Rick Just is the man behind the man behind the skunk.
He’s the Idaho author of Fearless—Farris Lind, the Man Behind the Skunk.
Rick Just tells the story of Farris Lind and how the Stinker Stores (see below) came to be.
“I think he’s kind of an Idaho icon, kind of like a J.R. Simplot or Harry Morrison that kind of did it on their own,” Rick said.
An attractive idea to Idahoans with an entrepreneurial spirit.
“Came from nothing and made themselves millionaires or multimillionaires and didn’t have a lot of education, but he was a heck of a smart guy,” Rick said.
Rick Just has a blog and a Facebook page called Speaking of Idaho — both are dedicated to sharing historical stories about Idaho. But there were some posts that seemed to be getting more attention than others.
“I looked at the analytics and my typical blog posts get 1,500 to 2,500 views and Fearless Farris posts were getting 25,000 views, so I thought, ‘there’s a good book to start with’,” Rick said.
The book tells the story of Farris Lind’s life — from managing his first gas station in the 1930’s to his talk-of-the-town billboard marketing scheme (see below) to his Stinker gas and everything else in between.
“I really go for the quirky stuff if I can. The reaction I’m looking for is, ‘Huh?’,” Rick said.
Rick says he’s been surprised and delighted with the appreciation for history he’s seen among his fellow Idahoans.
“I’ve done some fiction but the history seems to be what people are looking for now and that’s what they associate me with, so I’ll do it,” he said.
“It’s not just us old guys, it’s for people who just moved into the state as well,” Rick adds.
Rick says he has no plans to stop writing or unearthing unusual Idaho history facts anytime soon.
“I enjoy sharing it. I enjoy discovering new things. We’ve all got a deadline; and that is, how much time do we have on this earth? And I’ve got a bunch of books I want to write, so I’m pretty dedicated to it,” Rick said.
You can check out Rick Just’s blog and Facebook page at the links below: