Friday, December 31, 2010

The Hobbitt... Day 25/30

I appologize that I have done sometimes up to 3 or 4 posts a day over the last week and a half. But, I'm almost caught up to date! The following is a post from my sister Linda...

I always loved the funny cartoons dad drew and his more realistic drawings simply fascinated me. So, when I graduated from High School, what I really wanted for my graduation present was for him to draw one of the characters from my favorite book, “The Hobbit,” by JRR Tolkien.

I found the description in the early pages of the book. It described the Hobbit, Bilbo Baggins, sitting outside his Hobbit Hole smoking ‘pipeweed’. I asked dad to read it, and then draw his interpretation. I didn’t know if it would be one of his cartoons, or one of his more realistic drawings. To my utter delight, it was a combination of the two. Dad had it professionally framed at a frame shop, and wrote this sweet note on the back of it for me.

I’ve always felt very fortunate to have an ‘original’ from dad, just for me. This is truly one of my most prized possessions.

Thank you, dad. You always made me feel special.

I love you and miss you so much.

Your daughter,


History Lesson, How it All Started Part 2... Day 24/30

He got to work in Alaska on the Brooks River studying fish.

After graduation, Bill's first job was in the Las Vegas area. Summers were unbelievably hot and lasted nine months a year, with only three months of decent weather. But he was doing what he was meant to do. He was so into his job that his senior officer had to insist he take a day or two off. When he was home, he just knew that someone, somewhere was doing something wrong. Nervous as a cat, he would pace. And more often than not, go out anyway.

His next assignment was Winnemucca. What? OK, we have to find some good here. It's closer to Boise, the big city where my parents live, and it's out of the heat. There must be other redeeming features. In summer sand blew 24/7, in winter it was cold beyond imagination (one winter it was 24 below zero). The town was a small gambling town with a red light district not far from the stores and restaurants. Most of the town residents were good people, respected the Game Warden and we made good friends. We were there five years, a year longer than planned.

Bill had applied to Idaho for a position as Conservation Officer and was offered a job in Challis. Before he could accept, the Winnemucca City Council asked, begged him to take the position as Chief of Police. There were some things going on that weren't quite proper and needed to be addressed. After much deliberation, we decided that he would take it, but only for a year. It was agreed upon and being the most honest cop on the force, he made enemies by doing away with under the table "Christmas Bonuses" and some other "benefits." The year seemed long but at last time was up and the new job offered by Idaho was ----ahhhhhhh Garden Valley

Garden Vally was heaven. It was in the mountains, deep forest all around and our new home was a beautiful two story (with full basement) log cabin. Our rent -
$25.00 a month. We were all delighted and excited which lasted the entire time we lived there. Bill had a huge area to patrol, no two days were ever the same. The kids grew up in the nicest of areas , knowing everyone in school, freedom to roam, ride horses and I was truly happy with our lifestyle and friends. We were there seven wonderful years.

In 1973, Bill was promoted to the Boise office, a desk job. That didn't last, as he longed to be out in the field again. The department heads, shook their heads and at last let the crazy man be a Game Warden again. Out in the field, he was like a kid, as usual not able to take days off, rarely even all day Christmas. At some point during the day, the pacing would begin and, surprise, he would say "guess I'll take a drive down the road,--see what's going on." Well, we had him for the fun part of the day, opening the gifts, which he enjoyed as much as the kids.

Bill's life as a Conservation Officer changed many lives. There were some teenagers and some college kids to whom he issued citations in such a way---explaining, counseling, showing care and concern, that they in turn became F & G employees or Conservation Officers themselves. He taught gun safety in junior high schools and aided many people in the field. Being a CO isn't about just issuing citations. It's about educating and assisting the public. Bill was that kind of officer. Dedicated.

History Lesson, How it All Started Part 1... Day 22/30

As a boy, Bill loved to fish and wander into new territory but his favorite hangout was the Kern River, a few miles from his home in Bakersfield, California. He would hike to the river daily in summer, fish, turn over rocks and spend the entire day exploring. One day he saw a gentleman holding a bird which piqued his curiosity and he approached him to investigate. The man introduced himself as Dr. McClure, ornithologist. He explained to Bill that he studied birds, their habits, migrations and that he banded birds to find their life habits. He showed Bill how to band the bird and asked if he would like to help him. That began a life-long friendship between them and changed the direction of Bill's life.

After Bill had served four years in the Marine Corps, he registered at the local Junior College to learn architecture, as he had so much talent in drawing. Included in his classes was an art class. Daily he came home frustrated and finally angry beyond words. Telling me what happened that day in art class, he was red in the face and sputtering. The instructor, an older lady, had told him he needed to use his imagination. She had him stand at the front of the class, told him to shut his eyes, stand on his tip toes and smell an imaginary rose. Did that tough Marine do that? He did not! He stomped out and quit the class!

