Farewell to a friend and mentor

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Jim Hail and Kerri Thoreson

Main Street, April 8, 2015:

“In the 1980s I learned a valuable lesson about stating a goal out loud, preferably to people who can help you achieve the goal. For four years during the annual “interviews with the publisher” I would answer the question of where I saw myself in the next five years with the company by verbalizing my goal to become the publisher of the Post Falls Tribune.

“On Friday night I had the opportunity to thank the Coeur d’Alene Press publisher who made my goal a reality when a reception was held for the retirement of Jim Hail. Jim achieved much success and acclaim as the founder of The Black Book directories but in the late ’80s he was the editor and publisher of the Coeur d’Alene Press and the President of Hagadone Communications North Idaho News Network. Jim was a tough taskmaster, a passionate newspaperman.

“For me he was one of the people who genuinely believed in my abilities when there was scant evidence beyond my determination. I will long be grateful for that belief and wish my friend Jim a long and happy retirement.”

On Monday I was heartbroken to learn of Jim’s passing, just four years almost to the day into what we all wished would be a long and happy retirement. I’m grateful I had that opportunity in 2015 to tell him how much his mentorship and friendship shaped me. Nearly 30 years after his confidence placed me in a newspaper publisher’s chair, my words continue to appear in newsprint every week.

Jim Hail modeled more than just excellence in newspapering and in business, he generously gave his time to the community and generously mentored many for decades. I’m incredibly sad that he’s gone but I rejoice that in his time on earth Jim Hail made a difference.

•••

Places to go and things to do: Aspire Community Theater’s “Hunchback of Notre Dame” opens Friday, 7:30 p.m. at the Kroc Center, and runs through April 28.

On Saturday the Hayden Kite Festival happens at Broadmoore Park at noon. 208-762-1185.

Also on Saturday the Lake City Anglers Association auction will be held at Red Lion Templin’s from 5 to 9 p.m.

•••

Happy birthday today to Pat Krug, Betty Stone (95!), Jaime Meyer, Andre Ney, Dot Rook, Blythe Templin, Jonna Harris-Bowman, Sheila McDaniel, Curtis Ormesher and Peggy Fairfield. Tomorrow Anna Goodwin, Brad Dugdale, Chris Mueller, Pat Stroud, Rebecca Priano, Glenn Gatherer, Ryan Edmonds, John Cross, Branson McAlister and Lisa Johnson enjoy their special day. On Friday Gerlinde Hamilton, Rich Piazza, Angie Hannon (50!), Rick Seymour, Petrina Spellman, Carolyn Beard, Rick Gonzalez, Steve Adams, Charlie Staples, BreAnna Brunton and Joe Bodman will celebrate. On Saturday my mother Alice Rankin (88!), Maritom Pickett, Sherry Mundt, Jerome Pollos, Scott Hough, Bill Hilbish, Sarah Gondo, Marcia Jimenez, Laura Warner, Sarah Myers, Blaise Koep and John M. Smith share a birthday. On Sunday Gunnar Amos, Brent Hostetler, Sandy Langston, Ali Taylor, Larry Bird and Janet Johnson are taking another trip around the sun. Shirley Grimmett, Ron Strobel, Jeannette Peacock, Cliff Standridge, Mark Nelke, Jim Barrett, Curtis Gregory, Dave Nordby, George Greenfield, Russell Thomas and Corey Beaver celebrate on Monday. April 23 birthdays belong to Shelly Enderud, Troy Speziale, Malika Mills, Kevin Bennett, Charlotte Brown, Tracey Singer, Don Kline, Kathleen Schmidt and Tracy Williams.

•••

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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