|Frank A. Snapp
Class of 1963
ďAge does not depend upon years, but upon temperament and health.
Some men are born old, and some never grow so.Ē
- Tryon Edwards
Hello, old friends,
Itís been a wild ride to this point, and letís
hope it continues for us all for a long, long time. Too many of us havenít
made it this far.
There are times I yearn for Page. The
lake. The canyons. The grandeur and majestic views. The
solitude. You could find true solitude Ė with nothing but the whisper
of the wind to break the silence Ė just by walking over the first ridge
out of town. Iíll bet the solitude is not as easy to find anymore
but the wind still blows. What a place to have visited during those
In actuality, I suppose Iím not yearning for
the place so much as I am that time of my life. George Bernard
Shaw said it best, ďWhat a crime to waste it (youth) on children.Ē
They donít know what they have.
I left Page for Arizona State the fall of
í63 and Tempe became my home base for the next twenty-two years.
I was there when I received my mission call. I was there when I was
drafted. I returned there after Viet Nam and marriage. I used
a home there as an anchor while I traveled across the country doing what
most construction ďtravelersĒ do Ė seeking the next ďbig one.Ē And
I was there when the realization finally came that this work was a young-manís
game and Iíd reached the point to move on.
The mission call was to Northern Britain.
The events of those years formed the basis of a deep and abiding faith
that has sustained me throughout the years. Thirty-five years later,
I still ponder my acts of omission and commission during those years.
But I believe more than ever! I am attending the temple and praying
for a just and loving God.
I returned Stateside just long enough
to get in one semester as ASU and then LBJ beckoned. Seven months later
I was standing in the middle of a village in central Viet Nam looking down
a piss-tube, wondering what the hell that was? You had to be there.
No man, who has never smelled the reek of JP4 ignited on human waste, can
understand. Or watched the dance of automatic weapons fire as it
bounced off concertina wire into a shower a transfixing fireworks.
Or walked through a hospital ward viewing the destruction, not feeling
the pain of the wounded and dying, but being grateful it was them and not
you. Viet Nam robbed many of us of our youth Ė and humanity.
ďAnd through some mooned Valhalla there will
pass battalions and battalions, scarred from hell; The unreturning army
that was youth; The legions who have suffered and are dust.Ē
- Siegfried Sassoon in Prelude: The Troops
My life will not be complete until I make
my pilgrimage to the ďWall,Ē but there is still much I canít face even
During the early years, in between construction
jobs, Iíd return to Tempe and pick up a semester or two at ASU. They
got so tired of seeing me keep coming back that in the mid Ď70ís they actually
hired me to teach. My major had originally been journalism but somewhere
in the mix that changed to Mass Communications. For a couple semesters
I taught an upper division class in television production while trying
to finish my degree. Never did finish the degree, but my resume says
I was a college instructor. (Faculty Associate was the official title.)
The construction jobs include Bullardís Bar
Dam (Northern California); Grand Coulee Dam (third-phase powerhouse); Gilboa
Dam (Upstate New York powerhouse and pumped storage facility); coal-fired
power plants in Gillette, Wyoming and Sutherland, Nebraska; a cement processing
plant in the Dominican Republic; and Palo Verde (the nuclear facility west
of Phoenix). My experience goes all the way from working with my
tools to Superintendent.
I was at Palo Verde when my father died in
Missouri. We took him home to Idaho to be buried in the family plot.
Iíd been at the nuclear plant for six years, working six - sometimes seven
- days a week; ten-twelve hours a day; never having a vacation. I
loved the work but it was killing me. My wife and two sons (JR &
Drew) stayed in Idaho that summer after we buried my father and we made
the decision that it was time for a change. We bought a place in
Nampa - outside Boise. It took me a year to finish up a Palo Verde
and sell the house in Tempe before I could join the family in Idaho Ė but
it was well worth the move. In spite of the challenges that lay ahead.
I had expected to take a good, long rest once
I settled, but an anticipated year-long break stretched to two, then three,
when Idaho passed a right-to-work law that effectively killed the unions.
I could have gone back on the road, but thatís not why I moved back to
Idaho. I finally used my math skills and took a job with Idaho Vocational
Rehabilitation in their fiscal section. I became a bureaucrat!
And a bean counter! I moved into human resources shortly after that
and found I really enjoy it. Iíve been doing their personnel and
payroll work for thirteen years.
