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Huckleberries Online

Mon., June 25, 2007, 1 p.m.

Rural Rambles: Waverly, Wash.

Originally posted on A Matter of Opinion here

This summer I'm continuing a project I began last summer to swim in municipal rural pools within 90 minutes of Spokane. It's for a Web site data base project of all regional municipal pools that will eventually be "published" on our Web site.

One of the side benefits is that I'll get to know some of the issues in the smaller towns in our circulation area. And some of that information shall show up here every week or so under the Rural Rambles headline.

The town of Waverly, population 121, is located about a half hour south of Spokane. It doesn't have a municipal pool, but it's the first town on my Rural Rambles summer tour because one of the town's major meeting places -- the Hangman Creek Bar and Grill -- has been closed since Februrary. I wrote my column Sunday about it.

Time is running out for the Hangman Creek Bar and Grill in Waverly, a town of 121 in southeast Spokane County. The bar and grill has been closed since February because of major health problems suffered by owner Dennis Peters. His wife, Cheryl, couldn't keep it going alone. The Peters are hoping to borrow enough money to reopen, but they acknowledge it will take an "It's a Wonderful Life" kind of miracle.
Gone will be the only restaurant for miles around. Gone will be Dennis' famous fresh-grilled oyster dinners. Gone will be the monthly meeting place for the ladies' groups and space for civic meetings. And gone will be the customers who traveled to Waverly from urban Spokane, customers like Jim Merriman, one of Dennis' relatives, who called me to tell me about the Peters' plight – and their hope.

Rebecca Nappi/A Matter of Opinion: If you know of a town within 90 minutes drive of Spokane that has a municipal pool and some interesting issues, please let me know. I'll ramble by.

(Tony Wadden photo)

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Huckleberries Online

D.F. Oliveria started Huckleberries Online on Feb. 16, 2004. Oliveria's Sunday print Huckleberries is a past winner of the national Herb Caen Memorial Column contest.