For this month’s Letter from the Publisher, here is a guest editorial by my father-in-law, Jim Myers.
Where is Myers?
As a longtime resident of Southern California, it was my first-ever trip to Idaho – by vehicle, anyway. I had passed through the thin part up north on a train once, soundly asleep, however. My wife and I were headed to Declo to visit our grandkids and their parents. As any thoughtful man would do, I carefully researched online maps to assure an uneventful journey. In doing so, I discovered a quaint little burg just north of our scheduled destination: Myers, Idaho. How interesting was that? Oh, did I mention that my name is Myers? That could be important to this story.
Our journey at hand, we arrived in Declo just before sunset and spent the next several days enjoying our family’s hospitality and playing with two wonderful grandchildren. We also watched the Snake River slowly turn into a skinny brook as some local engineers had “stopped the river.” What are the odds? But that’s another story. Since we couldn’t go boating, we went driving with my son-in-law in the chauffeur’s seat. Before going to Burley or Declo or some other place, we were treated with a side excursion to Myers. I was quite excited. WAS quite excited.
We arrived there OK, but seeing it was another matter. I don’t recall seeing any identifying sign. If there was one, it probably would have read: MYERS, Population: Zero. Doesn’t an official town require residents? Understand, there were some buildings there, like factories of some sort. In truth, they looked like something from Invasion of the Body Snatchers. Nearby, several large oil storage tanks (that’s a guess) adorned the area. But not one restaurant, drug store, or movie theater. Heck, there wasn’t even a Wal-Mart.
Now if you have Google Earth on your computer, you can check me on this one. Type Myers, Idaho and click Search. It goes right to it. It’s just east of Paul. Its zip code is 83350. You’ll see the factory-type structures and the tanks, but not one house. There are a bunch of cars in a parking lot, so somebody must know where it is.
After “touring” for a while, we left. I was empty. I felt like the Griswold family must have when they realized Wally World was closed. It toyed with my mind. Who named this spot Myers? And why? Was it by Myers or for Myers? Any relation to me? Where’s the city hall so I can investigate this? It’s not in Myers, that’s for sure.
Was I bitter? Of course not. Scarred maybe, but not bitter. We eventually returned to Declo to play with our grandkids. We were going to skip rocks on the Snake River but…
P.S. And how’s this for online insult to injury? Go to Wikipedia, the U.S. Postal Service Zip Codes and Ask.com. Wikipedia’s response to Myers, Idaho? Absolutely NOTHING! Type 83350 in the USPS. Myers? Nope! That zip code is Rupert. Other acceptable names for that zip? Acequia, Jackson, or Minidoka, but not Myers. And how does Ask.com respond to Myers, Idaho? The first two items are obituaries. Thankfully, they weren’t mine.
By the way, our chauffeur that day is also the Publisher of Southern Idaho Living Magazine. I don’t know if the trip to Myers inspired its creation.