That led to him changing to Humboldt State College in Arcata, California, the northern most part of the state. We arrived there in January, in driving rain that did not stop for 42 days! But his Wildlife classes were exactly what his lifestyle was meant to include. He worked with many species of animals, birds, snakes, warm and cold-blooded living and dead things. He usually came home from class or field trips smelling to high heaven, but grinning from ear to ear. Summers he worked. Two years it was scut work at a State Park, one summer "planting" oysters in the bay (that meant standing on a barge shoveling oysters over the side all day long). But the best summer was to come - his dream...

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Stupid Criminals! Day 21/30

This is the final story I have from Steve...

I'll never forget the time in the late 60s where some brothers from Horseshoe Bend decided to poach some deer in Garden Valley. It was January, just after 2am when the bars closed. All three of them were drunk and drove up the South Fork of the Payette River to Danskin Creek.

They shot 6 deer and then backed up to the snowbank and dropped the tailgate where they loaded up 4 of the 6 deer they had killed.

The next morning, dad found the kill site and empty beer cans. He also found some evidence that was even better. When the brothers had backed the truck up to the snowbank, they hit it so hard that it left the imprint of their license plate right there in the snow! Dad drove right to Horseshoe Bend to their house and found all 4 deer hanging in the woodshed.

They asked how he found out so quick that they had poached the deer. As was so typical of dad, he never did tell them...

Steve's Memories - Part 2... Day 20/30

When I was 12, dad took me to the Horseshoe Bend Mill Pond to work fishermen. There was only one road into the Mill Pond and every fisherman there could see the when the Game Warden was coming. This made it hard to catch people with too many fish or those who were fishing without a license.

So on this day, dad loaded up my fishing pole and my bicycle in his work truck and off we went. I didn't know it, but I was about to go on my first undercover job. When we got near the pond, dad unloaded me and my bike and sent me to the far end and told me to watch the people in the camper, the 2 guys in the old pickup, and the 4 people in the station wagon. He said, "I'll come get you in one hour."

So, down the hill to the Mill Pond I went. Fish and Game had just planted 1,500 trout in the pond so fishing was good. I parked my bike between the guys in the old pickup and the people in the camper and started fishing. Everyone was catching the hell out of the fish. The people in the camper with catching the most, probably 30 or 40 of them. They also had 11 or 12 on a stringer in the water and the other 30 or so they had hidden in the brush.

Pretty soon, dad came down the hill and people started putting down their poles and hiding fish. Dad drove right past me to the camper, introduced himself, checked their licenses, and asked how many fish they had. One of the guys said, "We have 11 or 12 on that stringer right there." Dad looked at the fish then turned to me, still fishing where he told me to sit and said, "Is that all the fish he has son?" I said, "Nope, he has about 30 hidden in the brush right there!"

That fisherman about had a cow when he discovered that this little kid was sitting there working undercover. Dad ended up writing 3 or 4 citations that day and we had a good laugh over it all!

Steve's Memories - Part 1... Day 19/30

The following are some memories from Steve. I love these stories - they're so typical of what we used to hear about dad's days at work.

It was some time in the late 60s when I went to work with dad and we ended up in Idaho City. As we were driving, we were flagged down near the gas station by a dirty old logger. His partner was in the back of his pickup; he had cut his leg wide open with a chain saw. In the 60s and 70s, there were not EMTs or ambulances in Idaho City, Garden Valley, or any of the small towns, so dad loaded the logger in his truck to transport him towards Boise. As we started toward town, dad got on his radio and called the main office, who called St. Lukes hospital, who sent an ambulance up highway 21 to meet us. The poor logger had 3 or 4 dirty t-shirts wrapped around his leg, holding them tight, and damn near bled to death, but thanks to dad, he survived.

It was a hell of a ride.

Dad used to walk into Sulpher Creek Ranch every year to try and catch salmon snaggers. It was a 4 mile hike just to get into the ranch. Fishermen (snaggers) would fly in, spend a weekend snagging fish, then fly back out. I often went with him on these trips to try to catch the snaggers. We would stop at the lodge and wait for fishermen to come in.

The cook at the lodge would always give us something to drink, then go outside to the clothes line and hang sheets, then come back in and visit with dad. For two years, and lots of trips in, dad never caught anyone snagging salmon. After the first two years, dad realized that every time he showed up, the cook would run out and hang sheets on the clothesline - a signal that the fisherman could see from half a mile away - that the Game Warden was there. The next year dad walked into Sulpher Creek and as usual, the cook went out to hang the sheets. Dad stopped him from doing so and just before dark, into the lodge came all the snaggers with their fish. Dad ended up writing 6 or 7 citations.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

The William Pogue Recreational Trail... Day 18/30

Several years after dad died, mom received a letter from the Forest Service telling her that they were going to name a trail up the Middle Fork of the Boise River after dad. That had been dad's patrol area for several years and an area that he loved.

The family made the trip up for the dedication, many miles of the roughest road I've ever been on - and it remains so to this day!

