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Friday, February 28, 2020  Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Huckleberries Online

70s Pet Rock Superstar Gary Dahl, 78, RIP

Gary Dahl, Spokane’s biggest Rock Star, is dead. I know. The name didn’t mean a bushel of beans to me, either. Not until news broke that Dahl, who died recently in Oregon at age 78, had invented the Pet Rock. Oh, man! Like Silly Putty and the Hula-Hoop, the Pet Rock was a ’70s smash fad that sold like flapjacks long enough to turn its maker, a down-and-out marketing man, into a millionaire. Quoting from the wonderful obituary that appeared in the New York Times … “Gary Ross Dahl was born on Dec. 18, 1936, in Bottineau, N.D., and reared in Spokane, Wash. His mother was a waitress, his father a lumber-mill worker. “After studying at what is now Washington State University, the young Mr. Dahl made his way into advertising.” A Coug, too? It keeps getting better and better. Dahl graduated from Rogers High, Class of ’54/Doug Clark, SR. More here. (Archive photo: Gary Dahl, originator of the Pet Rock, holds Pet Rock items in 1976)

Question: Are you old enough to remember pet rocks?

D.F. Oliveria
D.F. (Dave) Oliveria joined The Spokesman-Review in 1984. He currently is a columnist and compiles the Huckleberries Online blog and writes about North Idaho in his Huckleberries column.

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