Rigby, Idaho — Where TV Was Invented and Vegetable Jell-o is Put on a Pedestal

The Odd Number and I traveled to scenic Rigby, Idaho for his Cal Ripken baseball tournament. That part of the story ends in tragedy — I’ll just say that upfront. There was no joy in Mudville for Odd, who is typically a stellar southpaw pitcher, 1st baseman, hitter, and base runner, even if it is his mama claiming such things. But at this particular tournament his bat had a major aversion to the ball and when the last game of his season ended with him pitching a big fat juicy one to a meaty slugger from the Rigby Owls for a walk-off grand slam home run, I knew our fun factor was in major jeopardy.

Consolation seemed impossible until I remembered a trick I’d seen my dad pull with Odd during another ominous funk. At the time, I didn’t appreciate Big L’s method or intent when I saw Odd with a Starbucks Double Shot Double Mocha w/ Extra Whipped Cream, but the effect was not too shabby (keeping in mind Big L did not know this trick when I was a youngster). Since I found myself in the caffeine limited Rigby, I substituted an overstuffed bavarian cream donut and watched as the sugar moved into the corners of Odd’s shattered psyche.

Presto! We were able to forge ahead with our original plans of visiting the Rigby Museum with a favorite former classmate of mine and her two boys.

ImageImageWe were inspired to learn more about Philo Farnsworth, the son of a Rigby farmer who somehow equated the neat rows of potato fields with the yet to be invented television.

The Philo Farnsworth display consisted for the most part of a dated video created by a local news channel,  random patent paperwork, and gigantic glass tubes.

Although they lure visitors in with the sexiness of television, the curators’ real passion appeared to be the art of home cooking with Jell-o. Carefully preserved behind a glass display case were the historic relics of what may be the last celery and tomato Jell-o packages. The adolescent boys reeled with disgust. Now we were getting our $2 entry fee’s worth!

Odd managed to keep his donut down, despite the retching, and the day was saved.


Celery and Tomato Jell-o, yum!


2 thoughts on “Rigby, Idaho — Where TV Was Invented and Vegetable Jell-o is Put on a Pedestal

  1. I’ve put the Rigby museum on my list: I love Jell-o. If Odd ever has a ball game in Austin, MN, you could check out the Spam museum; another of my favorites.

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