Don Cammack, Arco Idaho: Journal Entry 15

Don CammackWhile staying in Arco, we had the pleasure of visiting with Don Cammack. He owns the local newspaper, The Arco Advertiser. He also publishes and writes stories for the paper. His paper is focused on the good things in life. One thing he won’t write about is all the trouble certain movie stars get themselves into. He believes there are better things to talk about. I have to say I agree. Just because someone stars in movies doesn’t mean that we need to know everything about them.

Before he moved to Arco, he owned a newspaper in South Dakota. From the time he has owned both papers, he hasn’t missed an issue in 70 years. He began writing under the tutelage of a teacher in Stephen’s Point Wisconsin. This teacher was so dedicated she rode a horse 3 miles one way every day to teach. Another thing she did was to demand a 300-word composition every day.  Don was dedicated to getting it right so he often rewrote his works 2 to 3 times until he was happy with it. Sometimes he would even help other students for the nominal fee of fifty cents.

There are some things that Don would like to see happen. He thinks that more people who live in the big cities need to become aware of what life is like in a small town. He also believes that if you are able to follow the life of one small child who lives in these small prairie towns you may find another Abe Lincoln someday. Living and working on a farm often teaches a child good moral lessons about hard work and the true value of family. In addition, experience has taught him that if you stay too long in one place you may get to know too much about folks. That’s why he says he moved on from South Dakota. This gentleman knows more about life and has more stories to share than a lot of people. In the photos I took he is wearing or holding a Stetson hat. The hat cost him $17 when he bought it 50 years ago. You can see the hole in it. Don says that’s because the hat is for hotheads. He also says he won’t wear the hat in the wind ‘cause he doesn’t have enough above his ears to hold it on. When I asked him what the most interesting thing he has ever seen or experienced is he says, “What I might see tomorrow.” He also says his goal has always been the other side of the mountain. If he can’t see it, it bothers him. I plan to write a lot more about this interesting fellow and his exploits in the future. Maybe they will be part of the book I hope to write someday.

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