I was saddened to hear of the fire at the Gene Harris Band Shell at Julia Davis Park in Boise. I don’t frequent the band shell much, except for the annual Fourth of July picnic. In my youth, however, band shells were a big thing. Every Thursday in the summer time in Freeport, Illinois, the city band would have a concert full of lively marches and patriotic music. The Schneider family never missed a Thursday, television had not made an impact then and the concerts drew huge crowds.
When we moved to Idaho, concerts were no longer a big deal and were replaced in our social lives by the Magic Valley Cowboys minor league baseball team. After moving to Boise, concerts came back into our lives during my son’s youth. By the time my daughter was born cable television and social whirl kept us out of the park. Horse Racing at Les Bois Park dominated our summer free time.
Still, when I heard of the fire at the band shell, I felt a twinge of nostalgia. A blanket on the grass, some fried chicken and lemonade suddenly became very appealing. Hopefully the band shell, which was built in 1928, will be usable again soon