Over the years, I haven't gone up nearly as often as I'd like but I have been up there twice. Both times, I saw the most beautiful blond bears. I suppose that's why I haven't been up more, I'm terrified of bears!

I hope someday to take the kids and grandkids as they've never been up to see the trail. What a wonderful and beautiful tribute to dad. He would have been so proud.

Jacks Creek... Day 17/30

There was some discussion about yesterday's post regarding where the picture was taken. Mom called one of dad's Fish and Game friends and found out it was taken on Jacks Creek near Bruneau.

I did a bit of research and discovered this site which has some great pictures in case you want to try this hike.

It describes the area as "A spectacular hike into a remote canyon. Extensive rhyolite and the opportunity to observe raptors, bighorn sheep, and pronghorn antelope."

It looks to me like the actual trail stays up on the top of the canyon, but from the picture, dad must have hiked down into the bottom. Looks like a wonderful day trip, but probably infested with rattlers! However, I can certainly see why dad loved it.

Monday, December 20, 2010

One of My Favorite Pictures... Day 16/30

This is one of my favorite pictures of dad. Maybe partly because it's so mysterious to me. I'm not sure where it was taken - looks like the Owyhee canyon area, possibly Jarbidge. I don't know, but it looks like someplace I would love to be. The man with dad was one of his best friends from Fish and Game, Jerry Theissen. It doesn't look like they were working because they aren't in uniform, but dad never went camping unless he was working. He always said he got enough of sleeping of the ground from work. So, what were they doing and where were they?

But what puzzles me the most is the quote that he wrote on the picture when he gave it to Jerry. I wish I knew exactly what he meant...

"If there is a future for wild things, then it is the burden of those who have reached farther than me, to save them for the rest of us. It will be done by those whose convictions were forged in campfires,


Sunday, December 19, 2010

Lucky the Raccoon... Day 15/30

The following was written by mom:

Usually Bill brought home wild creatures to heal or care for, but at times he would bring home things that had died or been killed for the kids to see up close. One of those was a large Snowy Owl ( I think, at least it was LARGE and pure white). He was so proud to show it to the kids. They gathered around as he laid it on the kitchen floor, spread its wings and was showing them the head, tail, wings etc. Suddenly, the dead owl stood on its legs and launched itself into the air! So much for DEAD critters!

We did have one animal, not from the wild, but raised in captivity. Bill brought home a blind raccoon that the original owner could no longer keep because of complaining neighbors. The poor animal was born blind. The original owner was a hound hunter and had shot the pregnant female. As he was skinning it, he discovered a live baby and took it home and named her Lucky. Even though she was blind, she managed very well with her keen sense of smell and "feely" fingers.

The kids immediately fell in love with her and she them. She was fun and funny but was extremely inquisitive and got into everything! Being so, she was also quite destructive and eventually I told Bill that he had to pen her or get rid of her. So, making sure it was escape-proof he built a fine pen with a nice "run." Telling her how lucky she was to have such a fine home, he left her there. Before he reached the house, she was beside him, demanding attention. Back to the drawing board.

After many tries, he accomplished the job, but she paced back and forth making pitiful sounds. Back and forth, lifting her head toward the house, back and forth. "Please Mom", the kids begged, "she hates it out there. Can't we bring her in the house?" Being a softie, I relented and she became an indoor pet for short periods of time.

One day, after a shower, Bill stepped out of the bathroom, in undershorts, barefoot, directly on to the raccoon. Frightened, she latched onto his big toe with her sharp teeth! His howl of pain could be heard for miles and frightened her even more, causing her to tighten her hold. I ran down the hall to see Bill hopping up and down, wildly trying to shake loose his attacker, howling, hopping, pleading for help. It was too much, too funny and I couldn't help but break up with weak-in-the-knees uncontrollable laughter.

Slowly, Bill made it to the front door, dragging the snarling, hissing raccoon still firmly attached to his toe. Across the porch they went, down the steps,----thump, thump and to the lawn. (remember, he's in undershorts). Grabbing a stick, Bill pried open the locked jaws from his toe and bolted for the door. Back in the house he came, limping badly, looking for sympathy but provoking new peals of laughter.

The raccoon found a new home.

Editors note: As I recall, that's not exactly how this story ended...

Doctoring Wildlife... Day 14/30

Today's post is written by my sister Linda. I have a wonderful picture of this fawn with our German Shepherd that I'll upload and share before the end of these 30 days.

Dad was always bringing home orphaned, wounded, or unwanted animals. When I was about 10 years old, he brought home an orphaned mule deer fawn. An older couple had been driving near Lowman and saw an eagle trying to pick up the fawn. They picked the baby up and brought it to us. He was only a few days old and was so young he could barely stand up. We fed him warm milk using a baby bottle. Our German Shepherd was very maternal, and took to the fawn like he was her own puppy.

