Oct. 12, 2004, was a Tuesday, a beautiful bonus summer-like blue sky sunshiny autumn day. It was a day I will never forget ... not the sunshine or the sounds or the words that came out of a doctor’s mouth as I stood alone in the “quiet room” at Kootenai Medical Center’s emergency room waiting for my mother to arrive. “We tried to resuscitate him but he was already gone.”
Poof! With a single sentence my world tilted on its axis. Before 8 a.m. on that beautiful sunshiny morning my father was dead at age 75. My daddy, my friend, my touchstone. Most of the rest of the morning was a blur of calling family, helping my broken-hearted mother navigate the details of what must be done in those first few hours.
It was a Tuesday, which meant I was on deadline for this column and after decades in the newspaper business I knew that I needed to have one thing that morning be normal and routine. I also knew my father was a very public person and word of his passing would be news. I phoned Mike Patrick from the parking lot of the hospital and confirmed that my father had passed away and told him I’d have my column to him by deadline that afternoon. He assured me that I didn’t need to concern myself with a column that week and I told him that I had to do exactly that.
Early afternoon found me unable to focus on anything except a world I no longer recognized. After 52 years what in the world would my world be like without my father? I searched my archives for a Father’s Day column I’d written and that was published in June of 1999. So on that first day of my life without Dad I made deadline.
There will never come a time that I don’t catch myself reaching for the phone to call to share something with my dad ... a laugh or an indignation or a head-shaking current event. When I find myself missing him the most is when I’m the most grateful to have had a father worth missing.
On Monday I gave a tour of the Ronald D. Rankin Veterans Memorial Plaza at the Kootenai County courthouse to Marilyn Welch’s Kimber Leadership Academy students. I can think of no better way to have spent an October morning, 13 years since his passing, than to have shared the vision and passion and patriotism of my father with children, most of whom had not yet been born in his lifetime. Carrying on is a most fitting way to honor those we love who’ve gone on before us. Ronald D. Rankin, 1929-2004.
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I’ve made it a point to say yes to opportunities that come my way ... most of the time. I did say yes to a most interesting request to be a live artist’s model for Art Spirit Gallery on Saturday at the Plaza Shops. I still have a pulse so I can do the live part but modeling for the artists who will draw, paint or sculpt my likeness is a bit daunting. I’m thinking that sitting still will be the biggest challenge for someone who talks with their hands and prefers to be in motion.
Renowned artist Terry Lee is orchestrating Art in the Making from 1-4 p.m. Apologies in advance if I’m not able to chat with or wave to anyone I know who comes by the Plaza Shops to see artists creating art. Too much movement and my portrait will look very Picasso-ish.
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The Old Pleasantview School on west Riverview Drive is a local treasure. The annual Pleasantview Community Association breakfast is a fundraiser for restoration and maintenance of the old school as a community center, which is a registered National Historical Site. Breakfast will be served from 8-11 a.m. on Saturday and the homemade biscuits, honey butter and jams are not to be missed. 18724 W. Riverview Drive, 5 miles west of Post Falls.
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Highlights of Things to Do:
Tonight, Mayors Awards in the Arts, Hagadone Event Center, 6 p.m.
Thursday, opening night of Baskerville: A Sherlock Holmes Mystery presented by Coeur d’Alene Summer Theatre at the Jacklin Arts Center. Runs through Sunday, Oct. 15. 208-660-2958.
Friday, Fifth Annual CASA Uncorked at the Hagadone Event Center. Benefits the Court Appointed Special Advocates program. 208-660-6707.
Saturday, Hayden Marathon, begins at Honeysuckle Beach. Info: race director Nancy Lowery, 208-755-9260 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Art in the Making, Resort Plaza Shops, 1-4 p.m.
Also on Saturday, the 9th Annual Junk2funk fashion show. More than 30 artists create fashions from recycled materials. 6-9 p.m. at the Coeur d’Alene Eagles.
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Happy birthday today to Michael Pereira, Chris Pasquale, Greg Worley, Genie Riegert, Chad Anderson, Cindy Odd and Warren Anglin and tomorrow happy birthday to Tom Elliott, Jeff Yates, Donnie Murrell, Alan Brown, Kathy Getchius, Kirk Hjeltness and McKade Brown.
Friday the 13th celebrants are Nick Smoot, Jeff Johnson, Margaret Eddings, Derek Scharf, Serena Pratt, Kathy Pierce and Judy Bennett. On Saturday Randy Bohach, Leslie Lien, Jeff Elder, Dave Chambers, Karen Hammond, Linda Polley, Gary Ghramm and Suzanne Metzger put on their party hats.
Cheers on Sunday to Braxton Kurtz, Don Sausser, Dee Jameson, Shawn Gust, Beth Peters, Katie Smith, Wayne Hammond, Elizabeth McGregor, Laurie Dixon, Beth Myles, Greg Cossette, Dave Smith, Peyton Brown and Patty Cheesman.
Born on Oct. 16 are Jordan Hudson, Misti Flood, Kathie Lyon, Pam Nygaard, Brad Perry and Mike Farquhar. Faith Tonna, Laurie Cook, Dana Albanese, Rosemary Fuller and Karen Deering will make a wish on Tuesday.
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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 email@example.com. Follow her on Twitter @kerrithoreson.