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Huckleberries: Below and beyond the call of duty

Jennifer Drake says of hubby Ben that he’s always willing to jump in and help someone, “literally and metaphorically.” Ben wasn’t being metaphorical one night last week when Jennifer advertently dropped her cellphone into 15 feet of water at Powderhorn Bay on Lake Coeur d’Alene.

The phone had worked its way out of a diaper bag while Jennifer was hurrying to board her father’s boat to beat a storm back to Echo Bay. It fell with a telltale plop into the lake through the 8-inch gap between the boat and the dock – and then mocked the distraught mother by glowing at the bottom of the murky lake. Adding insult to injury, the phone contained photos and video of the first months of Ben and Jennifer’s baby son.

Within seconds, Ben began peeling off his clothes, stating he’d need some dry ones in a minute. Then, he dove down to the cellphone and retrieved it on his first try. The phone’s reception was “glitchy” on the return trip to Echo Bay, Jennifer reports. But it was good as new 24 hours later after being packed in rice. Who said chivalry is dead?

Fashionista pit crew

On her Facebook wall, Coeur d’Alene school trustee Christa Hazel reported son Cooper’s comment made while she and daughter, Emma, were helping him shop for school clothes: “Mom and Emma are like my Pit Crew for fashion” … Tongue firmly cheeked, Coeur d’Alene Councilman Dan Gookin, author of many of those computer “for Dummies” books, Facebooked this open letter to President Barack Obama: “My book ‘Word 2013 For Dummies’ has been translated into Persian. Please don’t bomb or invade Iran as it would be detrimental to my sales” … When his father-in-law demanded, “No twerking,” Nic Casey of Coeur d’Alene responded: “Of course not. I’d hurt somebody. That somebody might be me, but I can’t make any promises.”


Poet’s Corner: “All the years come and go/and so do the faces/and now once again we/have hydroplane races” – The Bard of Sherman Avenue (“Nothing New Under the Sun”) … Ron Lahr, co-founder of the controversial Kootenai County Reagan Republicans, has resigned as the group’s president to focus on his Custom Tile business. Also, Ron’s pulled the plug on being president of the Jacklin Arts & Cultural Center in Post Falls. Work before pleasure … Realtor Noel Adam hasn’t filed for a Coeur d’Alene council seat but he’s already listed as a council candidate to speak to the Reagan Republicans on Thursday, Sept. 12. Do you suppose someone should tell Adam that he’s running for office? … A sign sez that Fort Sherman Park at North Idaho College is now dubbed Cheamkwet (“Headwaters” in Coeur d’Alene Indian dialect) Park. If you can remember that name, you’re a better person than I am … Holly Bowen, of the Moscow-Pullman Daily News, offers this scanner traffic tweet: “There’s a lady walking around with her ‘parts’ covered in electrical tape. Is that up to code?” Ah, “No” came the official reply … A moment of silence – puh-LEEZ – for the approximately two dozen trees that lost their lakeshore lives so the Diamond Cup hydroplane races could go on.

Parting shot

Herb Huseland of Bayview was supposed to handle public announcements at the Diamond Cup hydroplane races this weekend, but isn’t. Tired of having too much dumped in his volunteer lap, Herb quit Thursday when the techs unilaterally changed the radio frequency for the races on him. Herb tells Huckleberries: “I was too close to boiling over to stay.” Herb’s departure, however, didn’t prevent developer John Stone of Riverstone and the Diamond Cup board from unanimously approving him as volunteer of the year. No hard feelings there.

Follow Dave Oliveria’s North Idaho blog, Huckleberries Online, at

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