Jackie and Bob Mackie are the 2016 Elk City Days grand marshals.
As of Tuesday, August 9, 2016
ELK CITY The Home Buyers Guide, a business closure and guidance by faith all played a role in how Jackie and Bob Mackie landed in Elk City. The Mackies will serve as grand marshals for the 2016 Elk City Days on Aug. 12 and 13.
The couple will lead the parade beginning at 11 a.m. Saturday, Aug. 13, on Main Street. The parade will be followed by a plaque presentation.
Jackie picked up a Home Buyers Guide on a whim while traveling to Orofino just more than 30 years ago for a friend’s parents’ anniversary celebration . The couple was living in a Northern California suburb at the time and the guide was a memento to share how picturesque Idaho was with Bob.
According to Jackie, his response was, “If I could choose a place to live, this would be it.”
Fast forward a few years and Peterbilt Motors, where Bob worked as a machinist for 21 years, was closing. The couple was offered to move to Texas or Tennessee. They chose neither, and pulled out the old Home Buyers Guide.
Two years later, in 1988, the Mackies moved into the house they found in the guide, surrounded by wilderness and the space they admired so long ago.
“We continue to run to the window when elk are in our pasture, or a bunch of turkeys wander through, and we love to watch deer in the back yard. Rarely see moose these days, but it’s still exciting when we do,” wrote Jackie in a description of how the couple landed in Elk City.
Once they landed, the couple rolled up their sleeves and pitched in to help where they could. From cleaning and mowing at the Elk City clinic to children’s puppet shows and patching tires, friend Debbie Taylor said the Mackies always offer to help.
“They have been an integral part of our little community,” she said. “They are always jumping in to help. They are probably the most committed folks I know in town – as a married couple.”
As members of the Elk City Area Alliance (ECAA, an organization of volunteers who care for the town’s properties), the Mackies have played a pivotal role in assisting the community. Bob has maintained the city’s park grounds and Jackie has coordinated the annual bake sale. Together, the couple has served on the arts and crafts committee.
Taylor met the couple through church and square dancing. But a shared love from woodworking has helped maintain the friendship. Bob taught Debbie the woodworking skills she now uses in her business.
“We still do projects together, he and I, and share tools,” she said. “They’re just good-natured people, they never get their feathers ruffled.”
Bob and Jackie have two children living in Idaho and four in California.
Bob expressed his love for the beauty of Idaho County when he jokingly said, “They haven’t wised up yet.”