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Huckleberries: Huckleberries: One chosen bachelor still remembers Chuck Barris’ ‘Dating Game’

UPDATED: Mon., March 27, 2017

In this December 2002, Chuck Barris, the man behind TV’s “The Dating Game,” poses outside his apartment in New York. Barris, who died of natural causes March 21, is remembered fondly by a Coeur d’Alene man who appeared on his show. (Bebeto Matthews / AP File Photo/Bebeto Matthews)
In this December 2002, Chuck Barris, the man behind TV’s “The Dating Game,” poses outside his apartment in New York. Barris, who died of natural causes March 21, is remembered fondly by a Coeur d’Alene man who appeared on his show. (Bebeto Matthews / AP File Photo/Bebeto Matthews)

It’s 1968 and Woody McEvers is fresh out of high school with a dream job – maintenance man at Malibu Beach, Calif.

Trash as far as the eye can see to keep a young man busy – and viewtiful people and vistas, too. All that, and surf every day. Then came the letter that he had been chosen for ABC’s “The Dating Game,” the first of many shows created by the late Chuck Barris.

The show went something like this. A woman would question three men she couldn’t see behind a curtain. Then she would choose one of the three to take on a date provided by the game show. Woody was one of the three that contestant Tony Tachet interviewed 50 years ago. And chose.

Woody had an advantage over the other two “bachelors.” He knew Tony. She had been his best friend’s neighbor in the 1950s in Santa Monica, Calif.

“The Dating Game” provided a dinner at the Brown Derby, a limo and a cruise of Hollywood Boulevard. Woody lost track of his “bachelorette” afterward. But the recent passing of “The Dating Show” mastermind Barris brought back those once-in-a-lifetime memories for Woody, who has traded his surfboard for a seat on the Coeur d’Alene City Council.

Good karma

Herb Huseland of Bayview approached his 79th birthday with fear and trepidation Thursday. He needed a haircut because he didn’t want to look shabby for his driver’s license photo. And he wanted to appear clipped and shaved for at least the start of an expected long wait for his turn at the counter. When Herb entered the licensing department, however, voila. The windows were full of cuss-tomers but the waiting area was almost empty. He waited only 10 minutes. Which must be a record. Afterward, he showed up two hours early for a VA appointment in Spokane. And his luck held. He was whisked right through. All of the above gave him extra time to visit with his adult kids and assorted grandchildren. Herb is waiting for the other shoe to fall. Sez Herb: “The law of averages suggest I’ll have a bad day to balance the ever present karma.” Well, it was a good run.

Huckleberries

Poet’s Corner: Shovel be ready./Spring has sprung./Snow has melted,/Exposing the dung – Remember The Bard (“Dootiful Cleanup”) Scanner Traffic: ’Twas interesting listening to the spelling and pronunciation of a man’s surname during a traffic stop Friday – “Jose,” pronounced by the officer as “Josie” and spelled in cop-speak “John, Ocean, Sam, Edward.” Or is that Juan, Oceano, Samuel, Eduardo? … Poll: Fifty-four percent of my Huckleberries blog readers say the giant, metal die (or dice, according to English Oxford Living Dictionaries) that washed up on Lake Coeur d’Alene’s north shore should be preserved as public art, if unclaimed. … Here’s proof that journalists notice when cops go the extra mile when filing reports: “I just read a court document written by a police officer who managed to work in the word ‘whilst.’ Bravo, officer, bravo” – Nina Culver/SR.

Parting Shot

That first trip to the Final Four this week is nice. But Huckleberries knew that Coach Mark Few of the Gonzaga Bulldogs had truly arrived when his name appeared on the Davis Donuts readerboard at Fourth Street/Best Avenue, Coeur d’Alene. It was at the end of a quote of his that should put things in perspective for Zag fans: “Sometimes this thing becomes bigger than life; it isn’t.” That’s why, win or lose, Few is the right guy at Gonzaga.