October 18, 2008 in Voices

Losing the cowboy vote an ominous sign

D.F. Oliveria Staff writer

First, you should know that my daughter-in-law, Stephanie, and I have been trash-talking each other via e-mail re: the presidential race. She’s voting for Obama. I’m voting for Palin, er, I mean, McCain. A typical exchange will go something like this. Stephanie: “McCain’s going down.” Me: “At least McCain doesn’t have a weird name.” Stephanie: “McCain’s name is OLD.” Juvenile stuff. We text it at all hours of the day. Last Saturday, I mentioned the text-message war to my brother Ray, sister Charlotte, and their mates as we walked from the car to the football stadium at Cheney to watch Montana outplay Eastern Washington. I continued that my two children were probably going to join Stephanie in voting for Obama. Slowly, sister Charlotte’s husband, Roy, raised his hand and said: “So am I.” Consider this. Roy’s a bona fide cowboy. He hails from Eastern Montana, where he was one of a batch of brothers who played on the offensive line in freezing weather for the high school football team in his small hometown. Also, he patrolled the dangerous rivers in Vietnam. He raised cattle and still trains champion Appaloosas. An outdoorsman now from Spirit Lake, you’d think he would be backing Sarahcuda and Geezer. If Obama-Biden is attracting cowboys like Uncle Roy, the GOP’d better turn out the lights. The party’s over.

Blessed by Gil

In a recent Handle Extra story, Carl Gidlund chronicled the life of Gil Yates, the retired, longtime funeral director who is now ailing. I posted the story at Huckleberries Online and received this tribute from one of the many families who have been touched by Gil: “When my mother died at my home in Spokane, Gil Yates came. With the hearse and the body bag. He lovingly, sweetly tore my mother from my arms, where she had passed, and prepared her for the trip back to Coeur d’Alene. I was beyond desolate and just this side of hysterical. He sat then, and talked to me – I have known him my whole life – and told me what a beautiful garden I have and what a beautiful last room I made for my mother in my dining room. He was soothing and deeply comforting. He told me about his career and the changes that he had seen in funeral industry and said that people did not go on in a more beautiful, loving and supportive way than my mother did. Classic, quintessential Gil Yates.”


So what does ex-colleague Taryn Hecker do only days after getting a pink slip from the SR, for the second time in 11 months? She wins the Athol Chili Cook-off Contest with an entry that I was honored to name: Re-Fired Hecker Chili. Said the spunky Spirit Lake gal: “I figured if a girl who usually enjoys sale-priced chili out of a can – Nalley’s or Western Family – can win a chili cook-off, then she can do just about anything” … Make fun of U.S. Sen. Larry Craig all you want, but did you know that Esquire mag ranks Congressman Mike Simpson of Idaho’s 2nd Congressional District as the sixth best U.S. representative, for his willingness to reach across party and ideological lines? May his kind increase … A moment of silence, please – for Sandy Bechthold’s Shabby To Chic shop in Midtown, another victim of hard times … Remember: Woody McEvers will be providing breakfast this morning for everyone who helps him move the Rustler’s Roost/Hayden next door, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Parting shot

CdA Press letter writer Bob Hunt/Post Falls can’t be blamed much for spreading a falsehood that the S-R shut its CdA office. After all, Hunt assumed that the office in which I sit as I write this was a casualty of my newspaper’s recent cutbacks. Then, you know what they say about assuming things. However, the individual who laid out the Press editorial page Monday should have known better than to publish a letter with false info. Ironically, three days before Hunt’s rumor was printed, Brand X announced quietly to staffers that it was shutting its longtime office in Hunt’s town of Post Falls. One day earlier, the Press claimed in an editorial that it was among the community newspaper that remains strong in these troubling newspaper times. At least we tell you when we’re hurting.

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