Thursday, May 7, 2009

The Lighter Side of the Legislative Session--Seeing Friends in Boise

Because the legislative session carried on so long, I had to move into the nearby Grove Hotel here in Boise. As the sessions have gone longer and longer, generally, I have found myself at the end of each session moving in to this hotel after my house lease expires.

The Grove is an exceptionally well staffed hotel and is popular with business travelers. I am now well-acquainted with many of the men and women on the staff. Some who work the hotel bar are quite good authorities on wine. I have known these people for these past five years and it is comforting to be familiar with them at this time of year. We’re all homesick and these people make things really helpful.

My routine now after the afternoon legislative session is finished is to go to the Grove for a change of clothes and walk down to the lobby bar and see what ball game might be on the television. If it’s a good day, I might eat there.

This past week was a bundle of good days. I had the good fortune of visiting with so many fellow northern Idahoans in that lobby bar; I felt I was actually home.

I spent a bit of two afternoons catching up with NIC President Priscilla Bell, who was in town for a conference announcing the terrific $16.5 million dollar biomedical research grant being shared by 10 higher level education institutions. She was of very good cheer and looking forward to getting in a round of golf at some point soon. I enjoyed our chats and hope Cynthia and I may golf with her and her husband this summer.

I also enjoyed an impromptu dinner with Robin Dyke of the Department of Labor, based in Sandpoint. We shared a drink the following day as well and it was so refreshing having a substantive chat in such a social setting. I was able to gain some very helpful insights about the economy in Idaho and it was heartening to hear her opinion that our unemployment situation may be improving.

In mid-week I was sent over a drink from my good friend Ron Nilson, who was in town with his lovely wife, Pam. He described for me a new massive vehicle, which I believe his firm designed and built, which is now the world’s largest ground tiller. This enormous device is built on the frame of a giant Caterpillar and is being used in gold mining in Nevada. Needless to say, his business is thriving.

Ron and his wife were enjoying their evening with Eve Knudsen, whom it was my pleasure to see again as well.

As if this wasn’t enough, I was delighted the following evening to see Dee Jameson of Hayden. It was a real surprise and pleasure to visit with Dee and hear news of his enterprises. Dee is a neighbor, but we had not had a chance to sit down of late and therefore it was a real treat to see him in Boise.

All of this because I went down to see if the Mariners were on TV…

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