Tribute to a Wild Rose
By Billie Jean Plaster
August 25, 1998 was a day in the history of Sandpoint that can be compared to the day the music died. It was the day that Cinde Borup died from kidney failure at the age of 51.
Cinde local musician, songwriter and partner in the Wild Roses duo had been creating and performing music together with Beth Pederson, for 28 years, the last 23 as they lived in Sandpoint. Much of their music they excelled in a variety of styles is preserved on four recordings released over a 19-year period.
Borup was rooted in music and in Idaho. Born Cinde Jean Phippen in Boise, Idaho, in 1947, she was surrounded by music at an early age. Her relatives sang and played music together in the parlor of the Banks Hotel, run by her grandparents in the tiny town of Banks, along the Payette River. In fact, it is her grandmothers piano that she has been playing for years in her own living room, Pederson said.
She married Rick Borup in 1967, and he gave Cinde her first fine guitar, a Martin D28. They had a daughter, Amy, in 1968. Two years later, Rick died from Hodgkins disease.
Beth was on the road playing music in Boise in 1970, when Cinde came to hear her. They became fast friends in the following weeks. When she and I sat down for the first time to learn a song together, we realized the magic, and so began our grand adventure, Beth said.
They spent the next five years on the road, performing all through the Western states and Canada and as far away as New Orleans and Anchorage, Alaska. They opened concerts for the likes of the Everly Brothers, Van Morrison and Vassar Clements.
Amy was only 2 years old when they went on the road. She recalls, I grew up a little gypsy girl sleeping backstage at the concerts. They called me the rock-and-roll-baby who could sleep anywhere.
By 1975 they settled in Sandpoint, just in time for Amy to begin the second grade at Lincoln School. She was the neighborhood fun mom, taking all us kids to Dog Beach in the summer and in the winter pulling us around for hours on a sled behind the car, Amy says. Beth explains how they had come to settle down. After five years on the road, we had reached burnout. Now was the time to unpack our suitcases, settle in, plant a garden, bake bread and gather firewood. And when we played our first gig at the Donkey Jaw (now Eichardts), it was fun again.
And it was fun for the people of Sandpoint, too. For us, Beth and Cinde came to be synonymous with good times and good music. We enjoyed their live performances, such as when the Wild Roses opened for Bonnie Raitt on the Panidas stage in 1986. We benefitted from their generosity, as they often donated their time to perform for fund-raising events and about once a month, they played for Sunday services at the Gardenia Center.
Cinde was also generous as a grandmother. Patrick Borup Feyen was born on Mothers Day 1996 two months ahead of schedule. It was a high-risk birth, and he was born with many challenges. My mom was there for me for every decision I had to make in my life, Amy said. And she was there when Patrick was born and for every surgery that followed. Because of her, Kurt and I were able to maintain our hope, as we prayed for Patrick.
Now, at age 2 and a half, Patrick is thriving. In the short time that Cinde had to enjoy her grandson, she was already sharing her love for music with him. Just weeks before she died, they played the piano and keyboards together in Cindes living room.
Cindes music offers a deeper insight into her life, Beth says. When I look back over the songs that Cinde has written, I realize that they chronicle her life from High Mountain Squirrel and The Last Highway Song, to When I Meet You Here and Beautiful Dreamer. They tell her story far better than I could ever hope to do, for her story is in the music.