures, I would. Am not
that computer savvy. Pictures and info are on
cell phone number is 907-240-7112 if anyone has questions, etc.
Thanks so much!
|Note from Mrs. B
I have received several emails from individuals who have not received their ballots. Please contact Desert Resort
Management, 760 346 1161, ask for John Walters-Clark. Your ballots need to be in by November 19th.
Colonel Duke Frye and Bob Nelson would be the only Club members on the BDSA Board, with the exception of Glen
Smith. So, if we have 3 from the club out of nine - that is a better balance. They have experiece ... and that counts in
When the information comes out - take a good look at all of these candidates and make your choice based on the
accomplishments of each individual. Let's move forward with the best candidates for our community.
VOTE FOR BOB NELSON AND DUKE FRYE - Experienced leadership
|Water 101 Presentation
Saturday, October 22, 2016
Learn about the Coachella Valley’s water sources and how to
reduce water consumption. Please note: This is a classroom
October 22, 2016
9:00 AM - 11:30 AM
Steve Robbins Administration Building
75515 Hovley Lane East
Palm Desert, CA 92211
THE LIVING DESERT VIDEO
(cut and paste this link into your browser)
|NEW ITEMS FOR SALE
THE HOT SHEET
|Dynamic Physical Therapy Open House!
You are invited to our open house!
Thursday, Nov. 3rd
5 pm - 8 pm
We want to thank you for being one of our initial patients here at
Dynamic. It has been a long road to get to this point opening our clinic
and we are very excited for everything to come! We couldn't have done it
without the support we have received from our former colleagues,
patients, family, and friends! We want to share our gratitude with those
who have helped us reach this point! Come celebrate with us by attending
our open house! Refreshments will be provided.
Please feel free to share with anyone you feel could benefit from physical
therapy. We would love to meet them and tell them about our services!
Jessica & Karen
Call : 760-501-6655
Visit : 44651 Village Court Suite 120
Palm Desert, CA 92260
Email : email@example.com
Dynamic Physical Therapy Open House!
YOU DON'T WANT
TO MISS THIS FUN
Sent: Thursday, October 20, 2016 8:47 PM
Subject: RE: Article about Scruffy the lost dog - he is home -
check it out - I got goose bumps?
Such a happy finale!!! I am so happy for all!!! A little teary
eyed now. Love our animals so very much – and the “parents”
who take good care of them!!
Yes it is!!!
|From: Judy Baker
Sent: Thursday, October 20, 2016 9:29 PM
Subject: The vote
Hi Blogfolks, I spoke with my neighbor this evening and she
said that she had not received notification of the outcome of the
community vote, as she does not use a computer. Perhaps you
could put results on channel 98 for those that may not be
Great idea. I have sent your email to Paul Stotsbury, Dir
of Security. He is the one who posts that information.
A CLEAN TIE ATTRACTS THE SOUP OF
|WE HAVE LOTS OF NEW ITEMS ON THE
Car and Golf Cart
Click HERE to view all the information
|Davey Tree’s ultimate guide to prepping your yard for the cold
With fall upon us, we’re eagerly awaiting the transformation of
bright green leaves to the buttery yellow, deep red and vibrant
orange colors the season is best known for. The changing
autumn colors really are the best part of the season.
Even though these fall changes happen each year without our
intervention, there’s a lot going on beneath the surface. There’
s much more to these majestic trees than the eye can see.
Help your trees stay healthy and strong this fall, and all year
long, by giving them the care they need now.
This is the time of year to prep your yard for the next growing
season. Cooling temperatures slow above-ground growth while
moist soil encourages strong root development.
As you marvel at the magnificent fall color on your trees, take
the time to also inspect your trees more closely. Tasks such as
pruning dead branches and heavy leaf cover protect plants'
Mark off each of these six steps in this fall checklist and your
trees will be sure to stand tall and strong for seasons to come.
Survey the Property
Fall is a great time to inspect your landscape and look for signs
of damage from weather, insects and diseases. Emerald ash
borer, scale, mites, beetles or lace bugs are common tree pests
to make note of. Take action now to treat and manage insects
and diseases to ensure healthy trees all year.
Fertilize for Fall
Vital nutrients are constantly being absorbed from the soil
around the trees’ roots. Help make sure the soil is replenished
so your trees can gain nutrients lost continue. Apply a slow-
release fertilizer to replace nutrients and improve resistance to
damage from disease, insects and stressful weather.
Hydrate for Hearty Roots
Fall is a great season to give trees a hearty gulp of water
before winter strikes. To make sure they are well-hydrated
throughout the freezing winter, quench your trees’ roots.
A subsurface watering treatment is the most efficient way to
give roots exactly what they need before winter. Using an
injection probe, a certified arborist distributes water through the
top 12 inches of soil — the area your trees need water the
most. The subsurface watering method is ideal for trees and
shrubs without irrigation systems, newly planted trees and
trees that need temporary relief from drought stress.
Plant in a Timely Manner
Some trees shed their leaves in autumn and sprout new life in
the spring, but did you know fall is actually the best time to
plant new trees? Planting trees and shrubs in early fall gives
plants a head start to establish roots in the season's cool, moist
The lower temperatures combine with the reduced chance of
stress from sun scorch, drought or extremely high
temperatures, gives newly planted trees the chance to build
root mass and prepare for winter dormancy.
To ensure your tree is planted correctly, dig a hole twice the
diameter and to a depth of two inches less than the full height
of the root ball. Next, position the tree or shrub in the hole and
make sure the top of the root ball remains at ground level, not
below. Fill the hole with soil and allow water to settle. Add
more soil to top of root ball and mulch as needed.
Mulch Young Trees and Plants
Give young trees and shrubs the best chance to survive cold
temperatures and snow by adding a layer of mulch before the
ground freezes. High-quality mulch helps keep nutrient-dense
organic matter in the soil around the tree, conserves soil
moisture and helps control weeds.
Now is a great time to start making your own organic mulch.
Rake fallen leaves onto a plastic tarp. This will make them
easier to transfer. Add leaf matter from gutters and lawn
clippings to the tarp and toss everything into a compost bin.
Rotate the leaf pile every week with a garden fork to aerate;
the resulting "black gold" can be used next year to mulch trees
Other organic mulches can be made of weed-free straw,
shredded hardwood or wood chips.
Cover the planting hole with one to two inches of mulch. Don’t
over mulch or “volcano” mulch. Keep mulch two to three inches
away from the stems of shrubs or trunks or mulch will cause
wood to rot over time.
Equip for the Cold
You know winter is coming, so start preparing now for the
snow, frost and ice. Any extreme weather condition may pose a
higher risk of stress for your trees. Lifeless branches can
succumb to winter snow and winds, endangering you and your
home. Cable, brace and prune if necessary before the snow
and ice hit.
If your tree has weakened or has broken or rotting branches, it
may not be strong enough to withstand the added weight of a
heavy snowfall or ice storm. Pruning is a cornerstone of any
successful tree care program. Pruning in fall can be easier
because most trees have little to no leaves, exposing the
structure underneath. Cut cracked, loose and diseased limbs
close to the trunk and leave wounds exposed to heal.
For big jobs, call a certified arborist.
Trees do many things to make our world better, especially
during autumn. By following these steps this fall, your trees will
not only thank you, but will stand stronger healthier and
happier because of it.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
The Davey Tree Expert Company’s more than 8,600
employees provide tree care, grounds maintenance and
environmental consulting services for the residential, utility,
commercial, and government markets throughout the U.S. and
Canada. Davey has provided Proven Solutions for a Growing
World since 1880 and has been employee-owned for 37 years.
For more information, visit www.davey.com.
|NOTE FROM MRS. B
I have not finished our vacation adventures with you.
We had left off in Reno, heading towards Modoc County and to Lakeview, Oregon where Bob's younger brother Gary,
and his wife Cindy reside. Gary is a cattle broker and Cindy works for the Forest Service.
