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Boundary County’s school levy and why I love basketball ... or do I?

February 22, 2023

By Darrell Kerby
Bonners Ferry

As a fifth grader, I remember looking through an old trunk in my family’s basement and coming across photographs of a young man wearing a basketball uniform. I knew instantly who it was and being a naturally inquisitive young man, I was compelled to ask my Dad what it was like to play basketball “back in the day?”

My Dad then explained that the photo was taken when he was in high school in Lewiston, Idaho. As he reminisced about his high school experience, it wasn’t difficult for my imagination to go back with him in my mind and imagine very vividly as his memories unfolded.

It was fun to imagine that my Dad was once a boy and even more fun to imagine that maybe someday just like my Dad, I could be just like him. Why not, even now my older brother Gary had begun to play basketball and was on his high school team in our family’s town of Bonners Ferry.

A few days later, I again discovered a photo of my Dad in another basketball uniform but this time he was pictured in a group photo with a team. I thought I recognized many of the faces in the photo but I wasn’t quite sure, so further inquiry was going to be required.

Sure enough, my first impressions of who were in the team photo with my Dad were pretty accurate. One was Bob Pace, my Dad’s current business partner in Pace-Kerby, another was Phil Kelson, my friend Larry’s Dad, who lived across the street from me, another was Lester Poston (current City Councilman Brian Poston’s Dad), who my Dad said was one of the best basketball players he had ever seen. It turned out that this photo was of the Bonners Ferry Town Team.

A group of men who had all had diverse and varied backgrounds and experiences but all had the common experience of having grown up enjoying the sport of basketball and now following many years after their school experience, their WW II service and who knows what other diverse life paths, had come together for the simple joy of again being part of a team and representing the town in a sport that they learned to love by their shared experiences in school.

Perhaps inspired by the stories my Dad relayed about basketball, perhaps watching my older brother, who I secretly idolized (who would openly want to admit that you idolized your older brother, lest your brother actually found out, resulting in a fate worse than death to a younger brother?), play with his teammates, I too would become a basketball player and in my and my older brother’s case a Bonners Ferry Badger. This memory recollection is obviously a personal one, meant only for me, but without a doubt a shared experience for many if not most of my classmates in our small town.

The experience for my classmates may have come in a different sport, or the shared experience of band, or home economics or Future Farmers of America (FFA). What the shared experience was isn’t important.

What is important is the shared experience itself. The shared experience of one connecting. Connecting to past generations, with older siblings and neighbors. It is this shared experience that is the essence of what makes small town America unique. This generational knitting of one generation’s pride and connection to another is what makes a small town take on a sense of place, of roots and a connection to something larger and bigger than one’s self.
It is why people volunteer and donate and in this case vote yes in a local school levy.

A local school levyu or bond is one of those rare occasions that ALL of the money you pay stays right in your own community. giving back to where you live.

So, do I love basketball? Yes, but not as much as I love my community, and it is with nothing but pride in it that I hope you will join me in giving back to those who came before and those who will come in the future. Please Vote yes!

Questions or Comments? Send us an email!

Mike Weland, Publisher

6931 Main St.
P.O. Box 1625
Bonners Ferry, ID 83805
(208) 295-1016

A 9B Media LLC publication
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