Greetings from the front desk of The Cabin. If you make a call to The Cabin or pay a visit on Monday, Tuesday, or Wednesday, chances are you’ll encounter me. That’s because I’m one of the Literary Arts Administration Interns, and I man the front desk. There are essentially two types of summer intern at the Cabin: ones who venture out into the field with writing camps, and ones who are Cabin-based and help with the daily operations. I’m the latter. I take care of the phone, take camp registrations, and do whatever the rest of the staff needs.
In truth, I don’t love answering the phone. I am, however, getting over being startled every time it rings. And heading into my second week, I’ve about got the camp registrations down. Which brings us to the third and broadest part of my job description: whatever’s needed. Right now the special project I’m working on is facilitating the donation of The Cabin’s archives to BSU’s Special Collections and Archives. The Cabin has a big old stack of boxes up in the attic. The content of these boxes varies from old financial records, grant applications, and staff files to photos and press clippings. There’s also a healthy sized stack of past Cabin publications, like student anthologies from the WITS program. Tomorrow the head of BSU’s Special Collections and Archives is going to pay a visit to help determine which documents BSU would be interested in accepting from The Cabin.
I’ve done a bit of my own poking around in the attic boxes, admittedly dodging the boxes marked “bank statements” in favor of those labeled “misc.” In the many manilla folders, there are some interesting little Cabin tidbits tucked away. For instance, I came across a press clipping from June 12th, 1996 announcing the formal opening ceremony of The Cabin with then-Mayor Coles. Included with the article was a photo of the founding chairmen, Alan Minskoff, hoisting The Cabin’s banner above the doorway. This article was interesting to come across for two reasons. One, it’s almost June 12th, and exact anniversaries are always fun. Two, although I never took a class with him, Alan Minskoff is a professor at the College of Idaho, which I recently graduated from. There’s also mention of Minskoff picking the winners of the Boise Magazine writing contest in August of ’99. One of the winners included future Boise poet laureate, Idaho Writer-in-Residence (and College of Idaho prof) Diane Raptosh. Professor Raptosh also just gave a reading in January at The Cabin from her newest collection, American Amnesiac. I also unearthed a poem written by Professor Raptosh’s daughter at age 9. I think that same daughter is somewhere in her mid-20s now, so I know Professor Raptosh has had a long and sustained relationship with The Cabin.
Other good tidbits from the “misc.” box: The Cabin featured Sherman Alexie in October of ’96, before Sherman Alexie was cool. The ticket price was $3, and the event was at the Basque Center. This March, The Cabin hosted Sherman Alexie again, and he spoke to a sold-out crowd at the Egyptian. And (last tidbit for now) in 2001, we got a request from two of our volunteers asking if they could be married in The Cabin. Unfortunately, I didn’t come across anything indicating whether their request was granted or not. Something to keep an eye out for, I guess.
Megan, recent College of Idaho graduate and MS candidate at Simmons College