Bob and Gary's family were heavily entrenched in ranching in their early childhoods. Gary remained in Modoc County
(Paisley) and managed the famous ZX Ranch up until the death of JR Simplot.
First I will talk about Modoc County (because it is so beautiful); I will touch on the Paiute Indian Tribe and the war that
was being fought; next, I will discuss the ZX Ranch and Mr. Simplot and lastly I will discuss Gary's new business -
that being a cattle broker.
Bob and Gary's grandfather had a contract with the US Calvary to provide horses for the soldiers in Sacramento. The
trip from Modoc County to Sacramento took almost 6 months roundtrip. Their grandmother was left alone to fend for
herself and her children in his absence. During this time she shot a Pieute Indian on her front porch. Of course, this is a
beloved story the family loves to share...and she lived to be 104 years old. She was 'ready to go,' because all of her
'card playing friends' had passed away.
Here we go:
Tucked up in the Northeastern corner of California where Oregon, Nevada, and California all come together, lays a
sparsely populated, high desert region known as Modoc County.
Modoc County is turquoise at the very top of this map.
It was named after the Paiute chieftain who fought one of the last Indian wars in America. Running north and south
through the middle of the county is a beautiful mountain range, The Warner Mountains, with an abundance of wild life,
thick forests, and cold mountain lakes. To the south lies the vast Madeline Plains where wild horses still run today. On
the east side of the Warners, bordering the great Nevada desert, is Surprise Valley, a fertile valley of natural meadows.
The local ranchers feed the rich meadow hay to their livestock in the winter and allow them to graze on the wild desert
grass of Nevada, to the east, in the summer.
The naming of the valley in the 1860s, rather than earlier, is substantiated by the fact that no records of travel or Army
reports dealing with that region have been found using the name “Surprise”. In one early account, the local Indians
referred to this valley as “Kibeningnaredols”, which means “Valley of the Long Mountains”.
“Surprise Valley was given this name and for good reason. The first settlers making the arduous trek along the
Southern Route of the Oregon Trail in the 1800s were quite surprised to discover the lush eastern flanks of the rugged
Warner Mountains in a fifty-mile long valley, which is bordered on the east by alkaline lakes. Between the mountains
and the lakes, these travelers found a zone of tall grass, rich soil, springs and creeks - perfect places for homesteading
ranches and farms.
The native Paiutes were 'surprised', too, as their ancestral lands were taken over by strangers and these natives were
placed on reservations in Fort Bidwell and Cedarville. Such is history with the settling of the entire U.S. Paiutes still
living in the valley, as do the ancestors of some of the first settlers.
There are four small communities in Surprise Valley; Fort Bidwell, Lake City, Cedarville, and Eagleville. A variety of
newcomers as well as escapees from the hubris of city life also populate this area.
Winema and the Modoc War: One Woman's Struggle for Peace
By Rebecca Bales
On February 25, 1891, Congress passed a very unusual piece of legislation. It awarded "Winemah Riddell [sic] . . . a pension at the
rate of twenty-five dollars per month."
It is not unusual to find thousands of names in the pension files housed in the National Archives. What is unusual is that a woman
received it for her courage in battle. And even more unusual is that Winema Riddle was a Native American woman of the Modoc
Historical sources often reflect roles of men who influenced history over time, but in them are sometimes found accounts of
women's deeds. Through a multitude of sources, Winema's story unfolds, illuminating actions and people who, with her, shaped
events in the latter half of the 19th century.
Winema Riddle was a Modoc woman whose life story illuminates Native American women's roles in history through her interactions
with outsiders. She married outside her Nation, she became a mediator for her people, and she earned a military pension from
Congress for her actions in time of war by saving a federal official's life.
Winema gained national attention because of her role in the Modoc War of 1872–1873, a war that lasted approximately eight
months but that finds its roots in the Indian policy of the 19th century. In 1864, under pressure from settlers, the government
decided to move the Modocs onto the Klamath Reservation in southern Oregon. The Klamaths, however, were historic enemies of
the Modocs, and some Modoc people left the reservation for their old homes. The U.S. Government sent Federal troops to move
the Modocs back to the reservation, and in 1872 the two sides clashed.
This is the story of how Winema Riddle worked for peace between her native Modocs and the U.S. Government.
To understand the importance of the pension Winema received, we must explore the events and personal history surrounding this
woman who, for the most part, has been overlooked in the pages of history.
The Modocs' ancestral homeland spans the border of California and Oregon. For centuries the Modocs lived in this area, raising
their families and establishing a society based on interdependence with each other and on extensive trade networks throughout
California and the Pacific Northwest.
The arid environment is relatively inhospitable, but it did not impede the formation or growth of the Modocs as a viable and vibrant
nation. Born and raised in the ancestral homeland of the Modocs, Winema's family nurtured her and imbued her with the values of
her people, but she herself stretched the boundaries of gender and race.
Winema proved her courage in her early life during the 1850s. By all accounts, it is clear that one courageous deed set her apart
from her peers early on. When she was a young teen, she saved a canoe full of children from being dashed in strong rapids by
steering it to safety, earning her the name "Winema," which translates into "woman chief." Such deeds continued throughout her life.
Another example of her courageous character was her defiance of her father (and Modoc tradition) when she refused to marry the
young man her family had chosen for her. Instead, she ran off and married Frank Riddle, a Kentuckian who had come to California
in 1850 to seek his fortune in the gold fields.
Her marriage to Frank resulted in a short estrangement from her people and her family; however, Frank sought to gain her father's
approval of their marriage and did so by meeting the obligations of a Modoc groom. He gave several horses to his new father-in-
law, and in return, her family gave gifts to Frank to welcome him as Winema's husband. Frank and Winema settled close to her
family in the Lost River area in California after their marriage.
The bonds between the Riddles and the Modocs established their role as critical players that would grow in the following decades.
Winema's quick study of white ways helped her as both wife and mediator. Her fluency in the Modoc language (Lutuami) and her
working knowledge of English gave her unique skills with which she could act for peace between her people and outsiders.
The 1840s, the decade in which Winema was born, was one of the most pivotal in California and Oregon Indian history. With the
westward movement of white Americans, Native Americans throughout the American West experienced dramatic changes in their
societies. The gold rush compounded these issues.
The Modocs felt the impact as non-Indians sought different routes to the burgeoning urban areas and the gold fields of California
and Oregon. Indeed, as the westward movement gained momentum, so did the unease that enveloped Modoc country throughout
the 1850s, 1860s, and 1870s. These events influenced Winema in several ways.
First, her family and people had to adjust to new circumstances, many of which were out of their control. As they met new
challenges and threats to their subsistence, they were drawn into similar problems their neighbors experienced, including the call to
remove natives from the area as settlers set their sights on northern California and southern Oregon.
Complaints by settlers bombarded the Oregon Superintendency and the Indian Office in Washington as early as 1851. In July of
that year, Oregon Superintendent Anson Dart reported difficulties in southern Oregon and recommended that the permanent
boundary line between California and Oregon be set. This suggestion would have put the Modocs under the jurisdiction of Oregon
even though most of them, including the Riddles, resided in California. The Modocs needed to find a way not only to maintain their
land base but to protect their families and customs.
Unease became outright hostility in 1852, when a volunteer regiment from Yreka led by Ben Wright sought vengeance for an attack
on an emigrant party headed for California. Evidence indicates that the Modocs were not responsible, but it was their neighbors to
the south, the Pitt Rivers, who perpetrated the attack. Wright, however, made no distinction between the Pitt Rivers and Modocs,
and he and his men slaughtered a village of about 40 Modocs. Some of Winema's family members lived in this village, including her
cousin, Kintpuash, whom whites later called Captain Jack. He witnessed the murder of his father and other family members. This
event would not only intertwine Winema and Kintpuash's lives on levels other than familial obligations but influence the future of
In 1862 Commissioner of Indian Affairs William P. Dole reported:
All, or nearly so, of the fertile valleys were seized; the mountain gulches and ravines were filled with miners; and without the
slightest recognition of the Indians' rights, they were dispossessed of their homes, their hunting grounds, their fisheries, and, to a
great extent, of the production of the earth.
