January 31, 2009 in Idaho Voices

Huckleberries: The echo of her British accent still lingers

D.F. Oliveria Staff writer

It’s OK to admit it now, I guess. After all, it has been 45 years since I had a “tween” crush on Cathy and Patty – the Lane cousins. Remember them? Before Ginger and Mary Ann, early ’60s television offered rambunctious Patty and her prim and proper English cousin, Cathy, on the “Patty Duke Show.” They were played by the same Academy Award-winning actress who gave the show its name and has lived in Coeur d’Alene for quite some time. I’ve met Patty Duke – or as she prefers, Anna – a couple of times. She’s City Councilman Mike Kennedy’s aunt and mother of actor Shawn Astin of “Lord of the Rings” and “Rudy” fame. I’ve never told her that I was more smitten by her portrayal of the English cousin Cathy than the American one. I’ve always had a thing for a British accent. So why am I telling you all this? Patty is reprising her roles as the TV cousins to encourage us aging baby boomers to sign up for Social Security benefits online. In a press release, which I provided at Huckleberries Online along with a video of an ad featuring Patty Duke as the twins, a Social Security official sez: “It takes just 12 to 15 minutes to fill out the form, compared with the 45 minutes it took with the previous version.” Patty, who has been involved in fundraisers and appeared on stage locally, is 62. I’m three years behind her. I’ve read her book, “Call Me Anna.” She’s autographed a copy of a vintage album I have of hers that features her Top-40 song from the ’60s, “Don’t Just Stand There.” In other words, I remain a fan.

Cruelest cut

There are some things that guys don’t want to discuss – such as their feelings, physical examinations and circumcision. OK, I’ll admit I got a lump in my throat when Owen Wilson and Jennifer Aniston had to put Marley down in “Marley & Me.” And I’m not that crazy about dogs. Also, I’ll admit that I recently had my annual physical. But I’ll grant the floor to the aforementioned Councilman Kennedy to discuss what some of us guys refer to as the cruelest cut of them all. One of my colleagues was rummaging through Mike’s Facebook page when she saw that Mike and Kathleen had Baby No. 7 circumcised. Mike couldn’t bring himself to use the “circ” word. So he referred to the event as a bris. Which prompted my colleague to call and ask if his wife is Jewish. Everyone knows that an Irishman with a last name of Kennedy is Catholic. Mike told the newshound that Kathleen isn’t Jewish. He simply used the term to soften the procedure somewhat. For him. Not Ronan. Which prompted a Jewish friend of his from the East Coast to write in his Facebook account that he shoulda snagged a different Jewish word as a substitute. Like Bar Mitzvah. At least, she said, it has a bar in it.


The inaugural platform used by President Barack Obama included 10,000 board feet of Riley Creek Lumber Co. wood, according to R.J. Cohn/RuralNorthwest.com. According to R.J., hundreds of thousands of Internet users saw stacks of lumber draped with Riley Creek’s distinctive white-and-blue bagging during a slide show of the platform construction. Company officials don’t know which North Idaho plant supplied the lumber – Moyie Springs, Chilco or Laclede facility … Quotable Quote: “Harry was the best publisher I’ve ever worked for, and I’ve worked for a few, including Hearst, Gannett, Hagadone and Cowles” – David Bond/Silver Valley Mining Journal re: Harry Magnuson, the mining magnate who died last Saturday at age 85 … “No 60-year-old would be caught dead stealing a computer. He was probably so fed up he was rushing to throw it out. The most frustrating feeling regarding computers that I have had, is that I don’t have a six-story window to throw it from” – Herb Huseland/ Bayview, re: a Scanner Traffic item re: a 60YO man with a beard running from a Sixth Street house, carrying a computer.

Parting shot

New Congressman Walt Minnick’s already having Demo base issues as a result of early votes in which he has sided with Idaho’s other U.S. representative, Repub Mike Simpson. IdaBlue, of Idaho’s Left Bank blogosphere, provides this example: “Walt is walking a difficult and tricky path. He’s trying to be conservative enough to win re-election in Idaho, so he joined the Blue Dogs in Congress, and he’s been voting accordingly. Part of the problem for him is folks like me. You see, I voted for a Democrat, not a Republican. I want Walt to support President Obama, and to advance progressive interests.” However, there’s one problem with IdaBlue’s observation. Walt will be a one-term congressman in bright-red District 1, if he aligns himself too closely with Barack Obama’s agenda.

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