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Opinion >  Column

Huckleberries: Yellowstone visitor offers proof that California drivers are worst

After a labor of love that covered 20 years, Ken Gors shows off his refurbished white 1947 Ford pickup at last weekend’s Lost in the ’50s vintage car parade in Sandpoint. (Courtesy of Cis Gors)
After a labor of love that covered 20 years, Ken Gors shows off his refurbished white 1947 Ford pickup at last weekend’s Lost in the ’50s vintage car parade in Sandpoint. (Courtesy of Cis Gors)

Shannon Forbes of Coeur d’Alene can sum up her feelings about California drivers in three words: Not a fan.

Shannon and her fam were in Yellowstone National Park this week when a California driver honked to show his displeasure of loggers leveling dead trees from a forest fire. Then, the Golden State Road Rager honked again because traffic had slowed for a bison walking along the road.

The startled bison panicked and ran along side Shannon’s vehicle. Later, the Ugly Californian passed four cars in a row. The driver of the last vehicle had to slam on the brakes to prevent the Road Rager from crashing head on into another vehicle.

Earlier in the day, the Forbes family was followed by a California driver who spit on a tour bus window after he wasn’t allowed to park in half of a bus-only spot. Two drivers may seem like a small sample size by which to judge a whole state. But you know what they say about rotten apples.

At last

Like the Rolling Stones of old, Councilwoman Linda Wilhelm of Post Falls couldn’t get no satisfaction for months – from Verizon. It all began in January when the council president and 20-year Verizon customer plunked down $700 for an iPhone 7 – one that couldn’t hold a charge.

She had to charge it twice a day, and Verizon customer service wasn’t much help. At one point, in an attempt to get a new iPhone, Wilhelm wasted eight hours on the phone talking to five Verizon reps over six days, excluding techs who wiped her phone twice.

Verizon offered to give her a refurbished phone. But, Linda said, no dice.

Finally, a manager heard of Linda’s plight – possibly as a result of a Huckleberries Online item Tuesday – and took pity. The cellular nightmare ended promptly with a new iPhone 7. We’ll see if Linda lives happily ever after.


Poet’s Corner: “Enough to discourage/ some smoldering sparks;/ too little to send us/ out shopping for arks” – Tom Wobker, The Bard of Sherman Avenue (“The Recent Rains,” July 13, 2015) … Greg Reynolds of Spokane has his own remedy for de-skunkifying a dog (Huckleberries Wednesday): “1 quart hydrogen peroxide. 1/2 cup baking soda. 2 Tbsp. dish soap. Rub in real good. Leave on 5 minutes and rinse out. Got this from a friend after my new Rescue Dog got hit by a neighboring rodent her first summer on the South Hill” … Props to the Kellogg cop who found a transient living under an I-90 bridge entering the city limits – and advised that he might be safer under a different bridge, where cars are not buzzing past at 80 mph. The homeless man agreed and moved … The youthful waiter assigning tables at packed Crafted restaurant in downtown Coeur d’Alene on a recent overcast Saturday had a one-word answer for the woman who asked what he was going to do when the tourism season hit: “Pray.” Yeah, Crafted is that busy.

Parting shot

So how long does it take to mold a 1947 Ford pickup into a beauty fit for Sandpoint’s Lost in the ’50s classic car parade? Twenty years in Ken Gors’ case. The Kootenai, Idaho, resident bought the pickup in 1997, tore it apart in 2002, and tinkered with it afterward. That’s how things remained until 2014, when three of his sons showed up to help. Reconstruction slipped into fourth gear in 2016 when Ken retired as a mechanic from the Lake Pend Oreille School District. Ken’s wife, Cis, egged him on to get the vintage pickup finished, fearing she’d be in a wheelchair by the time he did. A few weeks ago, Ken took Cis to church in the white beauty with a maroon stripe on the hood. Last weekend, the Ford made its public debut at Lost in the ’50s without a finished tail gate. Ken had forgotten about it. But no one in the appreciative crowd seemed to mind.

D.F. “Dave” Oliveria can be contacted at (509) 319-0354 or

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