The Modocs' struggle to maintain their subsistence patterns became desperate as more non-Indians moved into their territory. They
appealed to the California Superintendency to secure an area in their ancestral homeland for their own use. They asked for
assistance from Judge Elisha Steele, who with the help of rancher John Fairchilds and Frank and Winema Riddle, negotiated a
peace in 1863. This agreement would have established a reservation in northern California for those who assented to the treaty. In
turn, the Lost River Modocs agreed to allow safe passage through their territory and to maintain peace with settlers and
neighboring native nations.
The Modocs who agreed to this treaty felt secure in the knowledge that they would remain in their homeland under the protection of
the California Superintendent. However, because Congress and the Indian Office had not authorized Steele to enter in such an
arrangement, objections from Washington, D.C., and settlers soon arose. Unaware of the bureaucratic and communication
problems between the California Superintendency and the Indian Office, the Modocs continued to live in their homeland, often
visiting white towns to trade and to seek employment.
The following year, representatives from the Indian Office notified the Modocs of an upcoming treaty council through which the
Modocs would be ensured suitable land on which to live. The treaty, signed in October 1864, provided land for all Modocs within
the boundaries of the Klamath Reservation—not the Lost River area.
As tension grew throughout northern California, government officials were determined to find solutions. Between 1851 and 1890,
the prevalent solution to the Indian problem was to place them on reservations where the United States could watch over them.
However, there was an obstacle to overcome—how to get their compliance to move and remain on the reservations.
This government policy guided Modoc action and drew Winema into the national spotlight. The Modocs split between those who
remained on the reservation under the leadership of Old Schonchin and those who later left and argued that officials were
inconsistent and unjust in implementing the policy.
When Lindsay Applegate, one of the first white settlers in the southern Oregon area, became subagent for the Klamath Agency in
1865, one of his main tasks was to convince the Lost River Modocs to come to the reservation. He informed the commanding officer
at Fort Klamath that he would represent the Modocs, who "have frequently called upon me and now for the last time to represent
their grievances. . . . [They] say . . . it [the reservation] was not a safe place for them." The Modocs complied and moved to the
reservation, but very little time passed before their concerns became firm reality. As they had feared, they were the target of
Klamath harassment, and they did not receive the supplies promised them. Many Modocs moved several times between 1865 and
1870 to and from the reservation as conditions worsened and the government took no action.
In 1869, as the crisis on the Klamath Reservation continued, President Ulysses Grant and his new administration, struggling with
the issues of Reconstruction and budgetary issues, refocused Indian Policy. Grant's administration sought to redirect military
personnel and resources from reservation administration and implemented the "Peace Policy," shifting Indian agencies on
reservations from military supervision to church management.
In compliance with the Peace Policy, Alfred Meacham, a Methodist minister, became Superintendent of Indian Affairs for Oregon in
1869. Meacham worked closely with several officials and Winema in trying to bring peace to a troubled region. That same year
President Grant ordered the army to force the Modocs back to the Klamath reservation; the Modocs complied, but little had
changed. Upon their return, Meacham supplied them with blankets and goods, and O. C. Knapp, the commanding officer of Fort
Klamath, supplied flour and beef. The Modocs, however, again experienced trouble with the Klamaths, who harassed them, often
taking their supplies. Again they left the reservation for the Lost River area in California.
In March 1870 Knapp ordered the Modocs back to the reservation and sent a detail of soldiers to accomplish this goal.
Approximately 45 Modocs had not returned to the reservation. Knapp reported, "on the 17th [the soldiers] started after these
Indians, found them at Hot Creek Cal. on the 19th and returned to the Agency on the 23rd. Had no trouble in bringing them in." The
Modocs tried to settle on the reservation peacefully, but their uneasy history with the Klamaths prevented their adjustment to
reservation life. Many times Kintpuash and other Modocs brought their problems to Knapp's attention. The solution Knapp offered
was to move the Modocs to a different part of the reservation. The Modocs did move, but the problems did not cease.
The Modocs grew tired of Knapp's moving them to different areas and the lack of a permanent solution to the conflicts. In the spring
of 1870, many of them left the reservation for the last time.
When more than 100 Modocs left, settlers' apprehensions increased. Superintendent Meacham proposed a possible solution to the
increasing tension: the creation of a subagency at Camp Yainax on the southern border of the Klamath reservation. In his annual
report he "recommended the establishment of the band on a reservation to be set apart for them near their old home where they
could be subjected to governmental control and receive their share of the benefits of the treaty." This proposal had the potential to
solve the problems occurring in Oregon and California—the Modocs would be away from the Klamath; the Oregon Superintendency
could supervise them with the help of the Californians; and the government would have direct supervision over them, thereby
mollifying the settlers. However, as Secretary of the Interior J. D. Cox later reported, "No action on this recommendation was ever
taken by this Department."
Between 1867 and 1871 it is clear that the Modocs tried to negotiate, sometimes with the assistance of Winema Riddle, but their
pleas for a fair resolution fell on deaf ears. By 1872, when conditions became unbearable, the Modocs were determined to stay in
the California-Oregon border area, having set up camp along Link River. But an effort in November 1872 to bring them back to the
reservation forced them to split into separate parties, one led by Kintpuash, another by Hooker Jim. They decided to meet in the
Lava Beds, a natural fortification in California. Kintpuash headed immediately for the Lava Beds, but Hooker Jim chose a different
path. He attacked a number of settlers, killing men but sparing women and children.
U.S. soldiers inspect Captain Jack' s cave in the Lava Beds in 1873.
When he reached the Lava Beds and announced these activities, Kintpuash realized that the United States would not let this
incident go unpunished. Indeed, the Oregon governor and citizens demanded the extermination of the Modocs. The government
had other ideas and wanted the killers turned over for trial and execution. Kintpuash was between a rock and a hard place.
Ultimately, he refused to give any of his people over to a justice system he did not trust. As a result, war ensued, bringing the
Modocs and Winema national attention.
After the war broke out in November 1872 and tension grew, the government realized that the solution to these problems was to
either force the Modocs onto the reservation (which had failed miserably) or to negotiate their return in a peaceful manner. Although
the war was inevitable, and it looked as if it would be a long affair, the Modocs were willing to negotiate and sent word that they
would accept a reservation in the Lava Beds, but the answer was unequivocally negative.
Communication was very difficult for several reasons. Mistrust ran high, and because Kintpuash's band was entrenched in the Lava
Beds, runners and messengers willing to carry important messages were hard to find. Winema was up to the task. Although
Winema's activity during the reservation conflicts in the late 1860s had been limited (she and Frank remained in California while the
other Modocs moved back and forth), the continuation of the war directly changed her services and illuminated her abilities once
again as peacemaker. As a primary interpreter, Winema carried words between the Modocs and U.S. officials.
In February 1873 progress seemed to be made as the Modocs and the officials in both California and Oregon began communication
through messengers. The Modocs were clearly unhappy with the way the United States carried out the treaty stipulations, but they
were not averse to further negotiations. This position did not alleviate the anxiety of settlers, nor were the Modocs' concerns of
primary importance until hostilities became imminent in California. Consequently, President Grant and his advisers decided to follow
Meacham's earlier suggestion to settle the Modocs at a separate subagency at Klamath. But they had to find a way to bring the
Modocs to the table for negotiations. Consequently, Grant ordered a peace commission established to bring the recalcitrant
Modocs onto the reservation and those who had killed the settlers to justice.
