National Geographic : 2003 Feb
DRIGGS, IDAHO Pass from Jackson Hole, Wyoming, "where the billionaires are driving out the millionaires," as locals like to say. Movie stars, too, make regular appearances in Driggs. Harrison Ford parks his planes at the Driggs air port, a fact not lost on Kristal Nagle at her family's Corner Drugstore. A college junior, the brunette former high-school cheerleader says she wants to get married and have 12 kids. She laughs. "I'll have to marry a rich man." She has a huge crush on Ford. August Busch III of Anheuser-Busch and Paul Allen of Microsoft fame have spreads in the valley surrounding Driggs. "Lot of money, though you don't see it here," one local told me. What you do see is a community struggling to hold on to its way of life as "move-ins" and new ideas flood into town like spring snowmelt. Clair knows about change. After his wife passed away seven years ago, he got involved with a move-in. "1 married a ski bunny, 26 years my junior. But she ran off. I still see her, though. She stays with me when she comes out to ski. Lives in Maine now. She's getting her Ph.D. in forestry." On Main Street a couple of Mexican restaurants share space with the drugstore, a Laundromat, the Dark Horse Bookstore, and a restaurant gallery-clothing-jewelry store called Miso Hungry. Over an espresso I learn about the town's farmers, skiers, and hired farmworkers from Jeanne Anderson, owner of the Dark Horse and a move-in herself. "The high school is the real melting pot for old-timers, move-ins, and the Latinos here," she said. It's also a place with a sophomore curse. For each of the past several years, a teenager has died. Last year it was a boy wrecking a car. This year another boy, Robie, from a drug overdose. It hits home for me a few days later, over breakfast at Miso Hungry "They're alive. We have to manage the temperature with computers to keep them from sprouting." It takes three days for a worker with a remote controlled conveyor to load a potato cellar with three million pounds of Russet Burbanks. If left untended the spuds would become hot potatoes-radiating heat and ruining the crop.