Local love stories featured in 'War Bonds'

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My friend and fellow newspaper columnist, Cindy Hval, has written a love story to The Greatest Generation that's a must read for all generations.

Cindy and I share an affection for words and story-telling - and especially for veterans. Her just-published book, "War Bonds," is a wonderful tribute that features essays about couples familiar to many of us right here in Kootenai County ... couples who met, married, raised families and endured with the backdrop of World War II.

The life and love stories of Betty and Ray Stone, Nick and Tex Gaynos, Milt and Donna Stafford, James and Helen Loer and Fred and Nathalie Mitchell are told. Come visit tonight at the Coeur d'Alene Public Library at 7. Cindy will read passages from "War Bonds" and sign books, too.

It was thrilling to be in the Idaho Center in Nampa on Saturday night, cheering on the Post Falls Trojan boys basketball team in the state championship game. What wasn't widely reported is our team had been plagued with intestinal woes for the three-day tournament but managed to gut out the games and live up to its No. 1 state ranking to take it all.

It was a big achievement for Post Falls to bring home the state championship, just one week after the PFHS wrestlers had done the same. In Nampa we heard many comments from spectators statewide about what a great group of young men the Trojan players are, something that brings as much pride to this community as does a trophy. Congratulations to all!

Trojans Coach Mike McLean, PFHS Class of '95, had four generations of his family in the stands and on the bench ... his grandmother, Vonnie Satchwell; parents, Wade and Wanda McLean; brother, Jeremy; sister-in-law, Cindy; three nieces, a nephew, wife Jessica and sons Blake, who plays on varsity and Trenton, assistant junior manager. Mike's sister, Jessica stayed on the farm in Post Falls to oversee the family's 135 cows due to calve. She brought nine calves into the world during the tournament and joked that they were from Mike's cows.

The fourth annual Minnow Madness - a middle school spinoff of Coeur d'Alene's cross-town Fight for the Fish rivalry between CHS and LCHS - is Thursday night at 6 at Lakes. Faculty from Lakes Magnet Middle School and Canfield Middle School play a bragging rights basketball game while the students light up the place and rock the rafters with their enthusiastic cheering.

If you're celebrating the wearing o' the green for St. Patrick's Day, the 10th annual parade in downtown Coeur d'Alene is a great place to start at 4 p.m. Saturday. The parade will feature the Coeur d'Alene Fire Department Bagpipes and Drum Corps, Coeur d'Alene Irish Dancers, Hot Punch Highland Bagpipe and Dance Group, Irish wolfhounds and Grand Marshal Jerry Parker and Irish Colleen Tyree Kearns-Riggs.

The annual Post Falls Historical Society luncheon is on Saturday at Garden Plaza. The group was founded in 1988 with a mission to preserve and share the history of the community. I'll be speaking on the topic of the 100 years of the Post Falls Library and the book the Post Falls Library Foundation has commissioned me to write. It's a bit daunting to talk about history to a group of passionate volunteers who've done so much to preserve and celebrate ours.

If you're looking for a place to volunteer, the historical society could use you at the Post Falls Museum, 262-9642.

On Sunday, Bert and I mark our 29th wedding anniversary. We share the day (month and year, too) with one of my favorite couples, Michael and Anna Pearce. Anna - aka Patty Duke - and I like to joke that we just kept doing it until we got it right. 1986 was a banner year for us both.

Happy birthday today to Ed Robar, Heather Callahan, Mindy Newby, Jim Faucher, Travis Jank, Rachel Burkhardt and Bill Paradee, Jr.

Tomorrow, DeAnn Johnson, Will Henderson, Sylvia McCormick, Josh Vesser, Ali Hanson, Kim Maksen, John Neirinckx and David Wegner will have their cake and eat it, too! Paula Sharp (60!), Robin Karrick, Laurie Boeckel and Erich Eickmeyer have lucky Friday the 13th birthdays.

On Saturday, Tom Capone, Wayne Cofield, Bud Evans, David Cehr, Candace McEnespy, Teri Rouse, Fabian Medina, Ina Bressler, and Sheila Kemmis will raise their glasses to celebrate.

On March 15, Bill Haughton, Todd Christensen, Len Crosby, Rick Noordam, Barry Rubin and Zack Yost take another trip around the sun.

Look for Colleen English, John Bujosa, Cindy Marcella, Cathy Riorden, Kelly Moore, Ken Kress, LauraLee Johnson, Laurel Rollins, Daniel Schelske and Dottie Pichard to blow out their candles on March 16.

Combining a little luck o' the Irish with their birthday celebration on March 17 are Cody Peugh, Keith Hutcheson, Patty Conkle, Trish Ortega, Terry Corey, Carrie Nicholson, Mike Gump and Nichelle Price.

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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