In March 1873, churchmen, military men, and interpreters accepted the responsibility of securing peace in a troubled land. The
commission was made up of Alfred Meacham, Leroy Dyar, Rev. Eleazar Thomas, Gen. Edward R.S. Canby, and Winema and
Frank Riddle. The commission's main goal was to meet with the Modocs and induce them to return to the reservation and turn the
killers over to the authorities.
General Canby early on recognized the Modocs' concerns on the reservation. In 1872 he related that when the Modocs had settled
on the reservation, they "were so much annoyed by the Klamaths that they complained to the local agent [Knapp], who, instead of
protecting them in their rights, endeavored to compromise the difficulty by removing them to another location." His perception,
however, did not solve the Modocs' discontent. One year after he made this statement, Canby found himself in the middle of a war
that resounded throughout the United States and that ultimately took his life.
The history of the war and the peace commission can be found in numerous House and Senate reports. For example, House
Report 1413 of the 50th Congress focuses on details of Winema's actions as she sought peace between her people and the U.S.
Government. Of particular interest is her interaction with the Modocs in the Lava Beds. Between February 20 and April 11, 1873,
Winema and her husband served as mediators, often under dangerous circumstances. According to the report, the Modocs in the
Lava Beds learned of the U.S. desire for a meeting with the newly formed peace commission and sent Bob Whittle and his wife,
Matilda (an Indian woman), with a message asking for the Riddles and John Fairchilds to act as intermediaries. They believed this
meeting would allow "Riddell and Fairchilds to conclude details."
As a result, Winema traversed the Lava Beds to help bring an end to hostilities. Her role as messenger and mediator emerged for
several reasons. She had working knowledge of both the Modoc and English languages; as a woman, her presence represented
peaceful intentions, allowing her fluid movement in carrying messages between camps; and as Kintpuash's relative, she fell under
his protection when she was in the Lava Beds. She visited the Lava Beds several times, often being threatened by the more hostile
Modocs who were suspicious of her and her connection to the peace commissioners, but Kintpuash saw to her safety.
The Modocs, after seeing the entrenchment of the military, could foresee no way to stop the war, but they did express to Winema
their willingness to meet with the commission and negotiate a peace. On March 9 she, along with Rosborough, Steele, and her
husband, encouraged Kintpuash to meet with Canby and the other commissioners to determine a time and meeting place. On
March 27 the Modocs related through Winema that they would settle for a reservation in the Lava Beds; Canby replied that he had
no power to grant their request but that they should meet to determine a peaceful solution. Nothing came of these exchanges; the
two sides did, however, agree to meet again in mid April.
The knowledge Winema brought back to the peace commission would not keep either the Modocs or the commissioner free from
danger. During her last visit to the Lava Beds in early April, as she left to bring information to the peace commissioners, Wieum, one
of Kintpuash's followers, went after her to inform her of a plan to kill the peace commissioners. She took this news to Canby and
Meacham. Canby disregarded her warning and still insisted on meeting with the Lava Bed Modocs. Meacham urged Canby to listen
to Winema. The meeting was set for Good Friday, April 11, 1873.
Winema's many warnings to Canby and Meacham of the Modocs' intentions created tension among the peace commissioners. On
the morning of April 11, Winema was determined to make Canby listen to her, but he refused to heed the warnings. She then turned
to Meacham and pleaded with him not to go. When he told her it was his duty, she physically tried to stop him from following Canby.
Because he had final say in the negotiations, Canby proceeded to the meeting place where six Modoc men awaited the
Kintpuash had been pressured into killing the commissioners, but once the meeting began, he tried to again to negotiate a place for
the Lost River Modocs in California. However, the purpose of the commission was to have the Modocs surrender, to give up the
killers of the settlers to authorities, and to move back to the Klamath Reservation. When the council started, Canby refused to listen
to Kintpuash's reiteration of his request for a home in the Lava Beds. Canby's refusal and his demand for their unconditional
surrender sealed his fate; Kintpuash could not give up his people to Canby's justice. Throughout the exchange between Canby and
Kintpuash, Winema tried to keep tempers at bay, but even she realized the futility of negotiation at that point. When Kintpuash
realized that the meeting was one-sided, he and the other Modocs opened fire on the peace commissioners.
In the ensuing skirmish, Canby and Thomas died; Dyar and Frank Riddle escaped. Meacham was severely wounded and, had it
not been for Winema, would have died. As one Modoc man, Shacknasty Jim, started to strip Meacham of his clothing, another,
Boston Charley, wanted to be sure Meacham was dead. Shacknasty Jim, however, told him that Meacham was already dead.
Boston Charley then proceeded to scalp Meacham, when Winema stepped in and started yelling that the soldiers were coming.
Risking her own safety, she saved Meacham's life. The act bound Meacham and Winema as friends forever. The killing of the
peace commissioners made national and international news. For the Modocs it meant two more months of fighting and eventual
surrender as the army closed in.
For a month and a half after the attack on the peace commissioners, the army besieged the Lava Beds. Because the Lava Beds are
a natural fortress, 159 Modocs, mostly women and children, were able to maintain an advantage over a thousand troops for several
months. However, as negotiations soured and the army sought vengeance for Canby's death, it had ample time to figure out how to
penetrate the Lava Beds. Eventually, the soldiers found ways to get closer to the caves, and the Modocs lost their tactical
advantage. By the time troops had reached the encampment, the Modocs had already escaped, dispersing as they fled. According
to Lt. William Henry Boyle, a veteran of the Modoc War, the Modocs did not surrender as one group, and, as the army closed in,
they knew they were no match for the advancing soldiers. Kintpuash's party was the last to surrender. Boyle claimed, "Captain Jack
surrendered at 10:30 a.m., June 1, 1873, saying that his legs had given out. The costly Modoc War was over."
The conclusion of the war did not bring Winema and Frank's roles to an end. When the military accompanied the Modocs back to
Fort Klamath, all 159 Modocs who had encamped in the Lava Beds were confined in the stockade, where they awaited their fate. A
trial of six Modocs—Kintpuash, Schonchin John, Boston Charley, Black Jim, Barncho, and Slolux—ensued. Winema and Frank
Riddle were witnesses at the trial and, when called upon, testified about the events surrounding the war and why the Modocs had
acted as they did.
On July 1, 1873, after a speedy trial, Judge Advocate H. P. Curtis passed sentence on the six Modoc men, who were to "be hanged
by the neck until [they] be dead." Four death sentences proceeded; Kintpuash, Schonchin John, Boston Charley, and Black Jim
were hanged on October 3, 1873. Because Barncho and Slolux's participation in killing Canby were in doubt, the judge reduced
their sentences to life imprisonment on Alcatraz Island in San Francisco Bay.
After the war ended, the lives of many Modocs changed dramatically. The 153 Modocs imprisoned at Fort Klamath waited
expectantly for their judgment. It came in the form of removal. The federal government removed 39 men, 54 women, and 60 children
The consequences of the Modoc War directly influenced the makeup of the Modocs as a nation. The Modocs in Indian Territory
suffered through this tragic removal and a steady decline in population. In contrast, the Modocs in Oregon suffered a different shift
in survival strategies.
Population numbers in Oregon differed tremendously from those in Indian Territory. In 1874 the Modoc population numbered
approximately 200 and remained relatively stable into the early 20th century. Although many intermarried with people from other
native nations on the Klamath Reservation, tribal designation continued through the father's line. Census records indicate names
that reflect those Modocs who remained on the reservation before and during the 1870s. Old Chief Schonchin and his family
consistently show up on the rolls well into the 20th century. Similarly, the census rolls for the Klamath Agency list Toby Riddle,
Modoc Billy (name changed to William Hardin), Modoc Charley (name changed to Charles Modoc Faithful), and several other
Modocs who raised their families there as well. After Jeff Riddle established his family, his mother's and father's names appear in
conjunction with Jeff's. They are listed in terms of their relationship with their son; this indicates that the Klamath Agency regarded
Jeff as the head of household. Overall, the Modoc population in Oregon remained steady. Those Modocs in the Indian Territory
held their status as Modocs under the Quapaw Indian Agency and maintained cultural norms as they adapted to the new area
despite their population decline.
