Statesman Examiner

Sandra Madson Childhood Memories


I grew up in Newport and my father’s family was a large family. His greatgrand­father. I believe, would have helped settle Sandpoint. Then they moved to Pend Oreille County or some of them did and so there was a big family there with aunts and uncles and cousins and everything so that’s kind of

how I grew up. It was very different than it is today because we were as children running all over the place and could go to town on our own and walk to school and do all those things and weren’t ever too fearful of anything so I felt Newport was a wonderful community to grow up in. I was involved in a lot of different activities as I was growing up like Campfire Girls. I was involved in that and I was involved in 4-H and I was in a church group and then into high school got involved as one of the cheerleade­rs and that kind of thing so it was good. We spent a lot of time with our cousins and playing outside all the time.

Some of my memories were around Christmas time. It was a small community and at that time the mayor of Newport also owned the grocery store. His name was Bob Owens and he was a man that looked like a Santa Claus. He had collected antiques and he had an antique sleigh and so at Christmas time he would dress up as Santa and ride that sleigh down Main Street throwing candy at the kids. Wow, that kind of thing was really something that we all looked forward to. That was the kind of idyllic place it was.

I know as a child you don’t remember a lot of the other things that go on but I don’t remember too many bad things that happened even though my uncle was a sheriff. I can tell you one story that involved my uncle and my little sister. We lived not in the highly developed area of Newport but kind of on the outskirts. It was still within the city so there were fields around us and he ,my uncle, kept one of his horses or maybe more than that but the one that I remember was a Palomino and my little sister was just so intrigued with that horse. She decided one day she was going to ride it and she’d never ridden before. She climbed up on a fence, got the horse over there and got on it bareback and she was just strolling around the field and my uncle caught her. He was in his sheriff’s car and he saw her and there was an apple tree in the field and so she headed for the apple tree and he turned on his lights, not his siren, but the lights and he drove out in the field. He wasn’t upset with her but he was trying to just kind of scare her a little bit and she thought she was really in trouble. So that was the kind of horse thieves you had there.

Any particular person or persons who had a big influence on you as a child?

I would say two aunts. One lived in the family home because my grandmothe­r had a stroke and she was bedridden. Well, she was in a wheelchair first and then bedridden and so this particular aunt was the one that was her caretaker and it was very close, within a couple blocks of our house. She was just a super kind, caring type of person and she loved children, just loved them and so we always felt that was a safe place to go and a comfortabl­e place to be. Then I had another Aunt who went to nursing school and became a nurse and at that time that was a big deal. I mean for someone to go to college and to become a nurse and that kind of thing. We always admired her for that and she was always another one that was just very encouragin­g and influentia­l and letting us know that we could do things like that.

 ?? ?? Sandra Madson
Sandra Madson

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