August 23, 2009 in Idaho Voices

Gotcha: Old error was a habit

By The Spokesman-Review
 

No wonder my ears were burning Saturday. I was being roasted at a St. Pius X Catholic Church celebration of Father Andrew Schumacher’s 50 years as a priest. Berry Picker Claudia, from Post Falls, called Monday to describe how the former St. Pius padre regaled his former parishioners with a tale re: a story I wrote about him for the Christmas 1988 edition. The story told of Schumacher, also the former pastor for the University of Idaho (from 1964-’75), taking over for his seemingly irreplaceable distant cousin, the late Bill Wassmuth. Bill, a personal friend of mine who will always be remembered as a local human rights giant, had followed his heart out of the priesthood in June 1988, to later marry. White-haired and dapper, Schumacher was then 54 years old. Late in the Christmas story, I included the familial linkage between Schumacher and Wassmuth. I meant to say that Schumacher’s grandmother and Wassmuth’s great-grandmother were sisters. However, Father Andy enjoyed retelling the gathering at St. Pius 21 years later that the sentence read: “(Schumacher’s) grandmother and Wassmuth’s great-grandmother were nuns.” Hey, it was Christmas, a holiday that celebrates an immaculate conception, right? Mea culpa.

Homophobically fabulous

The Sexist at Washington City Paper penned one of the strangest reports I’ve read by an East Coast media type re: Coeur d’Alene – or, more precisely, the “homophobically fabulous” repressed men of the Lake City. After vacationing in North Idaho, Amanda Hess, The Sexist, began an Aug. 11 review of Homo Sapien North Idahoicus with this: “The men about town in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, want to be fabulous. You can tell from their bare chests, draped in button-downs unbuttoned past their pecs. You can tell from the wingspans of their long-sleeved crew-necks, illustrated with flowers and encrusted with rhinestones. You can tell by their goatees –finely tuned, from mustache to soul patch. These men want to be fabulous, but what they really, really don’t want to be is gay – you can tell by their incessant dropping of homophobic epithets.” The Sexist goes on to describe fashions by which Lake City men repress their internal urges. So put away those gold neck chains.

Huckleberries

Poet’s Corner: “Have no worries/and just relax,/you’re in good hands/with Goldman Sachs” – The Bard of Sherman Avenue (“Government Health Care”) … DFO’s ranking of 2009 Coeur d’Alene Summer Theatre productions: 1. “The Producers,” 2. “Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat,” 3. “Miss Saigon,” and 4. “Dames At Sea” … HBO Poll: 25 percent of the Merry Hucksters at Huckleberries Online responded that they plan to apply for a tag to hunt wolves … You know it’s going to be one of those days – before church, no less – when you’re chased by hornets across the lawn, after ripping the top off your dog’s plastic house, only to step in said dog’s poop, and track it across your wife’s newly shampooed carpet. At least I didn’t get stung by the hornets – or Mrs. O … I’m still trying to figure out that bumpersnicker I saw on a gray Subaru, parked on 5th Street, Tuesday: “I (heart) crack whores” … You may know that Charles Schwab exec Kelli Keough presided over NASDAQ’s closing bell Aug. 12. But did you know that she’s the sister of Sandpoint High golf coach Mike Keough, and sister-in-law of state Sen. Shawn Keough? And a 1987 Sandpoint High grad who shipped off to Yale?

Parting shot

Councilman Mike Kennedy reports that the aforementioned Father Andy Schumacher also discussed me during his homily at Mass. Seems I asked Father Andy how he’d fill Bill Wassmuth’s big shoes. Father Andy paraphrased his answer to me for the current St. Pius X congregation: “I won’t. I brought my own shoes.” Permit me to expand with his full answer: “Bill was unique. He was well-liked. He did a great job in the parish. I know he’s sorely missed in the congregation. He left some big shoes to fill. I’m not going to try. I just brought my own shoes.” Local Catholics will tell you that Father Andy left behind big shoes to fill, too.


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