Immediately after the war, Winema and Frank decided that they could further serve Native Americans by bringing attention to the
Modocs' plight. At Meacham's urging, they embarked on a lecture circuit, speaking about what had happened during the war and
how Winema had saved Meacham's life. The Riddles traveled throughout the United States, going to large cities such as New York.
This endeavor, however, came to a quick end as Meacham and the Riddles could not afford moving from place to place. In addition,
being away from her people and home took its toll on Winema. She became very homesick, and Frank feared for her welfare. He
wrote to Oliver Applegate, subagent of the Klamath Reservation, several times, asking to borrow funds to get them home.
Eventually they did return to the Klamath Reservation, where both lived out the rest of their lives.
Meacham and Winema forged a lasting friendship that withstood the ravages of war, the failure of a lecture tour, and the
devastation of sickness and death. Because of Meacham's deep respect for Winema and her role in the war, he insisted that she
receive a military pension and determinedly petitioned Congress to make it so. He wanted public recognition of Winema's courage
in saving his and other lives during the conflict between the Modocs and the peace commissioners on April 11, 1873. By special act
of Congress, pension certificate number 565101 was issued to Winema Riddle. The act noted that the pension of "$25 per month"
was granted "for service rendered Commission to the Modoc Indians."
Winema became one of the few women to receive a pension by a congressional act. This recognition acknowledged Winema as a
key participant during peace and war, solidifying her role as a mediator between cultures. Winema received the monthly sum of $25
until she died of influenza in 1920. Her son Jeff asked the Pension Office for the remainder of her pension for February of that year
to "pay Mother's funeral expenses."
Winema's death marked the closing of an era—she was one of the last Modoc War participants to die, and she was one of the first
American women to be distinguished by congressional act for her actions in time of war. More important, she instilled in her son the
significance of diplomacy and what it means to be a leader. She merged the two concepts as mother and mediator. Jeff later
became a councilman and judge for the Modocs living in Oregon.
Her actions in the events unfolding in northern California drew the respect of many, including some who solely blamed the Modocs
for the hostilities of the 1870s. For example, in 1909 Oliver Applegate wrote about the importance of her role in the war and in
securing peace. He contended that if Canby had listened to and followed Winema's counsel, he and the others would not have lost
their lives on that fateful day. He wrote, "She was courageous and intelligent and had her counsel been taken, the bloody Peace
Commission massacre would not have occurred."
Note on Sources
Rebecca Bales is on the history faculty at Diablo Valley College in Pleasant Hill, California. Her field of specialization is Native
American history with an emphasis on women. Her current research focuses on Native American women in California, and her
publications include articles on that subject.
Official Website for the Buckaroo Hall of Fame & Heritage Museum
est. 1988, incorporated 1989, Winnemucca, Nevada
Here you will find some original history behind
Buckaroo and Vaquero lifestyles and traditions
Don't Call them Cowboys
from Walt Wentz
Where the Old West still lives -- in the Great Basin areas of Oregon,
Nevada and Idaho -- they call themselves Buckaroos, not cowboys.
It's an important distinction in the Buckaroo Hall of Fame in
Winnemucca, Nevada. Here you will find no rhinestone rodeo
cowboys, no Hollywood cowboys in white hats, but real working
cattlemen & horsemen who lived, or still live, anywhere within 200
miles of Winnemucca, Nevada.
The town itself is a holdover from the Wild West, the place where
Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid made their last big haul and
got away clean -- and where the more law-abiding cattlemen of the
day came in to get supplies, to find work, to take care of business
and have a bit of pleasure.
Today, the big visitor's center on Main Street looks like a cross
between an Old West gambling hall and a sports arena, and the new
and growing Buckaroo Hall of Fame occupies pride of place on the
ground floor. Here you will find artwork, photos and memorabilia...
saddles, guns, braided riatas (hand-woven lariats), brands and other
working gear used by Buckaroos.
It was Carl Hammond, then of Golconda, Nevada, who first got the
idea for the Buckaroo Hall of Fame. His great uncle Frank, and his
father, Francis Hammond were life-long working Buckaroos. "They
were the reason I started it; Dad took me on the buckaroo wagons
when I was 6 and 7, back in the early 60's when there were no
fences, and it was still open range in Nevada," recalls Carl, raised in
proper buckaroo tradition.
It is to preserve that vanishing history that the Buckaroo Hall of
Fame was incorporated in 1989. Three buckaroos were inducted
into the Hall of Fame that first year, and three or four more have
been inducted every year since then. The result is a low-keyed but
unsparingly authentic glimpse of what the life of a buckaroo was
|Ridin' high with J.R. Simplot
The Idaho farm boy turns hard work and big gambles into an empire that stretches from spuds to computer chips
J.R. Simplot is worth a couple of billion.
But the 87-year-old still likes to drive himself to work and stop by McDonald's for an Egg McMuffin and hash browns.
It's the potatoes that please him most. Because when John Richard Simplot orders McDonald's potatoes in his town or anywhere
else, chances are better than even that he grew them.
``Fella, I think I kinda put Idaho on the potato map,'' Simplot growls.
Idaho license plates say ``Famous Potatoes'' on the bottom. Simplot's reads ``Mr. Spud'' across the middle.
It would be enough that Simplot rose from humble beginnings to become potato king. But the last past two decades of his work life
have veered from fertile brown fields and the traditional rhythm of farming to cutting-edge technologies and the wild roller coaster of
the computer chip market. He staked Micron Technologies Inc. in 1980 -- a venture that soon doubled his overall fortune.
Fortune Magazine last year ranked him as the 37th wealthiest American, his worth pegged at $2.2 billion.
Creating forefront empires across two generations has made Simplot not just one of the last great tycoons of Charles Russell's
American West, but one of the first new tycoons in Bill Gates' high-tech West.
It's a heady constellation, though he's the first to say it wasn't by design. All J.R. Simplot knows, he will tell you, is how to work hard
and take chances. Big, fat chances.
He has officially retired from the company that bears his name. Since 1994, his three children and one grandson share the
chairman's office. But neither that, the company changes nor the two hips he recently had replaced have measurably slowed him.
He still controls the J.R. Simplot Co. land and livestock division and continues to build the company and his family trust.
In the past year, the company bought the largest food processor in Australia, and Simplot's family trust snatched up 10 percent of
Magma Copper Co. and Boise Cascade Corp.
Now, he's got his sights set on a ranch down under.
``I'm going to buy a million acres, irrigate it, grow potatoes,'' he says. ``Then I'm going to ship 'em north.''
North means Indonesia and Southeast Asia, completing the Asian expansion Simplot began when he followed the french
fry-ravenous McDonald's into China in 1990.
Simplot thinks potatoes can compete with rice as the dietary staple in Asia.
In today's business climate of managerial consensus-taking, he is an anomaly: the cowboy who operates on gut as well as acumen,
defiance as well as collaboration.
``He's a vanishing breed,'' says H. Dean Summers, a friend for more than 40 years and former Idaho state senator. ``I've thought
about it, and I don't think anybody coming along now could build what he's built.
``I just don't think it's possible anymore.''
- Dazzling successes
Many would have thought it impossible at any time.
Simplot built his empire on dazzling successes, any one of which would have been enough to satisfy most entrepreneurs:
*From a dirt-poor tenant farmer in the 1920s, Simplot became one of the first middlemen in agriculture. By 1940, he was shipping
most of the potatoes grown in Idaho, with 33 warehouses along the Snake River.
