I was surprised one day when I got a call asking if I would be interested in being in charge of the census that year for half of Idaho and half of Washington. It was a good time for me as Van was busy with the mining company, and the boys were all in college. About 30 people would be the census takers. I got the job.
One day one of the census takers called me and said, “You just have to come up to North Idaho to see something.” I resisted because it was an hour-long drive and I was busy. But, I did go; I arrived at the meeting place and we drove
the last leg in her car. She drove about a mile and came to a blockade in the road. We parked and she said we should walk the rest of the way. It was an area with very little activity ordinarily.
As we walked we saw a little house a few blocks away. Then we noticed it had a porch and a yard and a fence around it. A lot of people were gathered along the fence.
Next, we saw signs everywhere. One on the front of the house said, “Do not disturb my guest!” Another said, “No noise.” Then another said, “No flash cameras!” Then, “No noisy children!”
As we got to the fence she told me to look at the far corner of the porch. There, asleep, was a gigantic bear.
The story was that the owner of the house had been gone a few days, and when she came back…there he was! She was determined he would not be disturbed and the whole community had cooperated. Even the only policeman in the
area had put up the stakes for the signs.
The bear had been there a week when we saw him. About a week after we were there the lady of the house looked out and the bear was gone.
My job was difficult though always interesting, but nothing compared to my seeing "the guest."
Presumably after the bear left, the census taker went to the house to get the count of the survivors.