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Opinion >  Column

Huckleberries: Prediction from 50 years ago proves out

Nothing in Kay Prosser’s description of a Stanley Hill remodel indicated that the home’s renovator would dramatically change future Coeur d’Alene.

Writing in the Coeur d’Alene Press 50 years ago, the newspaper’s society editor – yes, Virginia, there once were newspaper society pages – gushed over the upgrade of a home in a 4-acre orchard with a stunning view of Lake Coeur d’Alene.

The house was owned by two Coeur d’Alene teachers. The husband taught during the day at Coeur d’Alene High and then coached basketball at night. The young wife was a fourth-grade teacher at Hayden Elementary. She told the society editor that teaching was something, “I would hate to give up.”

Later in life, the teacher in her would surface when she was lecturing nervous bureaucrats or unruly audiences.

In the February 1970 article, Prosser published two of the woman’s favorite recipes – Chinese marmalade and Chicken Gai Ding. Prosser’s hostess had learned the latter recipe while hanging with the wives of other students at Utah State, where her husband finished his master’s degree.

Prosser never identified the woman by her first name, Sandi, as was the custom of newspapering long ago. Sandi was simply “Mrs. Dean Lundblad.” In the article, “Mrs. Lundblad” is pictured sitting at a restored brick fireplace with her sons, DJ, 6, and Kurt, 4.

Fifty years later – today – Sandi Bloem would be helping Kurt market and sell deluxe condos at One Lakeside, the newest high-rise in the Coeur d’Alene skyline.

She’d do so after becoming the first woman elected mayor of the Lake City. And the only mayor to serve three terms, a woman whose ability to transform her surroundings was first noticed on the society page.

Singing elephant

In the crowded Kootenai County sheriff’s race, it’s hard to separate conservative elephants from very, very conservative ones. With uber-conservative John Green of Athol facing prison after his conviction for conspiring to defraud the feds, the rest of the candidate herd is indistinguishable.

But GOP maverick Duane Rasmussen has pinpointed an issue that may give candidate John Grimm an edge. The guy knows all four of the original verses of “The Star-Spangled Banner.” Yeah, yeah, most of us can mumble our way through the first verse. But the next three? No chance.

Yet, Grimm, who was sitting at Rasmussen’s table during the recent GOP Lincoln Day Dinner, was still belting out the anthem with the lead singer on verse four – you know: “O thus be it ever, when freemen shall stand / Between their loved homes and the war’s desolation.”

Huckleberries has heard of worse reasons to vote for a candidate.


Tongue firmly cheeked, Coeur d’Alene Press Editor Mike Patrick told Huckleberries that mild-mannered reporter Craig Northrup wasn’t “expelled” from the Lincoln Day Dinner by uptight Kootenai County GOP leaders. Northrup’s seat, sez Patrick, was “vacated” – a reference local GOPoobahs used to downplay John Green’s unceremonious ouster from the Idaho Legislature after his fraud conviction in Texas … Poet’s Corner (a poem for those worried about the latest flu bug, coronavirus): “To save myself from / being stricken / I never ever / kiss a chicken” – Tom Wobker, The Bard of Sherman Avenue (“Chicken Flu”) … Bumpersnicker: Messages on a Kootenai County Democrat’s car: “Feminism is the radical notion that women are people.” And: “Please, Lord, winning the LOTTERY won’t spoil me.”

Parting shot

One Coeur d’Alene Library patron awoke on the wrong side of the bed recently. In the library suggestion box, s/he groused: “For the second time in a month, I have been reading magazines and have been distracted with screaming kids outside the kids’ library downstairs. Don’t you enforce this kind of annoyance in the library?” Later, in the note, the grumpy patron applauded the librarians for being nice. And that, my readers, might be the reason the staff doesn’t “enforce this kind of annoyance.”

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

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