*In 1941, he jumped into the new technology of drying vegetables with overnight success. In the next four years, Simplot supplied
one-third of the dried potatoes and onions to American troops in World War II.
*In 1953, Simplot patented the frozen french-fried potato, an invention of his scientists that made him billions.
*In 1966, he persuaded McDonald's founder Ray Kroc to sell his frozen french fries, and Simplot expanded with the chain across
Along the way, Simplot accumulated other businesses to help cut his costs -- or just satisfy his undeniable appetite for more and
He broke into the cattle business as a feedlot operator in the 1960s. The explosion of his frozen foods operation had created tons
of waste, and Simplot used it to fatten his cattle. He became and remains one of the top 10 U.S. beef producers.
Phosphate-heavy fertilizer for his vast growing fields became so expensive that Simplot bought phosphate mines and commenced
to manufacture his own mix of soil enrichers.
They worked. With mines promising production for another century, Simplot started marketing the stuff.
His subsidiary Soilbuilder Fertilizer has some about 100 outlets throughout the West. The product ; it is used on golf courses
around from the United States and to the Pacific Rim, making the fertilizer division a profit leader in the company the past three
Simplot does not sell things, unless for some clear strategic gain that advances his urge to gather yet more. He is in that way a
Land has rewarded him most. It's also what he has gathered most.
- Buying starts early
He started at 16, purchasing buying 5,000 acres in Idaho's Raft River Valley for 50 cents an acre. Trading up, generating more
cash, he kept buying.
While He's not indiscriminate, but he's quick. Simplot says he thinks things through at night. ``If it makes sense here,'' he says,
pointing to his skull, ``I do it.''
Simplot's friends say that if he likes the first look of a ranch, he buys it on the spot.
If he doesn't buy land, he leases it from the federal government and uses it for grazing. Simplot either doesn't know how much land
he owns or simply won't say, but the leased portions of his holdings exceed 3 million acres -- a land mass nearly the size of
``I guess I'm kind of a land hog,'' he says.
Among his dozen large cattle ranches is the nation's largest, situated near Paisley, Ore.: the 137-mile-long, 64-mile-wide ZX Ranch.
The last huge spread in Texas, King Ranch, was split up in a transaction several years ago.
``There might be somebody out there who owns more land than I do,'' he says, pausing a moment. ``If there is, I don't know who
All the gathering has been fortified by a childlike fascination with widgets and technology. The new machine figures in story after
story, etching into place a pattern: He falls in love with some untried technology, claims ownership of it and tries to turn it to gold.
Sometimes it's failed. Often it's worked.
Take the electric potato sorter and the prune drier.dryer.
Starting out growing potatoes on rented land in Idaho in 1928, Simplot heard about a new sorter and persuaded his landlord to go
halves on the $256 machine.
A deft mechanic, Simplot improved the device so it made especially quick work of the crop. He began sorting potatoes for neighbors.
Then, the rub: Simplot's landlord and partner objected, saying the device, and the business it was spawning for Simplot, amounted
to unwelcome competition for his friends.
``We were arguing,'' Simplot recalls. ``He'd had a few drinks, and he said he'd flip me for the whole machine.''
Simplot, who attributes his lasting health to abstinence from liquor and tobacco, called heads on the coin his landlord tossed in the
Simplot walked away with the sorter, turning the dirt farmer into the state's dominant potato man, sorting and shipping most of
Idaho's potatoes. All the while he was urging his farmer clients to use better seed and smarter techniques to grow a higher-quality
By 1940, Simplot was shipping onions, too. As the manager of his finances as well as field operations, Simplot drove to Berkeley,
Calif., to collect $8,500 owed by him from a man who was buying his culled onions.
There Simplot met the man who bought the onions from Simplot's client.
``Turns out he was buying the onions after this guy dried them and made onion powder,'' he recalls.
They had lunch. The man showed Simplot a prune drier dryer -- a device the delinquent was using to dry Simplot's onions.
Simplot made his move. Using the back of an envelope, he wrote a contract with the onion powder buyer to deliver to him 500,000
pounds of flaked and powdered onions that year. It was a deal for the buyer and $500,000 in profit for Simplot -- not counting the
$8,500 he would collect from the first client.
The blessed prune drier dryer positioned Simplot for a contract whose scale exceeded imagination: the supply of one-third of the
dried potatoes and onions to American troops during World War II.
Not everything turned out, of course.
Simplot walked away from a try at large-scale, American-style farming in Germany after investing $30 million. The patchwork of
expensive, family-owned parcels he was acquiring triggered resistance.
``They taught me a hell of a lesson,'' he says. ``They put the squeeze on me, and then there was a drought.''
He and the J.R. Simplot Co. paid penalties of $40,000 each on a 1977 charge of tax fraud for failing to report more than $1 million
in corporate income and claiming another $250,000 in false deductions.
The previous year, Simplot was at the center of a record-setting commodity scandal for which he paid $50,000 in fines and an
undisclosed amount to settle a $1.4 million lawsuit. He was charged with trying to manipulate Maine potato futures.
During a period of rapidly inflating prices, Simplot and others promised millions of pounds of potatoes they didn't own. Instead of
selling the futures contracts, the group defaulted when the contracts were called and the potatoes due.
Simplot was banned from commodities trading for six years. He's candid and unperturbed talking about the problems now.
``I made out all right,'' he shrugs.
He is back in commodities and now one of the biggest players in cattle futures.
As he walks into his Boise office one morning, the bounce in his step is pronounced as he announces, to no one in particular,
``Cattle prices hit the limit!''
Then he peers across a secretary's desk at a computer terminal and reads the stock quote on his newest abiding love: Micron.
- Venture into future
It's a far cry from prune driers.
But the boyish technical fascination that allowed Simplot to turn crude technology into fortunes with the potato sorter and the prune
drier dryer drove him headlong into microchips.
No aspect of Simplot's business career stirs his passion like Micron, the company he calls ``my baby.''
It is the company that announced to the business world that J.R. Simplot had the vision to compete in specialized, volatile markets
alien to farming. Micron made Simplot immune to the charge that he was just another boot-kick hick who got lucky with french fries.
It lent him international respectability.
Between the shares he and the Simplot Co. own, he controls 22 percent of Micron's stock. Even though Micron shares have
tumbled from a high of $90 last fall to about $30 now -- a dive that has taken $1 billion from Simplot's portfolio -- he remains a
He slams his bird's-eye maple desktop with a business card sporting Micron chips and talks of their power with pure awe.
``Look at this,'' he says, pointing to a chip smaller than a postage stamp. ``You know how much information is on here?
SIXTY-FOUR MILLION BITS!''
Simplot is bouncing in his chair. ``That's 64 books that have a thousand pages each! Amazing.''
He does not understand computers or how they work. He doesn't use one because he's never learned to type.
But J.R. Simplot can fathom the economic power of these chips, what they can do. He knows the chip makes decisions about
things like a potato sorter -- a yes/no, yes/no process that, when multiplied at blinding speed, suggests unimaginable economies of
Simplot grasped the power instantly in 1980, when he met with Micron's founders in the rented basement of a Boise dentist's office.
There he decided on the spot to stake $1 million to the memory chip company -- 40 percent of the start-up.
Simplot's passion for Micron has caused trouble within the company. His cheerleading is relentless and, at times, a challenge in the
face of trouble. He asserts that Micron can restart construction of a stalled Utah microchip plant by the end of this year, although
several key stock analysts snort at the notion.
``I think he also told Fortune or Forbes that Micron was going to earn 12 bucks (a share) this year,'' says Richard D. Owens of
Pacific Crest Securities in Portland. ``It's gonna be a little short.''
The precipitous fall in Micron stock -- it represents a 70 percent drop in the company's value on paper -- was caused by a glut in
the inventory of the chips it makes. Micron is one of the 10 largest manufacturers of dynamic random-access memory (DRAM) chips
in a market dominated by Korean and Japanese companies. The only other American manufacturer is Texas Instruments.