Vocational Rehabilitation is a unique agency
with a mission to put the disabled back into the workplace. We take
referrals from Social Security, insurance companies, our state industrial
commission, the courts, and even relatives; or we take clients directly
off the street as long as they have some disability and are willing to
work. Statistics tell us that every dollar we spend putting these
people into the workplace through training and adaptation is repaid to
the treasury within three years through the taxes the client pays for the
wage they earn. No other government agency can say it pays for itself.
As the employment issue settled, several significant
events began in my life. The first, to support my sons in their efforts,
I became active in the Boy Scouts of America. I was able to participate
as an adult leader as they both went on to become Eagle Scouts.
The other series of events was as tragic as
it was dramatic. My life changed significantly. It started
with a house fire that destroyed the Nampa house. I rebuilt with
insurance money and savings but the insurance company defaulted leaving
us penniless. We lost the house to debt and filed bankruptcy.
About this time the IRS decided that since I had gone from making an exceptional
wage in construction in Arizona to making nothing for over three years
in Idaho that they needed to take a closer look. They ordered a ten
year audit. But guess what? I had no records since they had
been lost in the fire. Try explaining that to the IRS.
Contrary to what you may hear, there is no such thing as a ďkinder, gentler
IRS.Ē Years later they still terrorize me. The pressures
caused my marriage to collapse and my doctor informed me that I had stress-onset
diabetes and hypertension.
There is an old Chinese proverb that says,
ďA gem cannot be polished without friction, nor man perfected without trials.Ē
I certainly not claiming to be perfected, but Iíve been challenged more
than most and Iíve survived. I have started anew with thankfulness
for the things I still enjoy and empathy for the frailties of my fellow
man. Itís not ďThere, but for the grace of God, go I.Ē Itís
ďIíve been there and by the grace of God I made it through.Ē
Iím remarried to a cute little Swedish woman
and live in Ontario, Oregon. Itís a quick hour freeway commute to
work. Partly because I commute, Iím an Employee Transportation Coordinator
for state employees. I work with Boise businesses and government
entities to provide planning and alternative transportation for the area.
Iíve been very active in human resources and am past -president of the
State Human Resources Association. I am a founding member of the
Governorís 1% Club which recognizes Idaho state employees for their work
with United Way. Iíve presented before the Governor, the legislature
and community leaders. Little do they know that not so long ago I
was homeless and had no idea where I was going to find my next meal.
My sons are grown and off making their own
lives, but I have remained active in Boy Scouts. Currently I serve as the
District Commissioner in the 7 Rivers District, Ore-Ida Council.
I serve as the 11-year-old Scout leader for Troop 426 in Ontario.
I am Wood Badge trained and have served on Wood Badge staff. I have
been on staff at University of Scouting and Train the Trainer as well as
numerous other training. I received my Silver Beaver in the Spring
of 2001. Only other Scouters will recognize these activities; but
they represent a life-long commitment to the Boy Scouts. What Scouting
did for my sons I want every boy to have the opportunity to enjoy.
My life is certainly different than I imagined
it would be ten years ago. No early retirement or exotic vacations,
but Iím happy. Iím serving Ö and living Ö and loving Ö to the best
of my ability. My personal credo is summed up in the quotation Mrs.
Meek had us memorize so long ago. ďSo live, that when thy summons
comes to join that enumerable caravan where each shall take his chamber
in the silent hall of death, go not like the quarry slave at night, scourged
to his dungeon, but sustained and soothed by an unfaltering trust, approach
thy grave like one who wraps the drapery of his couch around him and lies
down to pleasant dreams.Ē Little did she know the effect she would
I will miss you all this special weekend.
You will all be in my memories and prayers. Enjoy and remember.
Your friend and fellow classmate,
Frank A. Snapp
1488 NW 2 Ave
Ontario, OR 97914
The last year has brought exceptional changes.
I was able to renew some great friendships with old friends after the reunion.
One old friend especially brought great joy to this tired soul. Thank
you Marilyn for helping me believe again. I am in your debt forever.
I do know and I believe!
Msg Frank A. Snapp, Jr. (known to family as
JR) is stationed at Ft. Campbell, Kentucky but is scheduled for redeployment
within the next six months. He has three children, Brian, who is
headed for Auburn University this fall; Matt, a highschooler, and 4-year-old
Lauren Elizabeth who is the WNBA's great white hope - tall, lean and sharp
as a tack.
Second son, R.Drew, is working for Safeway
corporation in the Seattle area as a store manager. He's not married
and does get back to Idaho a couple times a year.