Monday, February 23, 2004

Spokane

Irate widower had an angel on his shoulder
Huckleberries

D.F. Oliveria
The Spokesman-Review

Dennis Tidball found out how low some people can go while visiting wife Lynda's grave at CdA's Riverview Cemetery. Lynda, as you may recall, died unexpectedly last month. She was the Hayden nail technician who readily gave blood when supplies were low (Huckleberries, Jan. 26). Onward. On one of his regular visits, Dennis discovered that a foot-tall concrete angel was missing from Lynda's grave. He was so mad that someone would steal his special gift that he drove away steaming -- and into a
series of red lights. That's when he realized Lynda was still with him, trying to tell him to calm down. It wasn't worth worrying about. She always said that to him. Dennis had that sweet memory to cling to as he wrestled with his emotions -- and won.

Singing for Kerry

Dunno if singer Carole King felt the earth move under her feet during a CdA stop on behalf of Demo prez wannabe John Kerry, but Huckleberries did. After all, we have a copy of her 1971 "Tapestry" album, too. And noticed how much an autographed copy brought at the impromptu Demo auction: $200. (Jeanne Buell of Worley made the high bid.) We'd be willing to sell ours for, say, $100. Just kiddin'. Huckleberries also has an autographed copy of Patty Duke's album, "Don't Just Stand There." But that'll never be for sale. We were smitten by the former child star and CdA resident when she played identical cousins on her '60s TV show. And mebbe still are.

Small but mighty

Kootenai County Demos are few in number but you can count on them -- unlike their Repub counterparts. Two cases in point. Last year, the D's and R's were supposed to square off for a fund-raising bowl-off for Big Brothers/Sisters. Not only did the R's fail to show, but they also reneged on their promise to match the amount of money raised by the D's. And this year? County Demo Chair Jerry Shriner and Idaho Repub Chair John Sandy were invited to speak for half an hour each at a recent Girls/Boys state confab -- only Sandy didn't show. So Shriner got a full hour to rip on all things Republican and Bush. He said afterwards he never felt better in his life.

Gotcha

A story about that log spill at Seltice Way and Northwest Boulevard caught Bill McCrory's eye. Remember? A 25-year-old Becktel Trucking driver caused $3,000 damage to a parked car when he dumped his load. Said boss Gary Becktel for print: "When these college-educated cops come up and talk to a guy who's been hauling logs for 40 years, your jaw gets tight. ... I know what he did. He had a high load and was going too fast." Bill e-mailed that Becktel's "college-educated attorney will probably encourage him to tighten (his jaw) even further before making more damaging admissions" about his employee. Observation sustained.

Because you asked

Reader Pat Cole wanted to know what became of ex-publisher Paul Friend of The Idaho Observer, the defunct Silver Valley weekly. So Huckleberries called him. Paul's almost totally blind now and facing several operations to restore what sight he has left. But he was in good spirits and eager to sit in on the sentencing of a child molester. Also, he's planning to use the Internet and a high-intensity magnifying glass to restart his popular column, "Where the Buffalo Roam."

Huckleberries

In my new online column, No Holds Barred, (www.spokesmanreview.com/blogs/nhb), you'll discover why Concealed Businesses is trying to beat Commish Dick Panabaker. Go to the Web site, scroll down and click on "Commissioner Pincushion." Enjoy ... Bumpersnicker: "Hire a teenager while they still know everything" ... For those keeping score at home (or didn't see the Seattle Times on Friday), the Holiday Bowl champ WSU Cougars finished with a 2.5 team GPA for the fall semester -- about a C-plus. And one of the best academic performances in a decade. Props would be in order if Huckleberries knew what props meant ... That North Idaho College Sentinel headline the other day was a knee-slapper: "Political discussion club starts to `think': Democrat involvement not required."

Parting shot

Kit Hoffer, Post Falls spinmistress, admitted she had ulterior motives for issuing that press release at closing time -- you know, the one that said the city was holding off on a water rights request. Kit didn't want to give protesters (read: Sierra Club and Friends of the Aquifer) a chance to reply before deadline. Seems the city's tired of getting beat up by Gang Green. So it decided to take its chances with Huckleberries. Bad call.

•You can read D.F. Oliveria's new online column at www.spokesmanreview.com/blogs/nhb. He can be contacted at (800) 344-6718. Or (208) 765-7125. Or daveo@spokesman.com.


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