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Huckleberries: Out-of-towner awe a reminder of Coeur d’Alene’s beauty

So there I was passing the Hagadone Corp. HQ during my noon walk along the Coeur d’Alene waterfront Thursday when I heard one 40ish woman say to another: “It’d be nice to have a map so we knew where we were.” I stopped and asked: “Are you looking for a particular place?” They eyed me suspiciously and disregarded my question. “Is that the visitor’s center over there?” one asked. I told them it was. Then, they asked about the name of the big hotel nearby. I told them it was the Coeur d’Alene Resort (and was wondering how they’d gotten to the waterfront without knowing that). I asked them where they were from. “California,” they responded (which explained their fear of friendly strangers, I suppose). Finally, they said: “This is an amazing place. I bet you feel lucky living here.” I told them I did consider myself fortunate to have landed in this place 30 years ago and thoroughly enjoy it, sun or no sun. ’Tis fun being envied by others simply for living in the Lake City.

Quotable quote

UI QB Chad Chalich’s mother, Connie, is ready for the Vandals’ first game this season, on Aug. 30, at the University of Florida football field, affectionately known by Gator fans as “The Swamp.” I was introduced to her by Recreation Director Steve Anthony in downtown Coeur d’Alene on Thursday. My son, a resident doctor at UFlorida, described watching a game at “The Swamp” in early fall as “100,000 people sweating on each other for four hours.” Go Vandals? … Another sign that summer has arrived: More Coeur d’Alene-area drivers are flipping one another off. Two females – I hesitate to call them “ladies” – in a white Plymouth with Washington plates handled the “you’re No. 1” honors at Appleway and Government Way Friday … And another summer sign: The lifeguards are returning to City Beach on Monday. Mebbe the city should send one of them to McEuen Park, where the new splash pad already is wildly popular with smallfries.


Poet’s Corner: “Inside Iraq/Old times are back” – The Bard of Sherman Avenue (“Déjà Vu All Over Again”) … Poll: 84 percent of my Huckleberries Online blog readers oppose the idea of moving the Coeur d’Alene Skate Park from behind Memorial Field to McEuen Park … Yes, Virginia, ideological Coeur d’Alene Councilman Steve Adams did mention the United Nations Agenda 21 conspiracy theory in casting the lone vote against Coeur d’Alene Vision 2030 implementation plan last week. We don’t need no stinkin’ vision in Coeur d’Alene … Two first ladies will lead a bicycle tour of downtown Coeur d’Alene landmarks at 10 a.m. Saturday, beginning at the new Java coffee shop on Sherman Avenue – Idaho first lady Lori Otter and Coeur d’Alene first lady Marie Widmyer. If you have a bicycle, I suppose, you’re welcome to join the pedalfest … Quotable Quote: “Will Rogers was an Idaho Republican” – S-R Opinion Editor Bert Caldwell … Quotable Quote 2: “They should drop ‘Washington’ from their team name. That’s even more embarrassing than a racial stereotype” – David Bond of Wallace, re: Washington Redskins mascot controversy … Sadder but Wiser: Last Monday, Taylor Viydo/KREM tweeted this excerpt from a Kootenai County sheriff’s report about a shoplifting incident: “I took some candy bars … It was a bad idea.”

Parting shot

On Saturday, Mrs. O and I celebrated our 39th anniversary. We have suffered the joys and heartaches of a long journey together, losing a child in Lewiston and raising two amazing kids in Coeur d’Alene. She’s moved with me to five different towns in three different states, as my newspaper career progressed. She has provided wise counsel when I was hurting – and was the one I relied on to make the ultimate decision to move from Lewiston to Coeur d’Alene 30 years ago. I don’t know if she’s my “soul mate.” But I consider her priceless beyond measure as we forge ahead to Year No. 40.