As of Tuesday, April 11, 2017
RIGGINS “The forecast this weekend is dry and in the 60s,” said Marlene Mignerey, with a smile in her voice.
It’s no wonder husband and wife duo Frank and Marlene Mignerey would be concerned with the weather the second weekend of April: It’s jet boat weekend in the town the Mignereys love.
This year, the couple will offer a book of racers’ history and photos from the past 35 years.
The 90-page book “The World of Jet Boat River Racing” will be available for $20. It includes 340 racer profiles as well as 400 color photos.
“The book covers the history as well as action shots and racer stories,” Marlene said.
The book was printed in Lewiston and is a fund-raiser split between the racing venues. The Mignereys also always give a portion to Salmon River High School sports. High school kids help with jet boat weekend in a variety of ways.
“The venues cannot afford a program every year, though when there are world races they have one, but that’s only every four years,” Marlene explained. “So, in these off years, I always hear people saying the same thing – they don’t know the racers or the boats. We felt this book would be a perfect way to highlight the history and all those who participate.”
Years ago, the Mignereys worked in photography as a hobby. However, when the mill closed, they had to diversify. That led them to 25 years as whitewater photographers as well as 15 years as school photographers.
“Frank is semi-retired now, but this is seasonal,” Marlene explained. “And we know how much this means to the town each year and how much it does for Riggins’ economy.”
Marlene said the races are set for the same time each year and it just so happens every-once-in-a-while they fall on Easter.
“I know that’s hard for some people while others like it,” she said.
She also said she is glad the rivers have cleared up and are not as high as they were.
“The safety of the racers is the main thing, while what it does for our local economy is secondary,” she said. “The whole weekend comes together due to a great community effort.”
The books will be available at the welcome, barbecue and boat show this Friday night, April 14, at the Salmon Rapids Lodge Motel grounds, 6-8 p.m. The book will also be available at Idaho Banana Company, River Adventures and Kate’s Cattleman’s Restaurant; or call Mignerey at 628-3743. Also see Salmon River Photos/Mignerey Photography on Facebook.
For details on the races see pages 5A and 1B in this week’s Free Press.