The fawn grew quickly, and took to following me and my friends on our treks around the remote area where we lived. He followed us along little mountain trails and through creeks, and loved our adventures. He couldn’t stand the thought of missing out on some fun.

One day, he followed us to a neighbor’s house. The neighbor’s dog saw him and began barking and chasing him. The poor little deer turned and ran for his life, right through a barbed wire fence. The fence ripped a big gash in his front leg right at the armpit. (Do deer have armpits?)

When we got him back home, mom and dad doctored his wound the best they could. There was no keeping him off it, the little guy had no intention of taking this wound lying down! Because the barbwire was rusty, dad decided to give him a tetanus shot too. So I held the deer still, and stroked his neck while dad prepared the syringe.

As soon as dad sunk the needle in his butt, that deer went straight in the air like a rocket, and took off up the hill doing that bouncing-running (stotting) that deer do when they're afraid. As he bounced, that syringe bounced and bobbed right along with him, still stuck in his butt, the pain of it’s movement making him bounce and run even faster.

Dad squawked in disbelief (or disgust). I screamed and began to cry. Dad took off up the hill after the deer, running as fast as he could to try to catch him. Both were soon out of sight. Tactfully concealing her laughter at the humorous sight, mom began trying to comfort me, telling me that dad would find our family member.

Dad and the deer did eventually return home together. I have no idea how far the deer ran, or how long it took dad to catch up to him, but dad would have chased him to the next county if he’d needed to in order to bring my sweet deer home to me.

The deer’s wound healed fine and dad learned to hang on tight to the syringe the next time he had to give an animal a vaccine.

His First Suit... Day 13/30

The following is a guest post from our wonderful, classy, and incredibly strong mother - Dee Pogue.

When our daughter, Linda, became engaged and planned her semi formal wedding, she chose a white gown, which necessitated that her father wear a suit. In his entire life, Bill had never owned a suit and firmly refused to wear one after spending four years in the Marine Corps. Wearing a uniform with tie every day for four years was bad enough but for special occasions, parades etc., a dress uniform was required with the emblems on the collar gouging his throat, making the wearing miserable.

Needless to say, heated arguments, begging, pleading, wheedling still did not change his opinion regarding wearing a suit. Somehow, eventually, at the last minute he agreed to try one. At the men's store, still protesting, he stepped into the dressing room with a few suits carefully chosen. Stepping out, in shirt, tie and a rich dark brown three piece suit, Bill stood in front of me and I fell in love all over again. He was so handsome! Looking in the mirror, Bill did a double-take; turned left, right, straight ahead, grinned hugely and was completely taken with his image. That was it. Bill had his first suit.

The wedding was beautiful, the bride was gorgeous, Bill was handsome and charming and he KNEW he was hot stuff.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Our Love of Wildlife... Day 12/30

Today is a guest post from my sister Linda.

Dad noticed my interest in birds when I was about 6 years old while we were living up in Garden Valley. Dad would take me for walks along the creek and point out different birds to me. He would tell me if they were cavity nesters or ledge nesters and where they went for the winter, or where they came from in the summer. Every spring, he’d locate a nest and set up a spotting scope so that I could watch the eggs hatch and the babies fledge. We would sit out in our yard and mimic different bird calls but he was much better at it than I was!

Throughout the years, Dad brought home many injured and orphaned birds and animals to rehabilitate. Over the years we had a mule deer fawn, a blind raccoon, half a dozen Canadian geese, two or three kestrels, a great horned owl, - and a partridge in a pear tree! My mother drew the line when he brought home 2 black bear cubs, they went to live at the Boise Zoo. There were so many animals that they'll be their own stories!

Everywhere I went with dad, he’d show me cliff swallows, night hawks, waxwings and juncos. He would also point out deer and elk on the mountain sides. We’d sit beside the South Fork of the Payette and watch river otter play and slide. He showed me bobcats, coyotes, beavers, and muskrats. He taught me to watch for tracks and scat when I was out walking alone.

He taught me to tread lightly when in the woods, because everything was something else’s home or food. He helped me to identify plants, some that were edible, some that were dangerous, and many that were just beautiful to look at. In short, he taught me to respect and care for everything around me. To this day, every one of us have a deep love and respect for wildlife and their habitat.

Thanks dad, for sharing your love of everything wild with us. We have done our best to pass it on.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Will the Real Bill Pogue... Day 11/30

When mom and dad moved to Boise they soon discovered that there was ANOTHER Bill Pogue in town. He was a doctor that had moved here from the small town of Council. It didn't take long before dad started getting medical calls in the middle of the night and Dr. Pogue started getting poaching calls. It was so unusual that the Idaho Statesman decided to do a story about it.

The third Bill Pogue, he was an astronaut that didn't live in Boise. He just had the same name so I guess they decided to include him.

If you have a hard time reading it, click on the picture and it should enlarge enough that if you get out your readers and a magnifying glass you should be ok.

