Author to share stories of the Silver Valley
COEUR d'ALENE - Julie Whitesel Weston grew up in Kellogg a block from the entrance to the Bunker Hill Mine and next door to the hospital where her father doctored the miners and other townspeople. The mountains, the mines, the people: it all shaped her.
The author of "The Good Times Are All Gone Now," will bring her stories to the Coeur d'Alene Public Library, 702 E. Front Ave., at 7 p.m. Wednesday in the Community Room.
The free program is offered as part of the "Your Place in History" series sponsored by area public libraries, the Molstead Library at NIC, and the Museum of North Idaho. This presentation is funded in part by a grant from the Friends of the Coeur d'Alene Public Library.
"The Good Times Are All Gone Now" is a memoir of place, telling the stories of miners and Kellogg, Idaho, in mid-20th century America. Deep mines, rich with lead and silver, high wages, gambling and brothels-these elements defined the company town for almost 100 years from the 1880s to the 1980s.
Weston joins stories of the townspeople, told to her over several years, with her own story of growing up there. The strands of community and mining history and her adolescence weave together against a background of the Cold War, post-McCarthyism and labor strife.
A part-time resident of both Idaho and Seattle, Weston's short stories and essays have been published in IDAHO Magazine, The Threepenny Review, Boston Literary Magazine (an e-zine), The Saint Ann's Review, River Styx, Rendezvous, Clackamas Literary Review and Rocky Mountain Game & Fish, among others.
A story of mining appeared in "Our Working Lives," an anthology. Both an essay and a short story have been nominated for Pushcart Prizes.
She was a finalist in the Rick DeMarinis Short Story Contest, Cutthroat Magazine; Honorable Mention in the Red Hen Press Defender of the Earth Award; Prose for Papa (Hemingway)(first place); Willamette Fiction Contest (second place); Pacific Northwest Writers Association Literary Contests (two seconds and a third), among others.
The "Your Place is History" series is supported in part by a grant from the Idaho Humanities Council.