Marcia Wing took us down nostalgia lane to meet one of Boise Rotary’s Founding Fathers, Joel Lambert Priest.  Joel was involved in Boise Rotary before it became a club.  He was Secretary of the group of men which conceived the idea of Boise Club and applied for our charter.  Once the club was chartered he became of member of the board of directors.
            Joel was born in Henderson, Kentucky in 1870 and started his career in the newspaper industry in that city.  He then moved to Chicago where he worked for both the Chicago City Press and the Chicago Record, covering events such as the Chicago World’s Fair in 1893.  He continued his career in Salt Lake City where he reported on events as diverse as the return of Utah troops from the Philippines after the Spanish-American war, the Democratic National Convention in Kansas City in 1900, and the San Francisco disaster of 1906.
            Joel left newspaper work at the age of 38 to move his family to Boise where he became the industrial agent for the Oregon Short Line Railroad which later because part of Union Pacific.  His job involved a lot of travel to such places as the Chicago Exposition in 1909, the Pacific Coast in 1911, San Francisco, and San Diego.  In 1916 he met with the Governors of Oregon and Washington and even attended two games of the World Series in 1917. 
            Joel’s sense of humor was widely noted.  In 1947 the Statesman included an article called “A Pig Tale” which read: They say Idaho’s premier tale-teller, Joel Priest, Sr. was stopped cold only once.  Speaking at a Kiwanis luncheon, Joel told of visiting in Blackfoot and admiring a litter of suckling pigs.  “MMMM”, he said, “roast a suckling pig with an apple in its mouth…nothing better.”  Naturally the pig owner offered to send a suckling to Boise for Joel.  Six or eight months later, Joel received a call from the freight office – “Say, Mr. Priest, you’d better come right down.  Somebody’s sent you a pig.”
            Joel was mightily pleased, hurried right down to the office, his mind full of visions of a delectable suckling pig.  But when he arrived, there was no suckling pig…there was a huge 5---pound porker!
            At this point in the story, Ike Wescott spoke up with the punch line that stopped Joel right in his tracks:  “Shucks, Joel, it probably was a suckling pig when it started out.  But your freight line is so blamed slow, the pig grew en route.” 
            In spite of the plethora of travel and other activities, Joel remained active in Rotary until 1940 when he resigned so that he and his wife could travel extensively during their retirement. 
            It is always a pleasure learning about our founding fathers interesting history.