What the Independent-Enterprise has meant to our family:
My family and I moved to Payette in 1965. Of course, the small town newspaper was the only social media at the time. We were welcomed via the Newcomer’s Club at the home of Shirley Masingill who became a long-time friend. The ladies made sure there was a report of their meetings in the newspaper every week, welcoming people to town. We subscribed to the Independent-Enterprise right away which made it fairly easy to get acquainted and keep up with all the happenings, good and bad, around Payette.
My younger brother, Steve Lamm entered the annual Independent-Enterprise subscription contest when he was about 11, and then set out to call EVERYONE in the Payette phone book to sell subscriptions, making appointments to get their money and information. He wore out several phone books marking names off that he had called. He wasn’t able to drive yet so my mother drove him to all of his “appointments,” including the ones at the end of Little Willow Road.
He won that first year by quite a bit and was so proud of his substantial cash prize. The next year, others had caught on to his blitz marketing strategy, so he had more competition. He won the second year, but not by quite as large a margin. By this time, just about everyone in town knew him.
In high school, Steve went to work at the Independent-Enterprise as a typesetter, which was all by hand and all backwards until the big new press showed up. He was one of the fastest “printer’s devils,” and he excelled at that job while in high school.
My husband was sent off to Viet Nam in 1967, and the paper carried little articles about all the area servicemen which helped some of us wives connect with each other while waiting for our husbands to come home.
In about 1980, our two daughters, ages 9 and 11, entered the annual Independent-Enterprise subscription contest. The competition was tough! Then Publisher Gene Rhinehart and his wife, Marilyn, made the month-long event very fun, and added to the tension by posting total subscription sales weekly.
The girls paid attention to their Uncle Steve’s sales tips and won the grand prize that year which was a trip to Disneyland! No one knew until the last day’s big announcement who had won. What a thrill to find out they had won that coveted trip to Disneyland!
Because our three children were very active in sports, it was a race to the local grocery store on Wednesdays after 3 p.m. to get the latest copy of the Independent-Enterprise to see the write-ups about their team sports — and it was extra special if their pictures ended up in the paper! Of course, we also subscribed but they couldn’t wait until Thursday’s mail to check the paper.
Then, the paper always published picture of the students who were named in the Academic Parade of Champions and they each sometimes made the paper in that category. Nearly everything in the paper was positive – but of course, the paper also published a list of those who had received citations from the local law enforcement officers – fear of public humiliation is a great motivator to obey the law!
Our children are grown but we still look forward to the mail on Thursdays to get the Independent-Enterprise to see news about our grandchildren, friends and neighbors. It should be noted that our family experience is shared all across Payette and is not unique. Our children all felt an important part of the community and, more important, accountable to the community, thanks in part to the Independent-Enterprise. The majority of Payette High School graduates in the era of the Independent-Enterprise have been quite successful.
The newspaper will be missed.