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In last week's Summer Guide edition (May 26), our outdoor concerts story on page 29 mistakenly listed Opera Idaho as performing on June 18 and September 12 at Idaho Botanical Gardens. Opera Idaho will not be performing on those dates; they will only be performing once at Idaho Botanical Gardens this summer--on June 25. We apologize for the error.


An unusual exhibit combining a book, letters, photos, postcards and other memorabilia is on display in the Boise State University Visual Arts Center Gallery 2 (Hemingway Center) through June 20. The free exhibit titled (dad) is sponsored by the Idaho Center for the Book.

(dad) was organized by Dwayne Blackaller, a Boise State English graduate who grew up knowing his biological father, David Marcum, as the man in California who would send him cards, audio tapes and letters. Although he knew that Marcum was his biological father, Blackaller felt a close affinity to his adoptive dad and didn't pursue anything beyond a long-distance friendship.

In 1988, when Blackaller was 12, Marcum died of AIDS. A few years later Blackaller received a package from San Francisco--a battered, light blue box filled with a hodgepodge of his father's possessions including a diary and letters written to and received from his mother when she and Marcum were in high school and a map of the stars showing one Marcum had named for his son.

These were all bits and pieces of a life Blackaller wasn't yet ready to examine. "I already had a dad," Blackaller explained. So the box went away. Except for an occasional glance at it during a move or other activity, the box stayed out of sight until last year when Blackaller, who with his wife is expecting his first child in June, was finally ready to meet the father he never really knew.

Blackaller struggled to find the words explaining the motivation behind the project, how strange the role genetics play in determining who you are. Both he and his father have the same painting by Maxfield Parrish. And his father is a graphic designer--an artist like Blackaller (who is an actor and writer)--in a family that is not particularly artistic. Of his father, Blackaller said, "He had the same sort of cerebral but emotional voice."

A particularly poignant piece of the exhibit is a cassette where Marcum described for his son some cliff dwellings in Arizona, telling him he hoped that one day he would be able to see them for himself. As a boy, Blackaller routinely recorded over his father's tapes; this time he recorded the Ghostbusters soundtrack, but a short piece of Marcum's original greeting remains at the end. Visitors to the exhibit will be able to hear the tape as it reaches the end of Side 1; Marcum's last words to his son are, "I'll see you on the other side. 'Bye.'"

In addition to the exhibit, there will be information from Mother Goose Programs--"Especially for Dads" to introduce fathers with young children to literacy, language and learning through great children's literature. An exhibition catalogue is available from the Boise State Bookstore for $5.

(dad), Boise State University Visual Arts Center Gallery 2 in the Hemingway Center, M-F: 10 a.m-6 p.m., Sa: 12-5 p.m. and 12-5 p.m. on Father's Day (June 20).

2004 Cultural Triathlon

The Cultural Network, a consortium of museums, libraries, educational institutions and service organizations, presents its second Cultural Triathlon from June 1-July 31. The triathlon is an opportunity for kids, teens and adults to exercise mind, body and soul this summer--by reading, doing physical exercise and visiting a handful of cultural organizations. Don't have the money to take the family to Spain this year? Don't like to train for rigorous physical races? Well, this triathlon requires zippo training, costs nothing and comes with its very own passport. All triathlon participants receive an official-looking "Cultural Passport," which is then stamped (you know the kiddoes love those stamps) when you visit any of the participating organizations: Ada Community Library, Hispanic Cultural Center of Idaho, Boise Art Museum, Boise Public Library, Idaho State Historical Society, Idaho Black History Museum, Idaho Botanical Garden, Idaho State Historical Museum, Idaho Human Rights Education Center, Girl Scouts of Silver Sage council, Discovery Center of Idaho, Log Cabin Literary Center and Zoo Boise. Cultural Triathlon brochures and passports are available at any of these participating organizations and those folks who manage to get all the necessary stamps (one mind, two body, three soul) will be eligible to win prizes at a ceremony at 10 a.m. on August 7 at the Anne Frank Human Rights Memorial. Prizes are not just of the sticker variety; they include family raft trips, tickets to the Thunder Mountain Line and Micron Computer printers.