Astronauts tell us that seeing the Earth from an orbiting space capsule
puts life on the planet in perspective.
Historians do the same thing for the rest of us who cant fly to the
For the first time since the late 70s, the valley hosts a Western
Issues Conference organized by the Sun Valley Center for the Arts. The conference begins
Friday and events run through the weekend.
Scholars will join with musicians, authors and artists to revive, revisit
and revise great discussions about the places and people of the West.
No dry academic exercise this, a play carried out for obsequious students
kissing up for an "A." The conference joins real scholars with Westerners old
and new who live every day outside the ivory tower.
Conference participants will make sense of life in the West, the stories
passed from family to family, and neighbor to neighbor.
Are the stories true? What forces really brought together the people who
lived out their lives in the West? What forces shape us today?
What imprints of the past are felt today? Can we see the future by looking
at the past? Are Westerners really shaped by the landscape or are we on a path to pure
pavement? How are we doing in the Great American West anyway?
Maybe, if we can see this region from the scholars aerie, we will
see things we havent seen before. Maybe, we will be rewarded with wisdom for the
days and years to come.
The Wood River Valley didnt know what it had in the Western Issues
Conference until it was gone. Residents and visitors are lucky to have a chance to take
part in its revival. Dont miss it.