"The Day"... Day 10/30

Several years ago, I found this letter in some of my grama's things. I noticed he spelled my name wrong...

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Finding Treasure... Day 9/30

Starting when we lived in Nevada, I remember dad bringing things home that he had found in the desert. He was famous for dragging home old bottles, old stoves, old enamel pots, pans, coffee pots, and clocks.

Spending thousands of days out in the desert where no one in their right minds would go and hadn't been for many, many years, yielded old dump sites and old abandoned buildings that no one had seen since the 1800s .

Dad used some of these items in his artwork as well. The first grade reader book in the same titled drawing, belonged to dad. There's a print he did of a cowboy kneeling by an old cast iron stove that my brother Steve now has. The print below shows an Indian holding a bottle (whiskey, I believe), which either Linda or I have now.

But the clocks were the best. He found several and traded things for others. Each of us kids have been given one of these clocks that will someday be passed on to one of our kids.

Dad knew how much I loved his old junk and just a few months before he died, he told me about an old dump site that he had discovered while out in the Owyhees patrolling with Gary Loveland. He told me that no one had found it and it was just full of great stuff. After he died, I asked Gary about it but obviously he hadn't been impressed with the wonderful stuff the site contained because he didn't remember where it was.

Dad, if you can reach out from beyond, I'd sure appreciate a map!

Homemade Christmas Cards... Day 8/30

Dad enjoyed drawing Christmas cards. Here are a few examples that he did in the late 60s...

This first one wasn't actually a Christmas card but it's a beautiful silhouette.

I don't really remember dad ever going to church, but he must have been spiritual. Several of the papers I've found that he wrote refer in some way to the wildlife and environment that was created by someone greater than he, and as I posted these two cards below, I noticed that each have the Christmas star in them. I like that.

If I ever sent out Christmas cards, I'd have that middle one done. Maybe next year...

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Notes and Doodles... Day 7/30

If dad was famous with the family for anything, it was his constant notes and doodles.

Dad doodled on everything. He doodled on napkins at restaurants and left them for the waitress. If he had a pen and there was a flat surface, he'd draw something. Here are just a few examples...

Dad always left mom notes telling her where he would be - I never realized how dangerous his job was, but evidently he wanted mom to know where he was "just in case." Quite often though, his notes were hilarious! Here are a few examples...

Evidently, "we all went to town (Boise) so I'm not sure who Steve left this note for, but I guess mom wouldn't let him take his "good" hat. After Steve wrote the note, dad gave mom the raspberry. I love this one!

One of dad's notes to mom telling her where he would be...

And this, the last note dad ever left - dated January 4, 1981...

This one is hard to see, but I'm glad we have it. It sure brings back a lot of memories...

Oh How He Loved Christmas... Day 6/30

I can't hardly think of Christmas and remember how it turned dad into a big kid. He loved Christmas!

Living in Garden Valley, we always had several feet of snow. There was a pasture just a few hundred feet up the road from our house, and dad and mom would take us kids up there and we would spend hours sledding down the hill. If there was enough snow, we would sometimes get on our sleds and ride the 4 miles down Alder Creek road to town. When we got home, mom always had hot chocolate waiting for us.

One year, he gave Linda a guitar for Christmas and had to play with it of course...

I never knew until I was an adult, how little money a Game Warden makes. At Christmas, there wouldn't be an empty space under the tree. There were dozens and dozens of presents. It seemed like it took an hour to open them all, and dad spent the morning taking pictures of us with our new toys.

One thing I look back on now, and I find myself really impressed with, is the fact that almost every year, dad was brave enough to actually buy mom clothes for Christmas. He actually had very good taste for a male and most of the time, mom loved what he picked out.

For many years, Christmas was really hard after dad died. His laughter, his excitement, and the look in his eyes as he spent the day with his family (unless he decided in the afternoon that there might be someone out poaching and he needed to go to work for an hour or two).

I wonder every year what he would be like at Christmas now. I think he'd be exactly the same, only enjoying his grandkids and great grandkids as well. Merry Christmas dad!

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Bill Pogue's Artwork... Day 5/30

I will be gone tomorrow, so I will do days 6 and 7 on Saturday. Just sayin'...

It always fascinated me as a child, to watch dad draw. He would sketch something with a pencil then get out a jar of black ink and a his nib dip pens.

He would draw the most wonderful pictures - but the next day I would almost always find them torn in half in the wastebasket. We finally told him how wonderful his work was and how much other people would enjoy it as well. Not too long after, he started getting more serious about his work and the pieces ending up in the trash became fewer and fewer.

He bought a big magnifying glass on an arm with a light attached that he could screw onto his drawing table. He used the magnifying glass because it was very difficult for him to draw only having the use of one eye. But he would spend hours and hours placing tiny dots of ink in such a way that it turned into magnificent work.

Dad's art told such wonderful stories. He loved old cowboys, anything from the old west, trappers, hunters, and wildlife. I think, however, what impressed me the most was the fact that he used the faces of people he worked with in his drawings and each picture portrays his own hands. It wasn't just art - it was his soul.

