Morning-after election reflections

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Voting early, absentee or at the polls on election day ... I’ve always preferred the latter. Having lived in the same precinct for decades, I’m a familiar face on election day, as are many of the returning poll workers each year. This past spring for the primary elections, instead of voting in the morning as is my habit, I voted in the evening on my way to a city council meeting.

My husband always votes after work, about 4 p.m. When he arrived at the polls, the workers expressed their concern to him that I hadn’t been in to vote yet. Post Falls may now have a population of over 30,000, but that was a real “small town” moment. Tuesday I voted in the morning so as not to worry anyone.

Shout out to the Precinct 24 poll workers and to Calvary Lutheran Church, our polling location, for always providing coffee and cookies for everyone on election day.

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I filed this column on Tuesday afternoon, hours before the polls closed or any results were reported. I appreciate friends, celebrities, Facebook memes, candidates, special interest groups, robo calls, etc., reminding and encouraging me to vote Tuesday. Yes, I know that this election was important. As were the countless elections I’ve voted in since turning 18 in 1970.

During that time Nixon, Ford, Carter, Reagan, Bush I, Clinton, Bush II, Obama and Trump have served as president. Since 1970, I’ve voted in the three states where I’ve resided — Idaho, Oregon and North Dakota. I’ve voted in school board and highway district elections, in elections for city council and county offices and for state and congressional offices. I’m thinking the number of elections I’ve not voted in during the past 38 years could be counted on two hands, with a few fingers left over.

I’d like to encourage everyone who voted for the first time or the first time in many years Tuesday that yes, this election was important. But EVERY election is important. I hope that there is similar interest and enthusiasm for every opportunity we have to cast a ballot.

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My father was a 22-year-old Marine, assigned to driving a supply truck at the Battle of the Chosin with the First Marine Division. He survived that epic and historic battle of the Korean War. It was not until I was in my forties and he was in his sixties that he opened up about his experience. It was harrowing to hear but gave me great insight into how in that most unforgiving foreign land my father’s lifelong patriotism and gratitude took hold.

One of the stories he shared of his experiences at the Battle of the Chosin was about the 90,000 North Korean civilians who walked out with the Marines. The temperatures were at least 50 below zero and most were not dressed for that weather. But they walked ... the elderly, the young, mothers with infants in arms. “They voted for freedom with their feet,” my father told me.

With election day just past and Veterans Day this weekend, my appreciation to all who voted, all who stepped up to put their name on a ballot and to the veterans who through the generations have served to make and keep our country the land of the free.

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Things to do highlights: There are no shortage of events of every kind this week. The biggest challenge is to be multiple places at once!

Tonight, the seventh annual Special Needs Recreation’s Basketball Extravaganza at North Idaho College. Two games, first tip off at 5:45 p.m., second game at 7 p.m. Free admission. Guaranteed to be fun and inspiring!

Friday, 6 to 11 p.m., Big Top Coeur d’Alene Talent Show at the Cd’A Eagles to benefit Lake City Playhouse. Christian Youth Theater (CYT) opens My Son Pinocchio, Jr. at the Kroc Center at 7 p.m. Show runs through Nov. 16. www.cytnorthidaho.org

Also on Friday, the BZN Film Rodeo at Coeur d’Alene Public Library, 6:30 to 9 p.m., featuring short films and documentaries from the Bozeman International Film Festival. $15 per person.

Veterans Day concert featuring performances by the PFHS choirs and wind ensemble at Post Falls High School, Friday at 6:30 p.m.

Saturday events include the Garden Plaza’s Christmas Bazaar, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., free admission with 50 vendors and live music.

Annual Veterans Recognition Ceremony at Lakeland High School. 2 to 4 p.m., hosted by Manuel Schneidmiller American Legion Post 154. Free and open to the public. Following this event, Steven H. Nipp American Legion Post 143 in Post Falls will host a free dinner for veterans, 6 to 8 p.m. Non-veterans $12. 773-9054.

The Post Falls Historical Society Spaghetti/Cake Walk fundraiser on Saturday, 4 to 7 p.m. at the Kootenai County Fire and Rescue, Joe Doellefeld Training Center, 5271 E. Seltice Way, Post Falls. (You had me at cake walk!)

EXCEL Foundation’s The Big Event 2018 at the Coeur d’Alene Inn, 5 to 11 p.m. Benefits classroom grants in School District 271.

The Harvest Ball to benefit Jacklin Arts and Cultural Center, at the JACC, 4:30 to 10:30 p.m. www.thejacklincenter.org

On Sunday at 2 p.m. Community United Methodist Church, corner of Ramsey Road and Hanley Avenue in Coeur d’Alene invites the community to attend a dedication recital celebrating the restoration and renovation of the church’s historic pipe organ, originally purchased for the church in 1908.

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Happy birthday today to Chuck Lempesis, Rocky Watson, Maggie Lyons, Tracy Akerman, John Williams, Mike Dornquast, Lauren Dornquast and Harold Howard will celebrate. Tomorrow Keith Allen, Joanne Wilhelm, Jens Jensen, Jeff Tucker and Aaron Birdsall take another trip around the sun. Friday Jim Addis, Gratia Griffith, Austin Gardner, Todd Tondee, Ben Rae, Lori Sherfey, Janine Avila, Gary Ulvan, Matt Lyman and Dennis Hall will celebrate. Nov. 10 birthdays are celebrated by Jeanne Norton, Beverly Pogue, Kathleen Tillman, Bret Bowers, Marlow Hendricks, Doug Eastwood, John Evans, Diane Horton, Dale Broadsword and the U.S. Marine Corps, celebrating 243 years of honor and tradition. Semper Fi. 11/11 birthdays for Ruth Pratt, Ellen Jaeger, Graydon Stanley, Tim Mitchell, Eugene Boyle, Aaron Roberts, Amy Colbert, Ruth Morrow, Kim Malar-Currie, Kelli Fahy, Heather Bryant, Ron Lahr, Keith Boe and Emilia Ovstedal. On Monday Faith Mitchell, Polly Johnson, Marshall Mend, Dana Ryan, Greg Gervais, Robert Lantz, Antigone Twidt, Brenda Murphy and Amanda Behringer put on their party hats. Matt Backs, Cheyenne Tate, Desiree Janke, Timarie Lindquist, Tonya Yost, Margaret Ogram, Jennifer Currie and Jeannette Laster will be feeling lucky on their 13th of November birthdays.

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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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