Charlie Blount
Diane Molter

Back in 1980 Charlie Blount's Lady friend (and wife) asked me to wait to write out my stories as she was going to write a book.

I know she wrote some of her stories up around 1985 in a small paperback edition. I saw an edition once and can't remember her maiden name to look it up on the web. I have seen some stories about the Mines and Idaho history but nothing specific to just the Warren area.

1980***

I still laugh about the experiences I had with Charlie Blount and his family gold claim. His hospitality was Texas wide, keeping a cooler of iced tea and quart size Mason jars for any drop ins and visitors. The iced tea was a real treat as few places had refrigeration or electricity unless from a gas powered generator.

I met him, his girlfriend and son in McCall when they drove through town in June. They had what looked like the top half of a red caboose on truck wheels. A vehicle they had built from scratch themselves. We would call it an ATV now.

They were delighted to have me come out to their claim. Where we would talk mining, local stories and Charlie taught me to pan for gold. He could reduce a full size pan of gravel down to the gold in two minutes.

Down in the ditch they had a machine which looked a lot like "Rube Goldfarb meets Chitty Chitty Bang Bang" It had layers of all-weather carpet on trays over grates with all kinds of sprayers, lawn sprinklers, shakers and hoppers, buckets and chutes . Once the motor was started it banged, shook, rattled and clanged.

He was so proud to show me mayonnaise jars full of gold and some of the nice gems they had washed out over the summer.

In early October I brought out some paperwork for him to sign before he closed up his operation for winter.

Over iced tea he kept proposing to me, saying it would be more efficient if he had a wife working with the Forest Service. Finally I asked his girlfriend if she minded if Charlie and I got married. She thought for a while, and then said, "Well that would be okay--but if we come up in the winter I get the middle of the bed." I politely declined the honor, which Charlie took in good humor and his girlfriend in even better attitude. Although Charlie then started trying to marry me off to his son.

One day I asked why he had a stuffed white pack rat on his fireplace mantle. Charlie explained that the pack rat had a habit of coming in at night while the trays of heavy sand were drying in the shed. He would then proceed to pick and choose nuggets and gems that caught his eye. At first he wasn't a big pest but grew bolder (and bigger) as time went on, chewing his way into the kitchen and making a mess, running around at night and eventually opening boxes , cabinets and getting into the food, tearing up mattresses and clothes etc.

One night Charlie had had enough and pitched his mining boot at the critter, who raced back out of the hole he had chewed in the wall and met with an unfortunate accident with a collapsing tray table. Charlie did find the Pack Rats stash and had the taxidermist gild his paws from the nuggets there.

Charlie also showed me a Ancient tree he had found out in the woods, a huge old pine. It had started to rot inside and had a mass of honey bees like a living coat on the bark.

Diane