OPINION: Main Street by Kerri Thoreson

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On Saturday at a celebration of life for Bert Brothers, who passed away earlier this year at the age of 83, I visited with some of the newer members of the Post Falls Lions Club who hadn’t known him. Bert was a 50-year member of the Post Falls Lions Club and active until just a few years ago. He was born and raised in Post Falls and was accurately described as just one of the nicest, most selfless men around.

Recent losses of other good people who set an example of giving back to their communities, Buck Johnson and Maxine Nelson, prompted me to reflect on the difference one person can make. Maxine was 90 and Buck was 81 at the time of passing.

Bert, Buck and Maxine weren’t always elderly and certainly weren’t when they started volunteering. The Post Falls Lions Club, Coeur d’Alene Chamber of Commerce and Post Falls Food Bank, respectively, were blessed by the joyful, giving spirit of these three for many years. Generations of our communities benefited from the ripples of kindness, goodwill and generosity our friends left behind.

I’m hopeful that we’re raising up and encouraging similarly giving individuals in service who will fill the gap left by these losses. Be like Bert, Buck and Maxine.

• • •

For over half a century our family tradition of celebrating America’s birthday includes the Coeur d’Alene parade. I have great memories of the event from my own youth living on Ninth and Sherman Avenue and watching from the front porch, then when my daughters were young and later with my grandsons.

For many years my late father rode in the machine gun turret of a tank at the front of the parade with his buddies from the Marine Corps League and the Chosin Few. I’ve driven beauty queens and a grand marshal or two in my convertible. I’ve accompanied floats but mostly have been an enthusiastic, flag-waving spectator on the sidewalk.

For the eighth year I’ll enjoy a bird’s-eye view from the announcer’s skybox and reviewing stand between Second and Third streets on Sherman Avenue. Scott Hough will be my roller skating wingman on the street in front of the skybox. Curtis Ormesher from ROX provides sound and tech support, including music for the pre-parade dance party that has become a fun way for youngsters of all ages to burn some energy right before the parade makes its way from 15th Street to downtown.

A special treat will be Karen Hunt, a North Idaho native home visiting from the pursuit of her Masters in Vocal Performance from Chicago’s Roosevelt University, singing the national anthem to kick things off just before the parade starts at 10 a.m. Many thanks to Jessica Bonar of Advanced Benefits for her hard work organizing the parade this year for the Coeur d’Alene Chamber of Commerce and to parade sponsor, the Coeur d’Alene Casino Resort.

Hope to see you all next Wednesday morning for a star-spangled hometown parade!

• • •

Things to Do: Thursday — Post Falls Historical Society 30th anniversary banquet at the Post Falls Senior Center with no-host cocktail hour 5:30 p.m., dinner 6:30 p.m. Gary Schneidmiller, keynote speaker. 208-773-9582.

Cd’A Big Band from 6-8:30 p.m. at McIntire Family Park in Hayden.

The Coeur d’Alene Canoe and Kayak Club invites the public to a casual two-hour paddle in Blackwell Slough from 6-8 p.m. on Thursday. www.cdacanoekayakclub.com.

• • •

Happy birthday today to Trigger Weddle, Todd Banducci, Gayle Bolton, Leslie White, Scott Hamilton, Terri Mercer, Cherry Jones, Nathan Gubbe and John Goodlander. Tomorrow Luke Thoreson, Gene Tillman, Connie Gridley, Dave Stutzke, Janet Smith, Jack Danelson and Sheryl Sipe blow out their birthday candles.

On Friday Jessica Zazueta, Brandan Stone, Neil Conner, Kiley Archer, Monty Danner, Krystal Gordillo, Kiley Nick, Lyndon Harriman and Carolyn Havens celebrate. On the last day of June birthdays will be marked by Patty McGinnis, Kyle Rutley, TR Williams, Katie Disney, Kimberly Carlson and Rosie Brown (13!).

July 1 birthdays belong to Tim Riordan, Arlene Reichenberg, Bill Brown, Terry Alexander, Chris Harrison, Byron Hamby (13!) and Mark Johnson. Monday Tonya Glinsky, Jim Dennison and Ted Wright will celebrate another trip around the sun. July 3 birthday wishes to Jeff Ward, Dana Merritt and Mark Durant.

• • •

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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