A few years before he died, he started selling his work at Brown's Art Gallery downtown. People from all over the country bought it and in fact, most of his original works are gone. But fortunately, we do have prints.

Lady Friends Commin' was one of his last works. I love the idea of two old cowboys giving eachother haircuts before seeing their girls. Where did he get the idea for such a thing?

First Grade Reader is my personal favorite. The face used in this print was dad's good friend from Fish and Game, John Beecham. I love the idea of an old cowboy trying to teach himself to read.

The Cowboy and the Bird was by far, the most popular of dad's work. After he died, it was the first to sell out. We went for many years with only a few copies we had saved for family, but last spring we had some prints made.

The face dad used in this was another friend from Fish and Game, Phil Swanstrom.

While dad loved drawing the rough, tough cowboys of the old west, each of them had a soft side that he loved to tell through his work. Each one said so much about him and how he looked at life.

It was, in fact, his artwork that helped to catch his killer. His print, Mountain Man was used to raise the reward money that helped catch Claude Dallas. We sold them again in order to raised the $25,000 it took to reacapture him after his escape.

I'm so greatful to have this wonderful legacy that dad left for us. Someday, if any of the kids or grandkids want any of his work, it's here for them. At their ages right now it's not their style but as they get older, I hope they will appreciate it for what it is. The heart and soul of a very important man.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

On Being the Game Warden's Daughter... Day 4/30

Dad had this "radar" that none of us kids were ever able to explain. It must have come from his many years of detective work on poaching cases, but when we became teenagers and he started using it on us, it was really scary - and not-so-much appreciated.

As my sister Kate mentioned in her post yesterday, dad was the only law enforcement in town. The Boise County Sheriff lived in Horseshoe Bend but never ventured the 30 miles to Garden Valley.

This fact made it hard to be a typical teenager of the late 60s and early 70s. There wasn't much to do in the tiny town except drink and smoke pot. When my friends and I learned to drive at the age of 14, one of our first trips was to Horseshoe Bend. It was a Saturday night and we met a bunch of kids at the park to listen to some loud music and naturally, someone brought out the pot.

Even though our rock and roll music was blaring after 8pm (way past bedtime in Horseshoe Bend) and the fact that the park was 50 feet from the only highway through town, I didn't have the common sense to understand that this could be trouble. I had never smoked before but hey, I was game to try. A short time later the Sheriff stopped by.

He started asking everyone for their names and when he got to me, I told him.

"You Bill Pogue's daughter?"
"OK, I want you kids to get out of here and go home. You (pointing to me), go home and tell your dad what you did. I'll be calling him to make sure you've told him."

That was a long 30 minute drive home. I walked in the door and into mom and dad's bedroom and woke them up. I explained what I'd been caught doing. Mom broke into tears and I remember both of them telling me how "disappointed" they were. I would rather have been beaten by a 2x4 with long nails protruding from it than to have my parents tell me they were disappointed in me. Mom and I cried and cried while dad gave me the "lecture." Oh how we hated those lectures.

I didn't find out until years later, that the Sheriff never did call my dad and had no intentions of calling him. Somehow, he knew he'd scared me bad enough that I would go home and spill the beans.

Not more than a few months later, mom and dad took the two younger girls to Boise to spend the weekend at my grandmother's house. Having a new driver's license, dad told me not to drive his new truck more than just down to the valley and back.

Dad and I had this unique relationship. He would tell me to do something or not do something and I would nod and smile and give him a hug and agree to whatever it was, knowing full well that I would do what my little teenage pea brain wanted to do. But it saved a lot of arguments of "But whyyyyyyyyyy???"

So, as soon as the family left me home alone for the weekend with my brother, I jumped in his brand new truck, gathered as many friends as I could fit in it, and off we went to Horseshoe Bend, then on the Emmett to see what was happening in the big city. We drove around Emmett, then back to Horseshoe Bend then home - several times.

When dad got back from Boise, he walked in the door and asked me where I'd been with his truck. "Only down to the valley to see my friends!"

He asked again, and this time he wanted the truth. He KNEW I'd been a whole lot further than that (about 700 miles worth) and in fact said, "You didn't get out of that truck the whole time I was gone. Where the hell did you go?"

I had no idea how he knew I was lying. Did he have a spy? Did my brother snitch? A few months later, my brother told me how stupid I was. "He wrote down the mileage before he left and checked it when he got back."

Who would have thought a parent was smart enough to do something like that? As we grew up, dad would continue using his skills on my sister Linda...

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Pretty Pink Barretts... Day 3/30

This guest post was written by my sister, Kate. Thanks sis, for sharing this story!

