Famous Potatoes


I was often asked “What brought you to Boise Idaho?”. As though such a reason could be summed up in one sentence. The expected answer was, “a job” or “school”. But I had no stock answer. I was an eighteen-year-old who was restless to get away from home. I was not interested in traveling and seeing the world and how other cultures of people lived, instead I was interested in being close to unspoiled wilderness. I felt much as John Muir did, a religious connection to land unaffected by our own species. Looking on a map I saw that Boise was very close to some of the largest tracts of wilderness in the country. I formed a plan to strike out on my own, rent a place there, find a job and live for awhile there. If all went well I would have time to explore some of this land

I had originally planned to only stay through the winter and one summer. After that I would return to California and attend Chico State. Not that such plans excited me, I had very little interest in a formal education. Chico State seemed like an easy step until I could figure out the next one. I even took the SAT in Boise, scoring in the upper 90 percentile in both math and language. I took a Calculus course at Boise State to keep up with my skills. But beyond math, the academic world did not call out to me. Frankly I viewed it is a form of brain-washing. “Here is how we want you to think. Show us how well you have learned to think as we have trained you. If you perform well you will be rewarded with a good paying job and life will be very comfortable for you.”

That however was not the path I ended up choosing. The path I did end up choosing was a very convoluted one. It lacked a clear way forward, it was more of stumbling in the dark kind of path. It was however an inspired path and that was the most important thing for me. In retrospect I can see it was very similar to the path chosen by many artists I have known.

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