January 17, 2009 in Idaho Voices

Sand Creek rope swing gone missing

D.F. Oliveria Staff writer
 

Don’t you dare tell Berry Picker Arpie that you weren’t impressed by that rope swing that propelled Bonner County youngsters for generations into Sand Creek. He knows it wasn’t a great rope swing. But it was a darn good one. Huckleberries is speaking of the rope swing in the past tense because it disappeared recently, a move that signals the advent of the Sandpoint Bypass. “It was also the most well used and loved I have ever seen,” Arpie reminisced at Huckleberries Online this week. He went on to say the rope swing “was a deciding factor in our family’s move to Sandpoint.” Arpie first spotted the rope almost a dozen years ago as he considered relocating. I’ll let him tell you the rest: “A herd of tough local 10- to 15-year-olds was hanging out around the uphill side of the rope swing close by the railroad tracks on a hot June day, as they have been doing for generations. Being a rope swing connoisseur, I was itching to try this one, but was stymied by how to get a turn with the locals who seemed to rule the place. As I walked up still trying to figure out an angle or at least find the end of the line, a 13-year-old towhead just handed me the rope. Offered like a gift of innocence.” A moment of silence, please.

You don’t exist

At From A Simple Mind, blogmistress Cis tells of her daughter’s friend who lives in her small Bonner County town of Kootenai. Who called Pizza Hut in nearby Ponderay to order a home-delivery pie. Only to find herself talking to someone from – (wait for it) overseas. Can you say outsourcing, baybee? The young woman had to spell the name of the street five times – Brittany Street. The man on the other end of the line had never heard of it. Of course. After 15 minutes, the Pizza Hut responder got the address right. Only to say the Ponderay business doesn’t deliver to that address. He repeated himself when the cuss-tomer sputtered – “what?!” Seems he’d Googled the address and couldn’t locate it. She told him she lived a mile and half away and Pizza Hut had delivered to her before. It didn’t matter. She was Google-less in Kootenai. So she hung up. Where’s Seinfeld when you need him?

Huckleberries

You can have your robins, crocuses and other traditional harbingers of spring. Marianne Love/Slight Detour knows spring is on the way when “American Idol” launches its new TV season, as it did Tuesday night … Of course, Thom George and all Major League Baseball fans know that spring arrives when pitchers and catchers report for spring training. Which will be on Valentine’s Day in several spring training venues this year … Ryan Brodwater/Otis G Experience finally understands why a woman obsesses with shoes. You have to put it in perspective. Males, for example, have the same type of obsession with – (drum roll, please) T-shirts. Which he now dubs: “High heels for boys” … Editorialist Kevin Richert/Idaho Statesman doesn’t think much more than you do of Interior Secretary Dirk Kempthorne’s bonehead decision to spend $236,000 to refurbish his office bathroom. Quote: “In this sense, Kempthorne has managed to turn himself into a poor man’s Larry Craig, who spent 27 years in Congress, toiling in national obscurity, before an airport bathroom arrest turned Craig into a national laughing stock” … In a Jan. 7 editorial, “A Dear John,” Ketchum’s Idaho Mountain Express quoted a miffed Interior Department worker: “If Gale Norton (Kempthorne’s predecessor) needed to shower, at least she was conservative enough to go to the gym in the basement of the building.” At least, Craig misstepped in a public restroom.

In parting

At Huckleberries Online Tuesday, several commenters offered fond remembrances of community booster Mary Lou Piazza, who died the night before following her third bout with cancer. D.J. Nall/Hauser Thoughts provided this glimpse: “I met Mary Lou when she was working at U.S. Bank and loaned us a big sum of money. She’s the only loan officer of all the ones I’ve dealt with that I still remember. While a total professional, she was personable and had so much class.” It’s one thing to put on a nice public face in a social setting. But another to offer the same sunny disposition in a business setting. Sums up D.J. for many who knew Mary Lou: “What a loss.”

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