TEAMWORK: Carousel and Quixote

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I’d like to compliment Devin Weeks for her Aug. 30 story about the Coeur d’Alene Carousel. Rita Snyder has worked super hard to get it up and running, as well as Cari Fraser and the entire board and staff. Coeur d’Alene Honda provided free storage for seven years until the building could be built. Thank God for John and Pat Foote buying it for our community and Bud Ford for stepping up to get the building started.

But the real unsung hero is Mike Patrick of the Coeur d’Alene Press. He made the decision to print a story on Christmas Eve 2010 about a quixotic citizen activist trying to get this 97-year-old treasure back to Coeur d’Alene after being gone for 36 years. John Foote saw the story and the rest is history.

The 20,000 riders Rita spoke of doesn’t reflect the real number if you include parents and grandparents. That total is closer to 60,000 smiles.

Now, if the community and donors can make this even more family friendly, it will be a world-class tourist draw. And the Quixotic citizen? … That be me.

RICHARD LE FRANCIS

Coeur d’Alene

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