Still going strong at age 90 - Coeur d'Alene Press: Main Street

Still going strong at age 90

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Posted: Wednesday, December 5, 2012 12:00 am

Frank Henderson will be sworn into his fifth term in office in the Idaho House of Representatives in Boise tomorrow. It also happens to be his 90th birthday which will make Frank by far the most senior member of the Idaho Legislature, not only for this upcoming session but in the history of the Idaho Legislature. In a bit of irony, the second most senior legislator to serve was the late Hilde Kellogg, also of Post Falls, who served until her 88th year.

Frank Henderson has enjoyed several successful careers in his lifetime and perhaps the secret to his longevity is spending the majority of what most people would consider retirement in service to others. On Saturday Frank was surrounded by a hundred-plus friends and family members and a good time was had by all, especially the birthday boy. Serenaded by Ruth Pratt with a playful "Santa Baby," roasted by Chuck Lempesis, dancing the night away with Tuxedo Junction and blowing out candles on the most fabulous cake I've ever seen, it looks like this 90th year is starting out on a high note for the "Energizer Bunny" of Idaho politics.

Speaking of the table-sized cake, it was created by Joannie Burnette of Post Falls in the shape of the state of Idaho with a glossy 3-D American flag, state seal and sparkler candles.

Frank's hitting the ground running but will take a little time to celebrate another special occasion next week when he and his bride, Betty Ann, mark their 6th wedding anniversary. Life is good.

Reader Ron Schiller commented on last week's column topic of Christmas letters. He said the best Christmas letter of all he's received was actually a Christmas paragraph. "One, OK, maybe two at most paragraphs highlighting the key events of the past year, on a 1/4 page of paper," said Ron. Short, sweet, succinct.

Our flight attendant daughter Sarah had Mike Tyson on her flight out of Las Vegas recently. She said his facial tattoo is a bit faded so not as freakish as one would imagine. She also said he's very polite but a bit "messy." (messy translated into flight attendant-speak means he likely left a newspaper behind or put his cookie wrapper in the magazine pocket). So I asked Gary Allen aka GA on Rock 94 1/2, who does a killer Mike Tyson impersonation, to leave a message on Sarah's voice mail. As Mike, he apologized for being so messy. And yes, Sarah was amused.

On the first day of December I heard a sound not usually heard this time of year. My husband was mowing the lawn on Saturday since there's been no snow to shovel.

WinterFest in Post Falls on Friday will include an open house on the city's strategic plan along with the community tree-lighting, choir performances and a visit from Santa at City Hall.

Happy Birthday today to Jennifer McGrath, Sharlene Scott, Marna Bateman, Annette Barstow and Anita Banta and tomorrow to Frank Henderson (90!), Sam Clevenger, Kathy McDowell, Jennifer Hawkins, Hazel Day and Kylie Allen. On Friday Dean Opsal, CJ Deacon, Rhonda Newton and Randy Duncan will celebrate another trip around the sun. Tammy Schneider, Kelly Ferguson and Becky McIntire Boifeuillet are blowing out the candles on Saturday. Sunday Tammie Peacock, Cecilia Fehling, Cheri Banta and Cindy Jarnagin are the birthday girls. Monday Shannon Clark, Richard Carlson, Dick Wandrocke (79!) and Donna Cushman will lead the birthday parade. Wish a happy birthday on Tuesday to Christina Petit, Jennifer Keefe, Katrina Mayer, Kym Hamby, Shawn Gunn , Aleta English and Don White (82!).

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 or via email

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