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Opinion >  Column

Huckleberries: They’re all around us and they’re scarier than Poltergeist

During a recent walk along the beautiful waterfront in Harrison, Idaho, John and Deena Austin, of the Medimont area, stopped at One Shot Charlie’s for a sandwich. John knew that the bartender and his wife were from California. But he was astonished when every other person in the place was, too. And recently. A handsome couple, now living in Coeur d’Alene, were selling real estate. Another couple were consultants for Kootenai Health – and couldn’t wait to return this summer to buy a house. And the kicker? A guy walking his dog had just sold his home in the Bay Area and bought a quaint house in Harrison, banking the rest and proudly announcing he’d never have to work again. It’s official, John tells Huckleberries. Quoting from the little girl in the “Poltergeist” movie, he adds: “They’re heeeere.” (Involuntary shiver.)

Like hot cakes

Fans of the late Tom Wobker can exhale. “The Bard of Sherman Avenue: Poems by Tom Wobker” is an overnight success – if by overnight you mean 14 years in the making in this column. The first run of 200 books are nearly gone. And Washington poet laureate Tod Marshall of Gonzaga has ordered another batch. And is considering a third one … At The Well-Read Moose in Coeur d’Alene’s Riverstone, proprietor Melissa DeMotte told Huckleberries Friday morning that she has sold 37 of her 38 copies. And wants more … Auntie’s in downtown Spokane sold the first 30 and got another 20 Friday. … Tod sold 15 on a swing through Western Washington. … And librarian Bette Ammon tells Huckleberries that the Coeur d’Alene Library has two Bard books. But one of them is checked out. … It’s too bad that Huckleberries’ muse and friend didn’t live to see this day.


Poet’s Corner: “Beneath the snow and ice/that choke us,/still fast asleep is spring’s/first crocus” – Tom Wobker, The Bard of Sherman Avenue (“Sweet Dreams”) … While some elected Republicans are running away from town hall meetings with all their might, Idaho state Reps. Luke Malek and Paul Amador staged another one Saturday. Why? Amador tells Huckleberries, “I was elected to represent and serve the people of District 4 (Coeur d’Alene) and Idaho. I take that role seriously and welcome a healthy discussion with anyone.” May his kind increase … For those keeping score at home, the Coeur d’Alene Resort Boardwalk is open again. And you can have it mostly to yourself if you hurry to walk it before spring arrives … Sign of the Times (at the Northwest Gallery in downtown Coeur d’Alene): “Karma takes way too long, I’d rather just smack you now” … Kootenai County Sheriff Ben Wolfinger has a hit on his hands. He now is offering a seventh “active shooter” class, 10 a.m. until noon Saturday, March 25. In Kootenai County, well-armed gun enthusiasts take the threat of a mass shooting seriously. Pity the fool who tries something … Huckleberries returns to its roots today, with a new Monday through Thursday schedule. In its formative years, this column, originally called Kootenai Grapevine, anchored the Monday Handle section of the old Idaho edition. Now it’s running all editions four days a week. That’s what you call progress.

Parting shot

Hara Allison, of Post Falls, the creative director of STUDIO H, is facing a decision that many of us encounter as we prepare for a vacation. Should she take her computer? Allison, who is planning a weeklong trip to France soon, mentioned to others that she was planning to take her computer along. A client messaged: “Vacation [vey-key-shuhn], noun: A period of suspension of work, study, or other activity, usually used for rest, recreation, or travel.” Paris? Computer? Ah, mebbe not.

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