Sunday, October 1, 2006

Kellogg is my Paris

Paris c'est le monde for many of my fellow teachers over the years. They love to spend summers in Paris. For me, Kellogg, Idaho c'est le monde. The Silver Valley c'est le monde. Home to the now defunct Bunker Hill and Sullivan Mining Company, Kellogg is not only where I was physically born, it is where my soul was born. The above picture of the Bunker Hill Zinc Plant shows you that I was born and raised in a place of pollution and environmental degredation. My memories of Kellogg are of sulfur dioxide mornings, smog thick, snaking its way into the Jacob's Gulch where I went to high school, settling into our gymnasium, our classrooms, into our throats, our lungs, making exercise and running a painful, burning chore, because we were being lightly gassed with toxins reeking of rotten eggs.

I want to pay homage to this town, this valley, but I do not want to romanticize it. Even though my best friends are from Kellogg and even though I love this place like no other, I know that it was, in its heyday, a place of criminals, abuses, corporate heartlessness, poverty, and recklessness. It was also a place of honor and unpretentious love, without self-congratulation. I am going to tell stories, write poems, review books, write essays, publish pieces I've already written, explore life as I understand it. I will try to understand the world through my exploration of the place that, for me, is the world: Kellogg, Idaho.

1 comment:

Patrick said...

I can sum up Kellogg in two words: Wah Hing. Anyway - catfight poem - go for it - as long as I can repost it (full credit to you, of course.)

-Patrick/Making Flippy Floppy