From the time I was born to the age of 9, my family lived in the tiny town of Garden Valley, 50 miles north of Boise. Dad was the local Game Warden and "the only law in town." To us kids, he was God. He was big, strong and could be very imposing when the situation called for it. He was, in the best of ways, bad-ass. He also had a wild and wicked sense of humor, and there was nothing he wouldn’t do to help a friend or neighbor in need. Bill Pogue had the respect of everyone in the valley. Until one day….

See, when I was younger (and apparently not very fast) mom would put my long hair in pig-tails using rubber bands and/or barrettes. This woman invented several never-before-used torture methods that, I’m pretty sure, have since been adopted by the military. But that’s another story. Suffice it to say that the Pogue girls had the TIGHTEST damn pony tails you’ve ever seen. Because of (or maybe in spite of) this, I developed an interest in beauty-parlor play, and after nearly scalping all my dolls, I turned to family.

There was, at that time, a place in town called The Joint; part restaurant, part tavern. It was where the cowboys started their day with coffee and ended it with several Budweisers and a game of pool. It was a place heavy with Marlboro smoke, bullshitting, Tammy Wynette on the juke box, and the occasional bar brawl.

One day dad stopped by The Joint for a cup of coffee before heading off to work. He probably pulled up a stool at the bar, asked for coffee, lit a cigarette and greeted the local men, including one of his best friends, and local really tough cowboy, Sterling Alley. It wasn’t long before the guys started whispering and snickering in dad’s general direction. Finally, Sterling managed to ask “Are you going to work with that pretty thing in your hair?”

Turns out that while getting ready that morning, he’d overlooked one of the pretty pink barrettes I’d beautified him with earlier. Poor man never lived that down.

Monday, December 6, 2010

On the Injured List. Day 2/30...

I'm sorry, I know I should feel bad, but some of the memories of dad which are the absolute funniest to me are his injuries. Laughing at other's "accidents" is a very bad Pogue family trait. Mom doesn't do it though, she's got too much class so I'm blaming this bad gene on dad's side of the family.

I just don't get how one person can hurt himself so many times - and I mean lasting, physical, "damn-what-happened-to-you!" injuries. In order to really know dad and especially his poor driving habits and too-numerous-to-mention truck accidents, you must understand his history of "being on the injured list."

His first job out of college was in Las Vegas - and that's where his accidents began...

Brush with death #1 - While getting ready for a few days' stay in the desert, he got out his sleeping bag and a few other necessities including the air mattress he would use under his bag. Giving the air mattress a mighty shake (not sure if he was checking for spiders or trying to get the wrinkles out), the plug flew out of the hole, through air like a bullet, and hit him in the eye. Where most of us have color in our eyes, dad's eye was black. Really, how does a tiny plug from an air mattress, through all the airspace in our universe, find a person's eye? And to make matters worse, had he minded the doctors, he probably wouldn't have had permanent damage. He was told to stay in bed and not get up. He got up in the middle of the night and ran into the wall, bashing his head so hard that it was the straw that broke that camel's back and he was blinded for good. Then the pain was so bad that he took too many pains pills and mom had to rush him to the hospital for an overdose. I can't watch A Christmas Story and hear Ralphie's mom say "You'll put your eye out!" without thinking (fondly of course) about dad.

Brush with death #2. Dad had stopped to check an unattended vehicle parked out in the boonies. Waiting to see if the owners would come back to the vehicle, he started getting hungry and noticed he had a bag of grain in the back of his truck. He helped himself to some of the grain - but after eating a few mouths full, he noticed the word POISON on the bag. According to mom, he was a sick boy!

He also contracted "Valley Fever" while living in Bakersfield. He had heard of a place where people were discovering sharks teeth and sometime later, found out that the soil was infected with the disease. Someone in the family still has those sharks teeth - proudly displayed on cotton in a frame.

He was thrown off a horse, hitting his head on a rock and received a concussion. Another time, he was on his horse and one of them (we'll blame the horse) made the mistake of cutting too close to an old building and he ran head first into a swarm of bees. Not only was it painful but it caused a lifelong allergy to bees. That was Brush with death #3.

Brush with death #4 happened when dad realized that keeping canned food in a metal container, for months in the Vegas summer heat in the back of your patrol truck, is not a good idea. One bite from a "puffy" can of pineapple caused severe food poisoning and he nearly died. Again, who eats food from a can that practically explodes from all the toxins in it when you open it? All I can say is that he must have been darned hungry.

While living in Winnemucca, and again, out on patrol miles and miles away from help, dad drove over a rattlesnake. Wanting to bring the rattles home to show us kids, he stopped to pick it up. He raked his hand across the snakes teeth and that was all it took. He had to drive himself several hours back to town for treatment. After receiving the treatment at the tiny hospital in Battle Mountain, he broke out in hives and then had to stay overnight in the hospital. That was Brush with death #5.

After the loss of vision in one eye, depth perception was hampered so there were too many pickup accidents to mention. His patrol vehicle always had numerous dents and dings from sideswiping or backing into something.

