Lazy days of summer actually are quite busy

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As far back as I can remember the first weekend of August with Art on the Green, Taste of Coeur d’Alene and the downtown Street Fair has signaled the homestretch of summer. Back-to-school shopping began in earnest at the sidewalk sales and there was a sense of urgency to soak up the sunshine while we could.

The lazy dog days of summer are anything but as I find myself scrambling to squeeze in every opportunity to attend events, outdoor concerts and to be on and in the lake and river. For me this year August is also bringing the start of a new adventure as the executive director of the Coeur d’Alene Summer Theatre.

I admit to no shortage of nostalgia as I joined staff and cast members for a historic photo last week at the new/old carousel. Fifty years ago the Carousel Players took their name from the iconic carousel showcased at Playland Pier — a carousel I’d ridden as a teenager and then later my own daughters enjoyed riding when they were young, that had been sold when Playland Pier closed down. And there it is, back in all its splendor and here I am taking a new role with an organization stewarded so well through the years by so many talented people. Full circle, no pun intended.

So take time my friends to enjoy the incredible place we’re blessed to call home!

• • •

When our CHS Class of 1970 gathered last Friday there was a very special guest in attendance. Our high school counselor, Betty Stone, delighted everyone. She’s now 93 and as beautiful as ever. She remembers us all, even those she hasn’t seen for nearly 50 years. Betty still possesses the qualities that made her such an exceptional counselor.

She chatted up this gathering of 65-year-olds, recalling stories and tidbits of what we’d been interested in as high school students. It was obvious that she’d kept track of many through the years.

It was an unexpected treat to see her and we were all grateful to be remembered so fondly.

• • •

Luke Griffin first picked up a golf club as a teen and 42 years later finally scored his first hole-in-one last week. If you’re going to experience a milestone event, what could be better than doing it on the world-famous Coeur d’Alene Resort course, hole No. 5 to be exact? Chris Ripatti, Greg Peck and Paul Taylor rounded out Luke’s lucky foursome.

• • •

This is North Idaho College president Rick MacLennan’s second summer in Coeur d’Alene and he’s taking advantage of our beautiful waterways to indulge in a favorite pastime ... water skiing. As a young boy, Rick’s dad taught him to water ski on the Colorado River. On a recent evening, Rick was displaying his considerable skill on a slalom ski on Lake Coeur d’Alene. I think he and his wife, Theresa, are loving life in their new hometown.

• • •

The good news is the unemployment rate in our corner of the world is low. The flip side is that, combined with a vibrant new construction season, tradesmen are at a premium. We’d intended to replace our 30-plus-year-old roof this summer and sought out bids in early April. No one could put us on their schedule before September.

And when our similarly aged garage door finally gave up the ghost last week, we were able to locate plenty of places locally to replace the door but none of the companies could schedule an install for less than two to three weeks out.

These are good problems to have when you consider the alternative of unemployment.

• • •

Things to Do Highlights:

On Thursday is the annual Post Falls Community Picnic at Q’emiln Park in the Lions Grand Pavilion. Come have a barbecue dinner, starting at 5 p.m., with the Post Falls Community Volunteers and dance to Kelly Hughes and his band. Also on Thursday, Night Under the Stars to benefit Inland Northwest SIDs Foundation at Elk Point.

Friday at Majestic Park in Rathdrum get your blues on with Charlie Butts and the Filtertips for this free concert, from 6-9 p.m.

Art on the Green, Taste of Coeur d’Alene and the Downtown Street Fair come to Coeur d’Alene Friday, Saturday and Sunday. The Sons of Norway present the free Norwegian Kids’ Day Camp on Saturday and Sunday. Karen Lauritzen, (208) 659-3666, for info.

Ride for ALICE to help low-income families in North Idaho with child care. Saturday, 8:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. Motorcyclists contact www.unitedwayofnorthidaho.org for details.

On Monday, Aug. 7 at 7:30 p.m., Opera on a Summer’s Eve is Marlo Faulkner’s annual production to benefit the Jacklin Arts and Cultural Center in Post Falls featuring professional Italian opera. Tickets at www.thejacklincenter.org.

• • •

Happy birthday today to Austin Viles, Mandy Averill and Matt Odd (40!). On Thursday, Ronda Smithson and Jessica Hendricks are the birthday girls.

On Friday Vic Eachon, Jennifer Custer, Ben Fairfield, Jack Glinski, Amy Evans, Ruthie Johnson, Sara McDrummand, Toni Caywood, Joel Bertsch, Michele Wood, Erin Delaney, Austin Viles and Amy Ford take another trip around the sun.

On Saturday Doris Weaver, Dave Holinka, Kristin Kilmer, Jonathan Burnett and Danna Ziegler will blow out the candles.

Tracey Fouche, George Evjen, Brenda Knight, Rick Marshall, James Fulton, Shirleen Jacobs, Christine Maiani, Kelli Aiken, Tom Wood, and best buddies Lyle Ekness and Don Larsen will toast to another year on Sunday.

On Monday Bill Kinder, Cindi Wimmer, Greg Delavan, Bob Nonini, Billie Collins and Dan Dahl are putting on their party hats.

Celebrating on 8/8 are Roberta Larsen, Sara Meyer, Jodi Anderson, Eli Yates, Jeff Humphrey, Ken McMeans, Virginia Griggs, Jim Hollingsworth, Jennifer Bokma, Heidi Phillips-Allen and Patty Collins.

• • •

Kerri Rankin Thoreson is a member of the National Society of Newspaper Columnists and the former publisher of the Post Falls Tribune. Main Street appears every Wednesday in The Press and Kerri can be contacted on Facebook or via email mainstreet@cdapress.com. Follow her on Twitter @kerrithoreson.

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