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Wahl to Wall: Chief Joseph Days No. 73 in the books

Wahl is editor of The Chieftain

Published on July 31, 2018 2:34PM

Another Chief Joseph Days celebration is in the books, and what a week it was.

If you like hot weather, you were no doubt in hog heaven as temperatures peaked in the 90s all week long.

The one saving grace for the evening performances was the breeze that comes up. And once the sun sets behind the mountains, things cool off quickly.

We made it out for all four rodeo performances this year and had a blast. It was a bit disheartening when we invited folks to go with us, and they said they would be out of town –– far out of town and for the entire week.

Yeah, it gets a bit more crowded than we’re accustomed to, but it’s also a tremendous boost for Joseph and the entire county. It’s an adventure.

This was my first year to be involved with the Rotary Club of Wallowa County’s food booth. It was an eye-opener.

Wednesday and Thursday nights were steady, but not unmanageable. Friday night was busy, and Saturday night was totally insane.

The crew opened the doors Saturday night and their next break came more than three hours later. Kudos to everyone in the club who had a part in this fundraising adventure.

About the only complaint we heard was from folks wanting to use a credit card to pay for their dinner or at very least, use an ATM to get cash.

I’m guessing we turned down in excess of $400 in business over the four days the stand was open.

The most disheartening was a young father with two small children who came to the booth to get them dinner, and all he had was a credit card. I offered to buy dinner for him and his family out of my own pocket, but he declined.

I believe we’re getting to be just enough of a credit card society that having an ATM at the rodeo grounds makes sense. The logistics may be a bit tricky, but with today’s technology, I believe it can be done.

When we lived in western Colorado, one of the local banks had an ATM built into a trailer. They hauled that puppy to every event big and small across several counties.

All they needed was electricity and an Internet connection. The withdrawal fees were kinda chunky, but it was a great convenience.

Perhaps one of our banks here could look into this type of unit.

The talk around the rodeo grounds was the newly installed toilets. They received extremely high marks, particularly from the ladies who visited.

One lady remarked, “Those are nicer than my toilet at home.”

Quite a compliment, indeed.

Congrats to all the 200 or so volunteers who make Chief Joseph Days happen each year. You are a stalwart group with lots to be proud of.

Finally, a fix-it from last week’s column in which we identified Mildred Hayes at the “first” Chief Joseph Days Queen. She actually was the third –– in 1948 –– and rode in Saturday’s parade. Icel Edgeman was the first queen.

What I had meant to say was Mildred was “among the first” queens, but it didn’t come out that way. My apologies to anyone who thought I was attempting to rewrite Chief Joseph Days history.

In our business, the only way not to make mistakes is to never write anything, which readers don’t generally see as a good thing.


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