LA VERNE MEMORIES: Letters from Boise

August 7, 2011
Share this story:


Dottie with her grandson, a Charter Oak graduate, just before she left for her great northern adventure.

Dottie with her grandson, a Charter Oak graduate, just before she left for her great northern adventure.

Does the name Dottie Wallingford ring a bell?


You may not remember her, but she sure remembers us.


In fairness to Dottie, she never actually lived in La Verne, but she visited us often, from her homes in Baldwin Park, La Puente and West Covina. She bought her car from Person Ford, and when she waited for it to be serviced, she would lunch at Michael J’s or even sneak in a movie at our local cinema. She said she and her beau also loved attending dances at our Senior Center.


Then Dottie moved away under less than ideal circumstances.


“The reason I moved was a rather tragic one,” she wrote in a note to last week. “I lost five of my family members, including a son and daughter and the man I was dating for three and a half years — all within a year and four months. I only have one son left and he lived in Boise. This place, I am sure, is where God intends me to spend the rest of my life.” Her three grandsons also relocated to Boise.


Despite being close to family again, moving to Boise from the San Gabriel Valley still took Dottie some getting used to.


“First of all, I was very surprised to find that I had moved to a desert community,” Dottie said. “I was under the assumption that all of Idaho was mountains and fertile valleys. I had been here many times to visit my son and daughter in law, but we just did fun things and I never thought about the climate.


“I have since developed several allergies but none so severe as to deter my love of Idaho. Boise is the capitol of the state, but it is a small town, as compared to Sacramento. The population, last I heard, was 211,473. The cost of living is lower, especially housing, but wages are much lower also.


“We are surrounded by farmland and the mountains are as close as the mountains are to you. During the winter they have the ski slopes open and lit up at night. I can see the lights all the way down the slopes from my patio. They are so pretty against the snow. We have snow mostly in the months from November to January, but not much. It usually snows during the night and by 10 a.m. or noon at the latest, it is gone. I love the seasonal changes. It gives you something to look forward to. By the end of one season, you are looking forward to the next.


“Everything sort of comes ALIVE here on Mother’s Day. That is the first planting day of the year. All the nurseries are really crowded on that day. Most everyone here lives outdoors during the summer months. Lots of water activities. We have many lakes and rivers close by. In fact the Boise River runs right through town. Boise is a very cultural town, full of parks and recreation areas, art festivals, museums and live theaters.


“This is also a University town, home of the BSU Bronco’s. I have become quite a football fan. The biggest part of the residents of the Treasure Valley, as we are called, have a closet full of blue and orange T shirts, sweat shirts, socks, jackets, blankets, you name it. I’m not sure, but I am not taking any chances, if you don’t wear blue and orange during football season, you might be tarred and feathered.


“I think the weather here is fantastic. When it is 30, it is like 60 there. We have very little humidity. I have been here for four years this past March and I love it.”


But Dottie’s new life hasn’t eclipsed her favorite La Verne memories.

Dottie visited the Boise Zoo last summer.

Dottie visited the Boise Zoo last summer.



“I do miss my friends from the San Gabriel Valley area,” Dottie added. “I miss shopping in La Verne, especially at Michael’s. We have a Michael’s here, but I always liked the store in La Verne better than any other one. I miss the senior centers they have there in California, too. We have nice ones here, but they don’t have the dances like in California. They only have daytime activities, and everything costs. They only have country western bands that play at the Eagles Lodge. Not like the dances down there with Big Band music. I really miss that. They have quite a few bars that allow dancing, in town, but the music and the environment are geared to the college age crowd. Not for me.


“Everything here is Football, Water Sports, Fishing and Hunting. Boise is a university, family-oriented town, as it seems to be for the entire area that surrounds Boise.


It is a very, pleasant, homey feeling place and I have never regretted moving here.”


If you have a La Verne memory, whether you live here or THERE, share it with us on

Leave a Reply