GARDEN CITY, Idaho — Provided interim shelter of three months in Virginia Morris' garage, a plywood sign dating its namesake back more decades than it served in practice has found its final home.
The Strawberry Glenn Airport closed operation in October 1980 along with the purpose of their sign. Sitting north of the Boise River kitty corner to Expo Idaho, the airplanes today are replaced with houses, the runway with West Riverside Drive, the hangar with a subdivision clubhouse.
Morris donated the iconic sign to the Idaho State Historical Society (ISHS) for the purpose of public collection and preservation.
"Well, it was like Frodo [Baggins]. I had the ring, and I knew it needed a home, but I could not get anybody to help me find a place for it. People wanted it, but not for the right reasons," Morris said. "If you grew up here in the 50's and 60's, it’s very nostalgic to hear about all the places that used to be, and it sparks memories of childhood."
Admittedly, not Morris' childhood. She grew up in Hillcrest and didn't have much of a connection to the airport, of which opened in 1946 under a different name, according to ISHS.
"In the beginning, I think, it was called Major Airfield at one time," ISHS Curator of Collections and Exhibitions Nicole Inghilterra said. "If I am remembering correctly, there was a helicopter firm … [that] purchased the airfield in the 1960's. That's when it got the name Strawberry Glenn, and that's what stuck for the last almost 20 years of its life."
Morris' friend, Scott, received the sign after his aunt passed away. The family had held onto the sign since Strawberry Glenn Airport closed four decades ago. In the interest of saving the sign from a trip to the dump, Morris made an agreement that she would find a place to preserve the sign.
"It's the story of many cities, as there are more people moving in, there are a need for more homes. An airfield in the center of a metropolitan attraction becomes a little less attractive," Inghilterra said. "There are people who keep that memory of what our spaces and places were like before."
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