But Owens and other analysts say volatility is nothing new to chip-makers. Micron, Owens says, is well postioned as a low-cost
producer for that moment when the market rebounds.
Meanwhile, Micron has led a new charge of dumping against its Pacific Rim competitors. This follows Simplot's initiative in the
1980s, when he complained widely about underpricing by Japanese chip-makers and helped persuade former President Reagan to
slap a $300 million tariff on imported chips.
Simplot occasionally has treated Micron, a publicly traded company, as if it were his own private enterprise. He once reportedly lost
his temper and told Micron President Joe Parkinson that he was fired.
Parkinson told Simplot he didn't have the authority.
``Then, get out of my building,'' Simplot barked.
Parkinson kept his job a few more years, resigning after another bout with Simplot in 1994.
- Holds onto businesses
J.R. Simplot probably would likely not understand firing as because he's never worked for anyone else. He repeatedly has refused
to sell parts of his agribusiness or take it public.
But where Simplot found his independence is murky.
Many entrepreneurs of staggering success cite mentors or models. Or, with reluctance, they talk of formative experiences early in
life -- the kind of precipitous events that shape a person's thinking.
If you ask Simplot, he'll wave off such discussion, affirming the best guess about his early life: J.R. Simplot was born hard-boiled.
It certainly showed at age 14, when Simplot dropped out of school. He moved off the Central Idaho farm and away from his
taskmaster father and went to work for himself.
``He was too tough,'' Simplot says of his father, a man whose drive he now sees in himself. ``He wouldn't let me go nowhere. I
wanted to go to a basketball game, but he said I had to stay and milk those damn cows. So I just left.''
Simplot's mother sent him off with four $20 gold certificates. It's all the stake Simplot ever needed.
He moved into a boarding house in Delco, where public school teachers in the cash-strapped farming town were paid in scrip that
earned interest if they held it.
Simplot started buying it for 50 cents on the dollar and used the scrip for collateral on a bank loan to buy 500 pigs for $1 each.
``Hell, the government was practically paying these farmers to kill 'em,'' he recalls.
He fattened those pigs through the winter on a diet of culled potatoes and the meat of wild horses.
``I shot 'em, jerked the hides off and cooked 'em myself,'' he says.
By summer, Simplot had some of the only pigs around. He and sold them for $7,800, a sum he calls `` a fortune in those days. ''
The money staked Simplot in the potato business and started his reputation as a wheeler-dealer. He was 15.
He showed nerve, as only gamblers can.
What differentiates J.R. Simplot from many gamblers, however, is his confidence that he'll come up aces. Friends say he lingers for
hours daily at the Arid Club, a private card club in Boise, luring the willing into just one more hand of gin rummy.
``He's the biggest gambler I've ever met,'' says his wife of the past 25 years, Esther.
Summers, his old friend, calls Simplot unshakable. He recalls Simplot once taking a call on the futures market that cost him tens of
thousands of dollars. He hung up. Then, Summers says, he proceeded to ``twist your arm off for one point at the gin rummy table.''
The loss of his first wife has left him without apparent scar, though it was out of the blue. After 25 years of marriage, she 'd left
Simplot for another man. Today he shrugs the subject off, remarking that she had everything money could buy.
Esther says J.R. simply refuses to lose sleep over things he can't control. It's when he can have an influence that he becomes
- Holdings dominate
Driving with Mr. Spud through Boise is a taking of inventory.
Though the city boasts only a smattering of his worldwide interests, Simplot holdings dominate this city of 140,000. He speaks of
buildings as if they were toys.
This factory over here is a ``biggie.'' That building over there ``is real.''
His mammoth house overlooks Boise, it's its massive windows shining from a 60-acre knob of green. Just look for the 65-by-30-foot
American flag -- the biggest Simplot could order -- on a 200-foot-tall flagpole.
Neighbors in middle-class neighborhoods below once complained about the noise of his flag snapping in the wind. So Simplot
raised the flagpole to reduce the clamor.
The first stop is ``Esther's rig,'' the Esther Simplot Performing Arts Academy, which he bought, renovated and endowed for $5
million. Simplot pulls the white Lincoln Town Car into a handicapped space -- he has no handicapped sticker -- and bursts through
the door with his hand outstretched for the first person he sees, a middle-aged woman.
``I'm the old man Simplot,'' he announces.
``Yes, sir,'' the woman says. ``I know you.''
``And what outfit are you with?'' he asks.
``This is the Boise Philharmonic office,'' she says to the reporter in tow, and then, turning to Simplot, notes, ``We're the fiddlers, Mr.
Simplot continues up the stairs, explaining, ``We got two rooms for the toe-dancers,'' meaning the ballet.
Esther Simplot was working a day job and and singing opera at night when Simplot met her on a trip to New York in the 1960s.
When she became his second wife and moved to Boise, she helped form the opera and is became the driving force behind the
couple's hefty support for the arts.
``They've given hundreds of millions'' to charities around the state, says Steve Crook, a fund-raiser with the performing arts
academy. ``He could put his name on just about anything in this town.''
Now Simplot wants to show off his favorite toy. He drives out of town toward Micron but detours to cruise through Columbia Village,
a subdivision he has developed with Micron's 9,000 employees in mind. Columbia has about 900 homes and space for 7,500 more.
``With a couple of thousand dollars -- and a job -- you can own one of these,'' Simplot crows as he drives slowly past tidy suburban
homes and cul-de-sacs. ``Look at this, fella. It's big, and it's real.
``Ownership is the greatest source of pride anybody in America can have. You own something. It's yours, and you'll fight to keep it.''
At Micron, Simplot drives up and down the rows in the parking lot.
``I just wanted to show you the cars,'' he says. ``Look at 'em. These are jobs.''
Finally Simplot sweeps through the lot at the headquarters for Simplot Food Services, where he pauses to scowl at a smoker
outside on a break.
``We don't allow people smoking in any of our buildings,'' he says. But he's wondering how that one got through the hiring process.
Simplot long has argued against hiring smokers.
Then he slows near the entrance and glares again. The boss is about to hold court.
``One thing I hate is these goddamn parking spaces for cripples,'' Simplot explodes. ``Nobody ever uses them. They're the best
spaces, and they're always empty. It doesn't make any goddamn sense.''
He counts. ``Eight, eight of the best spots we got, and we don't have a cripple working here.''
- He sleeps little
Esther says J.R. gets about five hours of sleep a night.
He stays up late ``when he does his thinking,'' she says, and rises between 4 and 5 a.m. to read for an hour or two before exercise.
The Simplots usually walk for a half-hour each morning in one of Boise's parks, or they take a turn on the treadmill in their home.
With two hip replacements, Simplot has given up jogging. ``I quit that when I was 75,'' he says. And he stopped riding horses at 81
`` 'cause I took a fall and broke a couple of ribs. I was by myself. Boy, that hurt.''
The activity he won't quit is skiing, despite his doctor's advice. Simplot spends much of the winter at his picturesque cabin near
``I still love it,'' he says. ``Next time around, I'm going to be a ski bum.''
The natural question, of course, is why he didn't become one -- a very rich one -- in this life.
He can't. The man who gets his way and makes his own rules is, inevitably, the subject of his own empire.
``I love my damn business,'' he says. ``It's mine. It's real. And nobody ever put a dollar into it but me. I'll never sell it, because you
couldn't buy another one.''
|"Those who can make you believe absurdities, can make you commit atrocities."
|NOTE TO FB PEOPLE WHO NEVER GIVE IT A REST!
Not really a blog. A one-sided opinion statement in her favor. Maybe she should open it up like a real blog and let everybody
talk? That would be listening to the community......
