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If the "Queen" mentioned in "The Boys of Boise" truly does exist, he has managed to conceal his identity amazingly well since 1955.

John Gerassi is the author of "The Boys of Boise."

In a videotaped interview that Gerassi agreed to do for KTVB Channel 7 in the early 90s, he declined to name the "Queen," but provided this new hint:

"Macmillan (publishing company) told me that if I ever mentioned him by name--I had in the original draft; I had him by name--and the name would be recognized everywhere, right? I mean, the name itself carries the name of one of the big huge families in America, entrepreneur families dating back a century."

I personally transcribed this videotaped interview (because I am a former KTVB reporter) and this is exactly what Gerassi said because I have kept the transcription. I was so intrigued by this new information, I phoned Gerassi and put the question to him point blank. Gerassi then gave me a one word answer -- a word that could be interpreted as the name of a huge American corporation or the surname of a huge American family. I won't mention this surname because I couldn't persuade Gerassi to give me a first name. Without the first name, the word he gave me is rather meaningless.

I am personally doubtful about one aspect of this. It's true the mid-1950s in Idaho featured major political and economic debates about "cheap/abundant power vs. expensive/limited power," and perhaps this really was a factor that kept major industry and urban renewal in Boise from taking place in the 1950s. But how could an heir to a vast fortune conceal a plan to do job-creating urban renewal in Boise, Idaho in 1955? Something about this doesn't make sense. If a super-capitalist had proposed major urban renewal for Boise in 1955, wouldn't there be some mention of that somewhere? But Gerassi maintains. His new preface in the 2001 paperback edition of "The Boys of Boise" states: "The Boise witch-hunt was aimed at the good guys, at a City Hall then run by decent reformers, at a hapless councilman, at a 'queen' who hoped to create new jobs through a program of urban renewal. In my original manuscript, I named that 'queen,' but my publisher's lawyers refused to reveal his identity for fear of lawsuits, especially since he was too powerful even for Arid Clubbers and survived unscathed."

Too powerful for the wealthy members of Idaho's exclusive Arid Club? Now that does suggest some extra measure of power!

Nevertheless, Gerassi continues to insist that one major reason for the witch-hunt was to stop urban renewal in Boise in 1955. And the urban renewal -- Gerassi alleges -- was being proposed by an American super-capitalist. If this is true, then it makes the story that much more interesting. In fact, it would mean that there's far more to "The Boys of Boise" story than has been publicly revealed to this day.

Gerassi is now in his 80s. I wish he would finally reveal the name of the "Queen." On the other hand, maybe the "Queen" still lives. In that case, wouldn't he deserve some measure of privacy? Perhaps. Maybe this is why Gerassi declines to say.

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Q: Who was the queen in the boys of boise?
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