In all reality, only a few of these were actual brushes with death. But dad was always out of radio contact and miles and miles from the nearest help. He truly was lucky to have survived as long as he did. While talking to mom about this post, I said, "He was just an accident waiting to happen, wasn't he mom."

Her reply, "Every day. Every day. I never knew what kind of shape he'd come home in." Fortunately, his major injuries seemed to end when we moved to Garden Valley...

Sunday, December 5, 2010

30 Years, 30 Days, 30 Memories. Day 1...

Many women keep journals. My mom keeps a journal and has for years. I know it's full of her memories, her dreams - her history. My blog is my journal.

On January 5th, 2011 - thirty days from now, it will be the 30th anniversary of dad's death. So, for the next 30 days, I'm going to share some stories that involve my dad that I want my kids and grandkids to know and remember. It's sad when I think that in all reality, my kids know very little about their grandfather. They don't really know his sense of humor, the real danger of his job, yet his deep love for it, his quirks and oddities, and his injuries - I look back on his life and wonder how he survived as long as he did. I'll talk about his premonition of his death, his artwork, his favorite places and other stories that I think are important. With some help from my mom, I hope I can do this justice and that mom and my sisters will jump in here along the way to add their comments and memories.

Mom and dad and the early years...

Mom moved to California from Boise after attending college. That March, she was set up on a blind date with a handsome Marine. His buddy Marines were so surprised and happy that he actually had a date that they all loaned him clothes - slacks, dress shirt, corduroy jacket, shoes, and socks. The ONLY thing he wore that night that actually belonged to him were his undershorts. After they were married, mom asked him where all his nice clothes were and he had to fess up that they had all been borrowed.

Dad on the far left - was he skipping?????

Two and a half months after meeting, they were married. Surely it wouldn't last! That August, just 3 months after they married, dad was sent to Camp Pendleton to train for the Korean War. Just before leaving for the war by ship, he decided he needed to see mom one last time. The Marines, not taking kindly to the AWOL, demoted him to Private once he was back on board. However, I don't think it was something he ever regretted doing.

Several years ago, I was going through some of dad's things and found the letter he had written to my mom's parents requesting their permission to marry mom. It was so cute. I'm so grateful that I have these letters and things tucked away and hope that someday one of my kids will be the "keeper" of this important family history.

After dad returned from Korea, he went to college at Humboldt State University. Their life was tough. Not the kind of tough for young married kids these days - I mean tough. They lived in a tiny village in a tiny, moldy house. They often had very little to eat and no money to do anything. I think the only thing that got them through so much of their early years was the fact that most every other couple in the village was in the same boat. They all had each other.

At one point during dad's college years, they lived in a tent on the northern California coast while he was doing research on fish. My brother Steve had been born and raising a new baby while living in a tent was very difficult. They ate mostly what dad could catch because it was free, and to this day, mom won't eat salmon or crab.

Once dad got a job as a Game Warden they spent much of their lives moving as many Game Wardens do. His first job was in Las Vegas then Winnemucca, Garden Valley, and finally Boise. I know mom hated Winnemucca. Dust and wind, sagebrush and scorpions. But dad loved the desert. Up to the day he died, the desert was one of his favorite places.

In 1964, dad received word that he had been accepted as a Game Warden in Garden Valley. I know mom was excited to be leaving the contanstly blowing wind to live in a small beautiful town with pine trees and water. It was such a change from the years of dust that they couldn't wait to get there. However, they would have to wait another year before they would leave Winnemucca.

There were some internal problems at the Winnemucca Police Department and the City Council asked dad if he would consider taking the job of Chief of Police to help them through. Dad agreed to take the job under the condition that he would be leaving in a year. He took on this new role with determination and was an HONEST Police Chief which made some of the town councilmen, a few police officers, attorneys, and some others, very unhappy. Evidently, some of the officers were getting "Christmas bonuses" from some of the local Madams at the Ho Houses to not interrupt things (especially during the winter when a lot of the locals were using their services). I guess doing away with the "Christmas bonuses" didn't make dad real popular, but, according to mom, "I was so proud of the job he'd done when we left!"

I'm sure that was the year from hell for mom. She was on the verge of moving back to Idaho where her family lived and yet it was going to have to wait...

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Baby Steps...

Until we sell our house here in Hidden Springs, we can't build on our 13 acres up the road. It's hard to be patient but so far we've done pretty well. However, I can't stop thinking about things we can possibly do until the house is sold. We have to get Elmer's brother up here to help us decide where to actually put the house when we can build because I have several ideas for the property. One of the first things we can do until the house can go up is to build a home for the chickens and I think I've found the perfect chicken coop!

Pretty cool huh! Now I can't wait until spring. I want to have one animal that will have free range of the entire property and from the research I've been doing, I think this will be it...

Miniature donkeys make great pets and I think the grandkids would love it. Moonshine Meadows in Middleton has some cute babies for sale!

Beautiful home in Hidden Springs for sale! Here's the tour link