At the end of March Sandy Compton will ride off into the sunset. At least that’s what he would have done if he had not taken a “Side Trips from Cowboy.”*
No, he’s not going in search of those lands that the corona virus has yet to find. Nor is he practicing the ultimate in social distancing. He’s retiring. A word that he has been reluctant to use. And somewhat rightfully so. He’s not likely to be seen in a rocking chair with a lap blanket. He is more than likely repurpose-ing.
Sandy has always led a purposeful life. To the casual observer it may appear that his chief purpose was to ski and drink beer. And not necessarily in that order. Those of us who have had the chance to get to know him better, know that Sandy is driven by a purpose to tell stories. His tales help people to connect to the landscape, to connect to each other, to connect to themselves. When you begin to understand Sandy’s purpose you will understand yourself and your community better. And you will come closer to understanding, or at least having empathy for, this crazy mixed up world of ours.
Sandy has been coy about his exact plans, but you can be sure that he will continue to tell stories that connect us all. And I expect we will see him on the slopes and in the fine watering holes of Sandpoint
For the last ten years Sandy has been an integral part of the Friends of Scotchman Peaks Wilderness staff. For 5 years before that he was a dependable volunteer and our “go-to” graphic design and media contractor, discounting his work at a very good “friends and family” rate. Before that he spent the previous 50 or so years “Growing up Wild”** in the nearby Scotchman Peaks.
I’ve been pondering Sandy’s retirement, ahem, re-purposing for some time. It is hard to imagine, so I have put off trying to do that. But now the time has come and we must all adjust and learn to cope with a life without Sandy as the FSPW Program Coordinator. It’s OK because we will know where to find him. And it will be OK, because he has helped to groom our staff and partners and volunteers for the changes that we will all face.
So we wish him well and appreciate that his side trips from cowboy and his growing up wild are what brought him into our lives. We are ever grateful he has shared all that with us!
* “Side Trips From Cowboy” – one of Sandy’s most compelling books, a must read to even try to understand his world
** “Growing Up Wild” – one of Sandy’s most inspiring stories. It helps connect us all to the special places in our own lives.