For us, a lot happened in Sun Valley and the rest of the Wood River Valley. We did “cuddle up in a sleigh,” to quote a line from this song. We explored the region, camped, fished and skied together. And though it was strictly old-style cross-country skiing in our case (as seen in the video below), we still managed “a spill on a hill” or two.
At the 1:07 mark in the video you can see a snow sculpture of an ox-drawn wagon. While we were there, Joanna and a friend actually made a half-scale four-mule team and ore wagon out of snow, winning the valley’s annual sculpture competition. As it turned out, my wife also loved to plow snow from the parking lot of the motel we ran there.
The area was so important to us that this is the second song on this blog from the film, “Sun Valley Serenade.” Like the previous one, this one also features the Glenn Miller Orchestra. I’m frankly not crazy about the song, but do like the still-familiar images in the video (much better than the “South Park” version) and the memories they stir.
Lyrics here, with video from the film below.
I mentioned in my previous post that Joanna and I once ran a motel. We actually managed a couple of motels, for a total of about three years, though most of that time we spent at the Ketchum Korral Motor Lodge, a former Earnest Hemingway haunt in the Ketchum–Sun Valley resort area of Idaho. I also worked for the Wood River Journal and then as a freelancer for several publications during that time; like the motel, the Journal has since closed.
We loved our time in the Wood River Valley — hiking, fishing and cross-country skiing in the Sawtooths and the White Clouds, ignoring celebrities in the supermarket (OK, so maybe I peeked from behind a plant in a restaurant at Diana Ross), and meeting people from all over the world. Blaine County is one of two politically liberal places in the state, the other being Moscow. It’s also an expensive place to live, which is why I worked two jobs while we were there.
The song “I Know Why (And So Do You)” was part of the 1941 film “Sun Valley Serenade.” It’s a beautiful song by the Glenn Miller Orchestra. In the film, Lynn Bari lip-syncs to Pat Friday’s voice. The song was later part of the soundtrack for another film, 1990’s “Memphis Belle.”
Lyrics here, with video below.
For several years when we lived in the Palouse region of Idaho and Washington, our anniversary present to each other was tickets for the Lionel Hampton Jazz Festival, held each February at the University of Idaho. We saw Hampton and numerous other greats play there, and were honored to witness one of the last performances of the famed vibraphone player. Hampton was the first jazz musician to have a university school of music named in his honor.
This video is from much earlier, 1978, and features “Hamp” and his orchestra playing the Glenn Miller classic “In the Mood” at the North Sea Jazz Festival in the Netherlands. The song also is relevant to us because it was part of “Sun Valley Serenade,” a 1941 movie filmed near where we lived for three years in the 1980s.
The song has lyrics, but the video below is all-instrumental: