Arrow-right Camera
News >  Idaho

Huckleberries: Even at 47, a girl needs her momma when the garter snakes come calling

In the Feb. 12, 2005, SR file photo, Ron Johnson, a former Fighting Creek “mayor,” stands outside the landmark two-hole outhouse at the Fightin' Creek Tavern. The "mayors" were elected annually in a rowdy function where cheating was encouraged and votes were bought for a dollar. Their duties included stocking the outhouse with toilet paper and shoveling snow around it. (Jesse Tinsley/Spokesman-Review File Photo)
In the Feb. 12, 2005, SR file photo, Ron Johnson, a former Fighting Creek “mayor,” stands outside the landmark two-hole outhouse at the Fightin' Creek Tavern. The "mayors" were elected annually in a rowdy function where cheating was encouraged and votes were bought for a dollar. Their duties included stocking the outhouse with toilet paper and shoveling snow around it. (Jesse Tinsley/Spokesman-Review File Photo)

Keri Alexander may be 47 and publisher of the Shoshone News-Press in Kellogg, but she still needs her momma, especially when the snakes close in.

Keri lives on a three-acre slice of paradise in the Silver Valley that she shares with garter snakes. She didn’t mind their slithering presence until they began showing up on her patio.

Last Monday, Keri spotted a mature garter snake sunning itself on the patio. And you know what all broke loose next. Keri pinned the snake with a squeegee while yelling for help from son, Mason. She remembers screaming and screaming – and then Mason and her mother, former Shoshone County Commissioner Sherry Krulitz, appearing.

We’ll let Keri take it from here: “I’m truly ready to lose it. Mason moves my watering can and, Lord have mercy, another snake was under it.” Mason trapped Snake No. 2 under the watering can as Momma Krulitz sprung into action. The materfamilias tossed both snakes into a bucket. Then, she and Mason released them at a secluded spot down the road.

Facebooks Keri re: Momma K: “She’s one of the toughest ladies I know.”

Two snakes in the forest grass would agree.

From the Archives

An item from this column 25 years ago (June 8, 1992) tells of then Fighting Creek “mayor” Dick Wandrocke keeping his promise to stock toilet paper in the old Fighting Creek Bar outhouse. At the time, the two-holer doubled as the “chamber of commerce” building for the Fighting Creek area (a spot in the road about 13 miles south of Coeur d’Alene). Like “mayors” before and after him, Wandrocke had stuffed the ballot box and bribed friends and neighbors to win the one-year honorary office. The annual Fighting creek election, of course, was a jab at dirty politics and elections. But Wandrocke was serious about his promise to keep the outdoor john stocked with teepee. In fact, he donated deodorizers, too. Now, there’s something that every election – and politician — needs.

Huckleberries

Poet’s Corner: “Respect your elders,” goes the phrase/I’ve trouble finding them these days” – from “The Bard of Sherman Avenue: Poems by Tom Wobker” (Poem: “It Keeps Getting Tougher”) … Quotable Quote: “”The pollen levels are so high that the crackheads are probably trying to figure out how to turn meth back into Sudafed” – Huckleberry Friend Vicki Isakson of Post Falls … The Coeur d’Alene Library has booked Heather Branstetter, author of “Selling Sex in the Silver Valley: A Business Doing Pleasure,” for its Adult Summer Reading program at 7 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 17 … Two-way traffic through the downtown is the biggest thing happening in Sandpoint this summer, says Rick Price of Sagle. He likes the new traffic pattern better than the one-way system that had been in place since 1979. But his Facebook Friends consider it a disaster. Huckleberries sides with Rick … Home-schooler Angela Goodman of Rathdrum got the last laugh after her two teen-agers tore open her special-delivery Amazon box while she was gone. They found a litter box. And summer math books. Judging from their faces, Huckleberries hears, it was like getting socks or ties for Christmas.

Parting Shot

After attending the Def Leppard/Poison/Tesla rockfest last week in Spokane, a Huckleberries Online commenter pseudonymed “Donk” said: “I’m 52 years old and felt 25 years younger (Wednesday night) only to wake up this morning feeling 40 years older.” The spirit is willing but the flesh is weak.

D.F. “Dave” Oliveria can be contacted at 509-319-0354 or daveo@spokesman.com.



Top stories in Idaho

Freed after 2 years, man jailed in Venezuela returns to U.S.

UPDATED: 9:37 p.m.

Joshua Holt, who traveled to Venezuela from Utah in 2016 to marry a Spanish-speaking Mormon woman but soon found himself jailed and later branded the CIA’s top spy in Latin America, was set free by the anti-American Maduro government on Saturday, saying he was “overwhelmed with gratitude.”