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Opinion >  Column

Huckleberries: Livin’ large in Coeur d’Alene

UPDATED: Thu., July 26, 2018

Dave Oliveria (Colin Mulvany / The Spokesman-Review)
Dave Oliveria (Colin Mulvany / The Spokesman-Review)
By D.F. Oliveria The Spokesman-Review

Huckleberries enjoys eavesdropping on conversations along the Coeur d’Alene waterfront. Take, for example, those profane, somewhat drunk or drugged early twentysomethings who emerged from the water off North Idaho College Beach on Saturday.

While one young woman in a thong bikini tried in vain to stay on a skateboard on nearby Dike Road, another changed a baby’s dirty diaper. Meanwhile, the males engaged in loud, F-bomb-laced banter. All the jabber and activity stopped when a sun-kissed hipster in a new, white Corvette convertible, top down, purred by. Caught off-guard by the automotive brilliance, the mouthy group oohed and ahhed. Then one of them caught himself and yelled after the driver: “Oh, you know that his mama bought that car for him.”

P’haps Mama. Most likely the bank.

Living large

Councilman Dan Gookin, of Coeur d’Alene, remembers driving a flashy, red Dodge Viper around town in a similar situation. Some yahoo yelled at him: “Driving Daddy’s car?” Without missing a beat, Dan shouted back: “Yeah, and I’m Daddy.”

After yet another motorcycle roared past on Sherman Avenue during the Handshake Productions concert at Sherman Square Park last week, fiddler Morgan Andersen of Floating Crowbar quipped, “We should have tuned our instruments in the key of Harley-Davidson.”

At Sherman Avenue and Second Street, near the entrance to the Coeur d’Alene Resort, a stocky millennial with long, unruly brown hair and his girl are walking, fingers locked. Sez he: “This is the spot where we first gazed into each other’s eyes.”

Seems the magic in Cupid’s arrow is still working.


Poet’s Corner: If gasoline/keeps going up,/I’ll have to buy it/by the cup – Tom Wobker, The Bard of Sherman Avenue (“One Grand of Regular, Please”) … Larry Kenck, of Post Falls, the former chairman of the Idaho Democratic Party, is walking along the river in Laughlin, Nevada, in 112-degree weather when he hears bacon sizzling. Moments later, he realizes the sound is coming from his bare arm – and it’s time to get indoors … Tom Hearn, the Coeur d’Alene School trustee, suspects Pickup Guy who flipped him off this week was reacting to his bumpersnicker: “Any Functioning Adult 2020.” Facebooks Tom: “Why is it always guys in pickup trucks that seem to be so offended?” Big boys have big feelings? … Dave Wagner, of Coeur d’Alene, was discombobulated last Monday, July 16, when the front page of the Coeur d’Alene Press announced that it was still Sunday. “How does that get by the editors?” he asked Huckleberries. Actually, it’s surprising that it doesn’t happen more often in the frantic, ever-shrinking newsrooms of our still great Republic … The Coeur d’Alene Library, along with adjacent City Hall and the mah-velous kids play area at McEuen Park, are now smoke-free, according to a new city law. Dave Townsend, the de facto library sarge-at-arms, tells Huckleberries that compliance was good after the first few days. And to think all this may have started with a complaint in the library suggestion box about the smoke smell at the entrance … In a small ad in the Coeur d’Alene Press 50 years ago, the Coeur d’Alene Summer Theatre, then in its second year of operation, announced the current play: “Carousel.” And if that wasn’t enough to attract customers, the small print said: “Now air-conditioned” … John and Lani Chamness, the Salvation Army officers who supervised construction of the popular Coeur d’Alene Kroc Center, were sworn in Sunday as divisional commanders of California South (basically the Los Angeles area to the Mexican border). But John tells Huckleberries that he left a big piece of his heart in Hawaii, where he and Lani just finished a six-year stint – and their three children remain.

Parting shot

In his latest Kellogg PD Roll Call report, Sgt. Paul Twidt provides “Reason No. 56” why you shouldn’t “do drugs.” First, Sgt. Twidt takes us to Walmart in nearby Smelterville, where a man is driving from the parking lot – naked. Before Naked Man is arrested for DUI by one of Kellogg’s finest, he manages to extend his bare legs and no-longer-private parts out the window. Somehow, he keeps his car on the road while running others off it en route to Kellogg. Postscript (for Inquiring Minds Who Want to Know): Sgt. Twidt closes his report by noting that the arresting officer “wore gloves.” Whew!

D.F. “Dave” Oliveria can be contacted at

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