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Opinion >  Column

Huckleberries: Quit honking you jerk and help push this lady’s car

After three Chihuahuas and a long-haired German shepherd, Kevin and Wendi Powell, of Rathdrum, decided to go big. Really big. They fell in love with Moose, an abandoned English mastiff, during a visit to a Southern California animal shelter this year. Baby Moose, who keeps Kevin company at his Triple 7 Fabrication shop on Boekel Road, shares the same Valentine’s Day birthday with the Powells’ 9-month-old daughter, Raegan. But that isn’t the only connection. Kevin has a fondness for English mastiffs that dates back to the film, “The Sandlot.” Kevin grew up in Aqua Dulce, California, playing sandlot baseball, from morning until night, with Marty York, the actor who later played Alan “Yeah-Yeah” McClennan. Yeah, that “Yeah-Yeah.” Kevin has an affection for one-liners from the film – like, “You’re killing me, Smalls” – and English mastiffs. His mastiff, Moose, has a gentle temperament, much like “The Beast,” who at first terrorized “Sandlot” denizens Squints, Smalls, Ham, Yeah-Yeah, and the dreams of many young fans, until he showed off his stash of baseballs and showered them with slobbery kisses.

Aryans, Smaryans

What were we discussing 25 years ago? Aryans, of course. The Coeur d’Alene Press was upset that a Washington Post article shined a spotlight on Idaho’s racist problem. In an editorial, the Press blasted the article, “The Wilderness of Idaho: In the land of the Big Sky, there’s plenty of room for extremists.” The Post described North Idaho as a “nesting ground for so many stripes of resister, protester, evader, Constitutionalist, survivalist, Bircher, Kluxer, Aryan.” The writer had interviewed Aryan Nations founder Richard Butler and conspiracy theorist Richard Masker. In response, the Press complained the Post and national media focused on the few bad elements and ignored “the vast majority of peace-loving, level-headed people who happen to call North Idaho home.” Not much has changed, huh?

Christmas cheer?

Shelly Robins Zollman, of North Idaho Family Magazine, didn’t know why she was tied up in traffic for 15 minutes on Canfield Avenue in front of Coeur d’Alene’s Target, until she saw a woman in a disabled vehicle with lights flashing. So she and another female driver helped push the car off the road to enable other motorists to pass. Fifteen minutes! And no one else stopped to help. Adding insult to injury, a jerk in a pickup with a Seattle Seahawks sticker honked in annoyance. So much for Christmas cheer.

Huckleberries

Poet’s Corner: One or two cookies,/ and one or two Mounds,/ one of two egg nogs,/ and presto: five pounds – Tom Wobker, The Bard of Sherman Avenue (“That Holiday Magic”) … Bob Stout of Elk River, Idaho, knows it’s cold outside when he steps on dog poop – and rolls an ankle … In his popular Roll Call report, Sgt. Paul Twidt, of the Kellogg Police Department, tells of a fellow officer who responded to a call of a “pig at large” at Helen and Mullan. “Yes,” he explained, “a pig and not the one’s in blue. A real pig” … Also, Officer Twidt offered advice to young scofflaws: “If you’re under-age, don’t give your debit card to someone over 21 to buy your booze.” Yeah, it really happened … Bumpersnicker on a black Toyota pickup near North Idaho College: “When did it change from ‘of the people, for the people,’ to ‘screw the people’?” … The best thing about that Kiplinger article by online editor Stacy Rapalon, entitled “15 worst states to live in during retirement”? Idaho and Washington aren’t on it.

Parting Shot

Wayne Manis urges his friends not to worry about the embattled FBI. Manis? He’s the retired FBI senior agent who described his career of fighting crime and domestic terrorists, including the Aryan Nations, in his book, “Street Agent.” After President Donald Trump’s attacks on the FBI, Manis said in a Facebook post: “The FBI is upside down. The rank-and-file FBI agents and support personnel in the field represent the ‘real’ FBI and not the administrative establishment at headquarters.” The retired Coeur d’Alene man said the FBI is the only government agency where “the cream fights to stay on the bottom.”

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