End of an era on Main Street - Coeur d'Alene Press: Main Street

End of an era on Main Street

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Posted: Wednesday, June 20, 2012 12:15 am

Tom Burnett was a newspaperman. There are many people who earn a living in the newspaper business in a variety of capacities, but in my decades-long experience there's only a handful I'd describe as a newspaperman, the kind of person who bleeds ink and considers the 4th Estate a noble calling. If you don't get a little misty-eyed when the printing presses are rolling and another edition is put to bed, forget it.

I never worked with Tom in my career but our paths crossed many times. He had a passion for the role of a weekly newspaper and at one time owned the Post Falls Tribune, selling it a few years before I became publisher/editor.

Several years ago when he started the Rathdrum Star we had some good natured back and forth after he named his new weekly column Main Street 83858. I reminded him that my longtime Main Street column in the Press covered several zip codes. He had the last word when he said that his Rathdrum newspaper office was actually located on Main Street.

Tom was never warm and fuzzy, and would have aptly been described as a crusty old newsman long before he was old. Having occupied the publisher's office myself I know that a community has a love/hate relationship with the person who buys ink by the barrel. Comes with the territory.

A small town newspaper is a labor of love and Tom Burnett loved his newspaper and his small town. Rest in peace Tom, they don't make 'em like you any more.

Spending her 40th birthday in Cabo San Lucas was pretty sweet for Christina Hatfield and her friends Jeff Newcomb, Kathleen Tillman, Al Graham, Kevin Bassett and Brenda Young. After several days of sun and sand, there was even more excitement in store. At the Los Cabos airport on Monday afternoon their Alaska Airlines flight shared the runway with none other than President Barack Obama's Air Force One. Boarding was delayed for the arrival of world leaders, including French President Francois Hollande, as the friends were heading home to Idaho. Boarding on the tarmac, they were able to walk near AF1 and the row of international presidential jets.

Kathleen said it did take them longer than usual, what with heavy security packing machine guns and snipers highly visible. But then again, that's just a regular day south of the border.

It takes a village of a couple thousand volunteers to make Ironman Coeur d'Alene happen. While signing up online for a shift with the Boys and Girls Club at their runners aid station I noticed some interesting volunteer opportunities ... wetsuit peeler, body marker and finish line catcher. I'll stick to taking photographs and handing out water. :)

My two favorite parts of the entire Ironman day are being out on the lake when the swimmers hit the water at city beach in the early morning - an incredible visual - and being at the finish line for the last few hours of the race when the final competitors are gutting it out to cross the line and hear their names announced as an Ironman.

Over 1,000 Olympic hopefuls will vie for a spot on the U.S. Track and Field team heading to London next month. Among those in Eugene this coming week will be Post Falls/WSU alum Ian Waltz, competing in the discus throw. Ian is looking to qualify for his third Olympic games ... he wore the Team USA colors in Athens and in Bejing. I hear London's nice this time of year, Ian. Throw big.

A couple of LOLs from Facebook friends this week: DeAnn Johnson, mother of sons, posted, "Just a speculation, a mom did not come up with the idea of white baseball pants." And Vicki Isakson asked this question ... "Just broke a light bulb. Does that mean I'm going to have 7 years of bad ideas?"

Some fun things to do this week ... Iron Kids Fun Run on Thursday at City Park, 1-mile run for up to age 14. Contact the Coeur d'Alene Recreation Department or register at the park from noon to 5 p.m. on race day. On Saturday the Trae for Kids charity golf tourney will take place at Coeur d'Alene Public Golf Course. Great cause, check out Trae for Kids Golf Tournament page on Facebook or call Tanya at 659-5571.

Hey, Coeur d'Alene High School Class of 1972 ... it's 2012 so your 40th reunion is just around the corner. Set for Aug. 10 and 11, give Carol Barker Kreighbaum (208-755-6009) or Teresa Barrett Martinson (208-691-0473) a call to RSVP.

It's the first day of summer ... FINALLY! Can I get a big whoo hooo!

Happy birthday today to Kristen Enders, Mark Appleby, Daniel Davis, Eva Jones and Sherin Diehl. Tomorrow, birthdays are celebrated by Dr. David Wold, Wayne Newby, Lucas Schell, Shirley Bade and Stephen Larson. On Friday Joe Butler, Mike Saunders, Caitlin Murphy and Camille Lang will blow out their birthday candles. June 23 birthdays will be marked by Nancy Nick, Carly Cline and Dawn Forest. On Sunday Jim Reynolds, Kathy Bush, Kimi Kane, Rhonda Ellis, Sara Wegner and Laura Lahr will celebrate another trip around the sun. JoAnn Hildebrant (60!), Mikki Stevens, Bill Reagan, Shanda Johnson, Patty Vogt, Jan Olsen, Kyle Gibson, Megan Ownbey and Jim Guy will put on their party hats to start the week with Monday birthdays. On Tuesday there's quite a crowd around the birthday cake ... Kit Hoffer, Ben Wolfinger, Ernie Hunt, Cathleen O'Connor, Sheryl Snyder, Chloe Hutter, Karen Hanen and Margi Domme!

Kerri Rankin Thoreson is a member of the National Society of Newspaper Columnists and the former publisher of the Post Falls Tribune. She was voted Best Local Writer for 2012 by the readers of the North Idaho Business Journal. Main Street appears every Wednesday in The Press and Kerri is on the air Mondays and Wednesdays on 1080 ESPN AM (KVNI). Find her on Facebook!

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