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About Wallowa County chieftain. (Enterprise, Wallowa County, Or.) 1943-current | View Entire Issue (Nov. 22, 2017)
minutes with ...
Marcia J. Sands, 76, of Joseph graduated from Central
Valley High in the Spokane Valley in 1960 and went on to
Washington State University to major in education.
November 22, 2017
Wallowa County Chieftain
A. I’m crazy about the people. I love the people. It’s open,
everyone is open to talking to you and knowing you. We
disagree politically, but it doesn’t make us stop loving each
It was a natural progression, as both of her parents were
educators . But as it turned out, she didn’t want to teach. She
met her husband of 55 years, Kent Sands, on a road trip home
to the Spokane area. A friend who was dating a soldier from
Fairchild Air Force Base in Spokane introduced her to Kent,
who was also serving there, and she and Kent and the other
soldier drove back to the Spokane Valley together. The cou-
ple married in 1962.
They had a son and twin daughters and worked around
the west: in Prescott on a wheat ranch; Portland where Mar-
cia finished her education in a new direction, chemistry at
Portland State University, and worked in a physician’s med-
ical lab while Kent started his career as a grain merchan-
diser and in a few other cities. The couple eventually bought
two businesses: A.R. Smith grain merchandising and Sands
Trucking while living in Seattle.
The couple ended up in Wallowa because Kent’s cousin,
Joseph Mayor Dennis Sands rode in Cycle Oregon around 15
years ago and ended at Wallowa Lake.
“He called and said, ‘Kent, this is where we’re going to
retire,’” Marcia said. Retirement didn’t suit any of them and
Marcia estimates both she and her husband lasted about six
weeks in retirement before they found part-time jobs they
continue to enjoy. Marcia has worked the last 10 years at
Anton’s Home and Hearth in Joseph and Kent sells real
estate for Wallowa County Brokers.
Q. What has Wallowa County taught you?
A. When Kent said we were moving here I said, “not me! I
am not leaving a city and moving to the country. What will
I do for my entertainment!” But, I’d been married 45 years
so I gave up. We moved here, and I started working here
(at Anton’s), and I realized that I still had people I could
communicate with, could talk to, who were still interested.
I learned that we all have different colors no matter where
Q. Do you remember the first book you ever checked
out of the library? And can you recommend a new
book you’ve just read?
A. Yes, “The Diary of Anne Frank” was my first book. I was
about 12 and we’d talked about Anne Frank at school and it
was the first time I was totally aware of who this little girl
was and that she was my age. After I read her book, I thought
“I’m never going to be as smart as Anne Frank.”
That was my first choice. I was with my mother, and I got
to walk down the aisle and pick out my own book.
My most recent book: I just read the novel “The Loop”
(by author Nicholas Evans, who wrote “The Horse Whis-
perer”) about wolves. It was fascinating.
Q. What keeps you in Wallowa County?
Presentation on European trip set
Joseph artist Rob Kemp
will present photographs and
reflections of his recent trip to
Europe 7 p.m. Friday, Dec. 1.,
at Josephy Center in Joseph.
“On Pilgrim Paths: Sacred
Sites of Medieval France,
Wales and Spain” will pay par-
ticular attention to the archi-
tecture and sculpture of the
Romanesque and Gothic
This was his eighth trip to
Europe, the first in 1978 as an
exchange student at the end of
his college years at the Univer-
sity of Washington.
“I was gone for 4.5 months
and fell in love with Provence
before the gentrification,”
Kemp said. “It is a different
He also took the opportu-
nity to venture outside of Avi-
gnon, France, and traveled
about the UK and elsewhere in
“I wore Tony Lama cowboy
boots, hitch-hiked with a back-
pack and stayed in crowded
hostels,” Kemp said. “Smok-
ing was everywhere then, but
the food and wine have never
Kemp spent two months in
Europe this past spring tour-
ing and visiting family. Much
of his stint was spent in south-
western France, as well as a
few sites in Provence, Wales
In the Middle Ages, thou-
sands of Christian pilgrims
traveled a network of routes
leading to sacred places asso-
ciated with saints and mira-
cles. Significant among these
routes was the Way of St.
James, or the Camino de San-
tiago de Compostela in Spain.
There were numerous
routes across France leading to
the Camino, and churches and
monasteries along the routes
began to collect holy relics for
Some became sites of pil-
grimage on their own merit.
Many of these places have
changed little in a thousand
years, and the routes still
attract pilgrims who walk hun-
dreds of kilometers of the his-
This Saturday Nov. 25th
Get 1 s
$75 pu ter bottle with
toric paths each year.
In order to visit the most
significant sites, Kemp trav-
eled by rented car on back
roads, criss-crossing the major
routes to visit medieval sites
including Rocamadour, Peri-
gueux and Conques. In addi-
tion, Rob visited secluded
medieval monasteries of the
French and Spanish Pyrenees
including St. Martin du Cani-
gou and St. Pere de Rodes.
He will also present infor-
mation on pilgrimage travel,
including lodging in pilgrim
hostels and monasteries.
Kemp has exhibited paint-
ings and photography at the
Wallowa Valley Festival of the
Arts in most years since 1998
when he moved to the county,
and several times at shows at
the Josephy Center for Arts
He also curated a show of
western painting and photog-
At right, Rob Kemp stands
in front of the Sagrada
Familia basilica in
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