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News >  Column

Huckleberries: Sometimes it’s best to stop searching for cell service

UPDATED: Thu., Nov. 16, 2017, 6:38 a.m.

By D. F. Oliveria The Spokesman-Review

For many fans of the Whitworth Pirates, the home game Saturday with the Willamette Bearcats was Senior Day.

For St. Vinny’s director Jeff Conroy of Coeur d’Alene and his wife, Jeannette, it was a chance to see their nephew play for the last time. Tanner Conroy is the starting left tackle for Whitworth.

However, the Conroys will remember the game for something that happened during the warmups. A fumble, of sorts. The item fumbled was a cellphone. The location of the fumble was in a port-a-potty. You can guess the rest. If she was playing fantasy football, Jeannette would have lost two points for the fumble. She didn’t know what to do. A family member suggested using a large garbage bag to, ahem, “feel around” for the cellphone. But Jeff put the kibosh on that stinker of an idea before anyone asked for volunteers. Later, the Conroys visited Hayden’s Verizon store to report the loss and get a new phone. A grateful Verizon sales staffer thanked them “for not bringing in your poo phone in a Ziploc baggie.” All of which adds new meaning to the term “dropped call.”

Stripper business just a tease

What was on the minds of Athol residents 15 years ago today? Strippers. An Athol resident who went by the name “Storm” had the City Council worked up by her plan to provide door-to-door stripper service – and we’re not talking paint stripping here – for bachelor parties, graduations, birthdays or any other event or private viewing. After all, she told then- Coeur d’Alene Press staffer Jerome A. Pollos, the Athol area was Deadsville after 8 p.m. “The town needs a little excitement,” said Storm, who was offering a collection of nine female strippers and three male ones. Storm was even planning a stripper auction to raise money for a soup kitchen. The idea was exciting enough to make the front page of the Press. But it didn’t go much beyond that.


Poet’s Corner: “All of that daylight/ we saved through the year/ now that we need it/ why isn’t it here?” – Tom Wobker, The Bard of Sherman Avenue (“Time Change”) … Ken Burchell, of Coeur d’Alene, quotes a friend when he says: “Idaho is the new California” … In his latest edition of #thingsmystudentssay, Coeur d’Alene High instructor Bruce Twitchell says he responded “no” when a student asked: “Should I paint my room black?” The student countered: “I think I am going to anyway.” Of course … You know that life’s not fair when the sun’s out, it’s 46 degrees on Nov. 11 – and there’s a yellow jacket on the front porch chair. Ask Debbie Kimzey of St. Maries … In the “Do Not Try This at Home” Department, Katrina Swaim, of Coeur d’Alene, reports showering while listening to a Spotify playlist of tunes inspired by “The Walking Dead” TV series. All was good until the tunes switched without warning to “The Murder” by Bernard Herrmann – you know, the song that was playing during the infamous shower scene from Hitchcock’s “Psycho” … Best company slogan for an advertisement in the current issue of the Blanchard Idaho Community Center Newsletter comes from John Blackburn of Kaveman Konstruction: “Don’t just hire any Neanderthal to work on your kave” … On the morning of his 41st birthday, Aaron Roberts, of Post Falls, locked his keys inside his new gun safe without setting the combination. And now he fears that his brain is aging at an accelerated rate … California visitor Klaire Mangless tells Huckleberries she wasn’t surprised to see a guy in a Subaru texting while he drove with his knees Friday on Highway 95 near McKenzie River Pizza in CdA. But she was amazed to see two beer kegs wearing seat belts in the back seat.

Parting shot

The Coeur d’Alene area has lost three dedicated former public servants recently: retired county EMS director Bill Schwartz, retired public defender John Adams and retired sewer plant manager Sid Fredrickson. Former county administrator Tom Taggart sums up their contributions: “They were very different individuals, doing very different jobs, however, one thing they shared was an incredible passion for the work they did. They didn’t just have jobs, they had callings. They were true believers in their mission and were not afraid to speak up and speak out. They are shining examples of exceptional service to their communities.” Of the three, Huckleberries knew Sid best. Tongue firmly cheeked, Sid never tired of telling others that he was director of the “turd factory.” R.I.P.

You can contact D.F. “Dave” Oliveria at or (208) 889-2601.