A couple of years ago a co-worker shared a picture of Pole Line Road from 2010.  It doesn’t look like the same road we drive today.  There is tremendous business growth along the street.  Attendant with the population boom, this is the story for most of the Magic Valley.

If you stepped out of a time machine and skipped a generation, you could possibly believe you were in a different place, although.  Within a few hours you would start to find the old familiarity.  I believe it’s a theme in a newly released book.

If you stepped out of a time machine and skipped a generation, you could possibly believe you were in a different place

The author is former State Representative Stephen Hartgen.  The book is Tradition and Progress:  Southern Idaho’s Growth Since 1990.  Before serving a decade in the Legislature, Hartgen was Editor and Publisher of the Times-News.  He’s had a long look at the region from several career angles.

He spent some time with Magic Valley This Morning, talking about culture, politics and media.  The discussion is available at the YouTube video below.  We had a three-way discussion.  Twin Falls County Republican Party Chairman Steve Millington joined the conversation.

There are clearly cosmetic changes in our communities.  Overall, the traditional culture remains healthy.  Newcomers appear to seamlessly adopt the lifestyle.  In the 1970s we called it “laid back”.  It’s a less stressful way of living.

Could it change?  It may depend not so much on growth but on the speed of growth.  The area enjoys some geographic isolation and it’s possible it allows a stable culture even with the addition of potentially tens of thousands of people moving here.  Because they want to be a part of the lifestyle.