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Monday, 06 September 2010 00:00

Robin and Bob Young: Light on Their Feet

Cherie met Bob and Robin Young while canvassing in late August, and was immediately struck by their vivacity and community involvement. The front porch sports a sign reading “Ballroom dancers Parking Only–All Others Will be Tapped.” Inside the historic house is a living collage reflecting a lifetime of intersecting interests.

The couple met in Jr. High School, went steady, then parted and pursued separate lives for many years. Their paths crossed again when Robin, dressed as a colonial maiden, ran into Bob’s mother at a Pennsylvania local history celebration.


Their two lives melded seamlessly into an eclectic and variegated pattern of life, work, and family.  Each is enthusiastic about their own interests, but equally seem to thrive on the work that they share.

Bob Young has a degree in Anthropology and worked in the Forest Service for many years. Slightly retired, now Bob is an avid birder, works with Boise Falcon Fans, and enjoys nature photography. With a background in history and anthropology, a familiarity with the geographical nooks and crannies of the state, and a keen interest in local wildlife, Bob’s conversation moves easily from archaeology, his experiences in the Forest Service, animal habitat, and camera lenses, to raptor nesting and the complexities of Internet correspondence. He and Robin collaborate on projects involving food, wine tasting, and dance instruction.

Dancing has been important to Robin since she was very young. A registered nurse, she has many interests and confesses to being easily distracted by new ideas. The variety of her interests provides a broad background she finds useful. “The distraction of new and related interests works to make a more complex and eclectic life, “ she explains. “You discover nuances as you go and that changes your evaluation of everything.” Robin still enjoys dancing and teaching, is a well-trained wine expert, helped start the Ravenswood winery in California, and works with local wine judging activities in Boise. She writes, is a noted cook and “foodie,” and speaks eloquently about Idaho history.For the Youngs, history is not a distant concept, but an ongoing connection with people who lived and walked just moments ago on the paths we tread now. Robin shows me a fruit label from her family’s Perrine orchard near Twin Falls. The harvest specimens were shown at the first Idaho State Fair. Robin spreads
her hands to indicate the house, street, and yard, explaining “The early fairgrounds were located right here.” Her great-grandfather ate his prize apples from a basket displayed exactly on the land where we now sit talking. Bob and Robin remind me that this area was literally a “fruitful” valley, and orchards of all kinds were integral to Boise’s early prosperity.

As we talk about the reestablishment of the Peregrine Falcon population, food, wine, children, the Green Belt, and photography, it becomes obvious that these apparently unrelated topics intersect and entwine, not only in the lives of the Youngs, but in all our lives as a community.  Bob, a committed blogger, shares such connections, research, and recipes with a growing audience. Our conversation ends on the topic of music and dance. Bob and Robin have just finished teaching a young couple a choreographed “wedding dance” – the bride and groom have learned the steps and are bringing  the dance to life at their wedding reception as we speak. “We had a good time figuring out the steps to work with the song they had chosen.” Robin says with a smile. “I think it is something to make the day even more special, and they’ll remember the the Quick-Step, the Two-Step and even mastered the Spin and Dip.” In their quiet way, Bob and Robin, add movement, spice, and beauty to the lives of those they




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Cherie Buckner-Webb
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