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Huckleberries: Chocolate-covered doughnut caper pinned on deputy

A marble stone monument along the western entrance of Tubbs Hill is obscured by a Smokey Bear fire danger warning.
A marble stone monument along the western entrance of Tubbs Hill is obscured by a Smokey Bear fire danger warning.
By Dave Oliveria The Spokesman-Review

Everything was ready but the bride and groom two hours before the Saturday wedding of Rathdrum’s Zach Byler and Natalie Goodman. The chairs and flowers were set up for the outdoor event at The Barn at Wild Rose Prairie, north of Spokane. The best women and a few good men were attending to their duties in cloistered spaces. The only thing askew was the “doughnut board.” The bride and groom thought peg boards stocked with chocolate- and maple-covered doughnuts from Coeur d’Alene’s Gross Donuts would be a good idea. And it was. Too good. With the clock ticking down, one doughnut, a chocolate-covered treat in the middle of the bottom row was MIA. And two preschool suspects were milling nearby, including David Goodman, brother of the bride. The young boys were confronted about the theft by an amused adult, prompting David to blurt out: “My father ate it.” Busted, father-of-the-bride Doug Goodman admitted his sweet tooth got the best of him. For his day job, Doug works as a deputy for the Kootenai County Sheriff’s Office. Several jokes involving cops and doughnuts come to mind. But, given the happy occasion, we’ll simply say: Congrats to Deputy Doug and the Goodmans.

Faded, not forgotten

If you look closely, you’ll see a faded sign carved into a 150-pound marble stone, embedded in cement, along the western entrance of Coeur d’Alene’s Tubbs Hill.

The waterfront monument is partly obscured by a colorful sign featuring Smokey Bear, warning Tuesday that fire danger was high. With all the activity on the trail and nearby lake, and a popular statue of Mudgy Moose and Millie Mouse nearby, the sign gets little notice. But, 50 years ago today, 10 men met at the spot to dedicate the sign, which reads in part “1969 – This Land Acquired for the Benefit of the People Forever.”

The ceremony commemorated the deal that enabled the city to buy 38 acres of Tubbs Hill from the Idaho Water Co. for $125,000. Among those at the ceremony were: state Sen. Art Manley, Parks & Rec director Red Halpern, Parks & Rec committee chairman Howard Hudson, and attorney Scott Reed. All four are gone now. But there work in preserving Tubbs Hill “for the benefit of the people forever” lives on. And on.

More, please

The Coeur d’Alene Library offers a suggestion box for patrons. Recently, one responded simply: “More Kierkegaard!” The note was tacked to an adjacent bulletin board with a response from a staffer below, stating that the library offers several books about the Danish philosopher. And can get more. Meanwhile, Huckleberries wonders when a patron will ask for “more cowbell.”


Poet’s Corner: We all drive a Hummer/ and we live on the Lake/ and we drop by the spa/ when we feel like a break – Tom Wobker, The Bard of Sherman Avenue (“The Way We Live in Idaho”) … Message on an oven mitt in the front window of the Lucky Monkey, featuring a cartoon woman eating spaghetti: “I’m Beautiful – and I Eat A Lot.” (Wait ’til her metabolism goes south around age 35) … Sign of the Times (on a chalk board outside Avondale Dental in Hayden Lake): “Did you know … an elephant’s molar is 1 foot across and weigh 9 pounds.” How long do you suppose it takes to numb an elephant molar? … The plentiful supply of huckleberries in North Idaho this summer reminds Huckleberries of the late Bob Eachon. Eachon guarded his secret huckleberry-picking spot as intensely as his Social Security number. When asked about the location of his favorite spot, Eachon would say: “It’s up No-Tellum Creek” … Amid lightning bolts and thunder Tuesday night, KXLY’s Derek Deis tweeted this public service announcement: “PSA: It’s spelled lightning not lightening. You’re welcome.” Thank you?

Parting shot

In North Idaho, if someone tells you to “go jump in a lake,” you respond by saying: “Thank you. Which one?” So many lakes. So many good choices. So you can understand why Kirk Miller, of Pend Oreille Photo in Sandpoint, was surprised when he got suspended for 12 hours for tweeting jokingly that a follower should “jump in the lake.” The Powers That Be felt he was threatening someone with violence. “I find jumping in the lake a very pleasant experience,” explains Miller. “What could I do except laugh?” Maybe add a smiley face?

You can contact D.F. “Dave” Oliveria at

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