FOLLOWING IS WHAT A BLOGGER DOES - I AM A BLOGGER...UNLIKE YOU. YOU MERELY MAKE COMMENTS ON A
FB PAGE! Believe me there is a big difference.
A blogger is someone that writes a blog. A blog is an online journal that a writer can use to share his ideas, thoughts, expertise,
or interests. Therefore, a blogger is someone that writes his ideas and thoughts online. Blogging is about self-expression.
Bloggers write about their lives, their experiences, their expertise, their passions, and their opinions.
Because many do not understand blogging, they expect journalism from bloggers. Bloggers express how they feel about issues.
On the other hand, a journalist is someone who writes for a magazine or newspaper, usually writing news items and is required
to tell all sides of a story. Journalists are required to be unbiased and to refrain from expressing their opinions in news stories.
Journalists are required to have a number of different sources before publishing an article. Objectivity is key in journalism.
Blogger can be biased.
Blogging is not journalism. Blogging involves self-expression. Journalism seeks to disseminate facts as unbiased and be as
impersonal as possible.
In their pure forms, journalism and blogging are two different professions, though they may have similarities and may overlap.
Write fiction or nonfiction through scripts, novels, and biographies
Conduct research to obtain factual information and authentic detail
Choose subject matter that interests readers
Manage the blog community by moderating and responding to comments.
Answer emails on behalf of the blog.
Perform blog maintenance activities such as updating plugins.
Write content for the blog.
Analyze web analytics data to gauge content performance.
Manage split testing and other content performance tests.
Manage subscriptions, syndication, and email newsletters.
Manage guest posting requests - my decision!
|Barbara J Black
Gee, from the beginning we on this FB page took pride that we did not ban, edit, redact etc. what members choose to post
providing that it was civil. We prided ourselves that we were not like the blog. What the hell has gone wrong here? Who changed
I personally did not find Kent's remarks about Donna Nelson to be uncivil...just because she didn't like them they were not uncivil.
If Mr. Simmes' outrageous comments were inadvertently attributed Donna Nelson because of the way they were formatted when
first published, it is her fault....it is her blog over which she has total control.
The bigger issue which people really need to be clear about...no matter who actually wrote those vile words about payback and
naysayers...Donna Nelson, ( aka Mrs. Unity in the Community) PUBLISHED THEM.
SHE IS THEREFORE ACCOUNTABLE FOR THEM.
To really get the full flavor of the hateful and vile comments attributed to David Simmes and published by Donna Nelson go to her
blog and read for yourselves. It goes way beyond what was quoted in the FB post.
This lady got her female appendage caught in the wringer and now she is trying to blame someone else for her misdeeds.
Talk about a diversionary tactic to get publicity for her husbands shaky campaign for the Board...this tempest in a teapot makes
the Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton campaigns look like amateur efforts.
I just love it when you become unhinged. It is so funny when you rant and rave...and it is so becoming and lady like!
First of all, his words were not uncivil. I have taken lots of 'uncivil' from your group for over a year. I have always
considered the source and moved foward.
However, when an individual (Kent Knoeblech) intentionally makes up a lie that is detrimental to me and my
husband, I do not sit back and just take it.
Insofar as Mr. Simmes email - get over it! He has every right to be heard. I had asked everyone to respond to him; not
me. I even had is email address for your convenience. You don't like what he said...then stay off my blog. You are not
included in my e-blasts or even on my subscription list. I had taken you off months ago. You purposesly seek out my
blog to do nothing, but complain.
Let's not forget the 'Pishka Guy' aka Alan Marietta. I am sure you remember...the guy who wanted all his friends to
steal and destroy the 'yellow signs' fame. His disgusting remarks were on the FB page for months until I demanded
'Alan Marietta' be removed. He is now no longer able to comment on Mike's FB page. I see he is still has his own FB
page, but he has been keeping a very low profile. As long as you and yours are saying it - that's fine.
Don't worry about Bob's campaign - it doing just fine.
So Mike and Robert are putting some restraints on people's posts? It is about time! I am sure you know that Mike
owns and pays for that site. Not you! I would think that he has a right to make choices for his FB page, just as I do.
Have a nice day.
Barbara J Black - FB page
Mike and Bob, in your attempts to be "nice" and placate Donna Nelson you are overlooking a critical fact...whoever wrote that
trash doesn't really matter. Donna Nelson PUBLISHED IT IN ALL ITS FOUL ENTIRETY.
Now somehow in all this, she has made Kent the bad guy and both of you fell for it...I am so disappointed.
Robert Nagels Barbara J Black
I guess we are going to have to respectfully disagree here Barbara. I pointed out a discrepancy in the post where it was alleged
that the Blog page had been changed to accommodate one version from another. I have screen shots from both days and
nothing was changed. I have done this before and I would like to think that the information be as accurate as possible if we are
going to have a meaningful dialogue on this Facebook site. That is why I suggested (and strongly believe) that third party
translations should rarely be part of these conversations. That’s why I also noted that I invited both authors of those letters to
join this conversation. Mike & I didn’t “fall” for anything. We are all responsible for what we post on here. But if we are going to
move past this animosity generated by the RCM, then the people participating on this site are going to have to cut back on the
personal attacks as Mike has asked for. And if there are going to be “civil” imputations then it would be nice if they were
accurate in the information so as not to cause confusion, let alone a lack of credibility to the persons making the post. I think
more people will join this site while many more view it without joining. I would like to think that they appreciate reading
comments that are factual and informative, albeit opinionated, and continue to use the site. *
The initial post here about Simmes letter could have been edited so that both versions remained on Facebook, but the choice
was made to remove it and it was replaced with a second version…deleting the initial post with all the comments that went with
Even recently there was a request for the “original emails” but how does that help? Unless that email is coming directly from the
author, who is going to prevent it being said that a third party transferring the email didn’t change it before posting it as the
“original.” My initial invitation to Mr. Simmes and Mr. Brown via this group page may have to be followed up with a personal
invitation from me, Kent, or another who may personally know these gentlemen. That will be the closest way to know what was
being said in the first place. And if they refuse, should their opinions be the cause of so much discord on this site? I hope not. *
I don’t know why so much attention is given to the comments on The Blog. Those posts will never be “fair” and will always be
one-sided. We all know that and it will never - ever change. Do I visit the site – sure I do – there are some good community
links and information on it. Did I see Simmes’ post? Of course I did – and gave it the due attention it deserved. We already
know that there are people like him with those beliefs (sadly) within our community. Unfortunately, with bringing the topic to this
page, WE have given that letter more exposure and attention than it should ever have. It is too bad that people posting on this
site referring to something on the Blog don’t attach a screen shot of the Blog topic so we can all see what was being referred to
at the time….because we all know there is no record of the Blog and that it changes on a regular basis at the whim of the Blog
I wholeheartedly agree with Bob’s post about not wasting any more energy refuting nonsense on the Blog. What’s the point?? I
would like to think we as a community have more important things to do.
NOTE FROM MRS. B
FYI - I sent both emails from Simmes and Brown to Mike and Robert for their review. I also sent an email to Mitch
Brown so that he could see how Kent had bastardized his comments. Mitch does not do FB and that is why he
always send his comments in an email. I am sure Kent was depending on the fact that Mitch would not see his
God knows I have more to do than constantly have to defend myself from the likes of Barbara, Kent and the Jack's of
I could care less if you disagree with me, but don't EVER MAKE UP A LIE and expect me to sit back and take it. It's not
in my makeup. Those who know me well, will verify this!
|And now on to my real life that I love so much
|Today is Sunday, October 23, 2016
|This is a very short blog because I want to move forward as soon as possible.
No more of this stuff for me...ENOUGH IS ENOUGH!
|I will be posting next week with lots of interesting news
and I will share our last leg of our vacation with you.
CLICK THE FOLLOWING LINK TO SEE THE NEW ITEMS ON
THE HOT SHEET
The Hot Sheet