Thursday, February 02, 2023

A father's love afloat

| June 16, 2010 9:00 PM

The arrival at Blackwell Island last week brought dozens of curious onlookers amd camera crews to the marina. The 36-foot-high, 3-story lake yacht was a sight to see, even for a lake that's home port to some spectacular vessels.

I stopped by for a look Friday morning, after the boat's three decks had been assembled but before it had been launched. What most wouldn't have noticed brought a lump to my throat ... the boat's name, Monty's Crusin'. The owner, Don Gross, is a longtime friend so I know that his son, Monty's, cruising for nearly 40 years has been limited to a wheelchair. Later that afternoon, Don gave me a personal tour of the boat, which he's hoping to have ready to go in time for the fireworks over the lake on the Fourth of July.

We had a great visit as Don described the custom features, each and every one designed to make it possible for his beloved son to enjoy life on the lake with the family. The 500-gallon pool adjacent to the swim deck so Monty can be in the water, even if he can't be in the lake. The two elevators so each level of the boat are accessible.The stats on the boat are 65 feet long, 18 feet wide, 36 feet tall and 80,000 pounds, but they don't begin to tell the story. That lump in my throat didn't go away as I listened to the love in the words of my friend.

Don's a self-made success, motivated by the challenges he and his wife, Sandra, faced in the years of caring for a son with cerebral palsy to create A Full Life Agency, in-home health care after a hospitality career. He said a time or two on Friday that he was so grateful and blessed to be able to have this boat for Monty. He also admitted with a chuckle that this is his first boat ever. We'll be seeing Monty's Crusin' on Lake Coeur d'Alene this summer and I told Don that Monty will be a rock star on the water. He said to look for the blond guy with a huge smile up on the top deck and that will be his son.

In this sixth Father's Day without my own father, I feel blessed to know a really special dad like Don. And the stat on the boat that's the most important of all ... a heart that's bigger than could ever be measured.***

Frank Henderson and his late wife, Lillian, will be honored on Saturday at 1 p.m. when the Children's Room at the Post Falls Library is dedicated in their name. Frank and Lillian demonstrated decades of passion for the library and for children's reading programs. A fitting tribute to Frank and for Lillian, a legacy she would be pleased to know she has left in this community.

***Rest up, this weekend has some great events you'll want to take in ... Friday night is the annual Car d'Lane cruise on Sherman Avenue with the event continuing on Saturday. On Saturday and Sunday it's the first-ever Smokin' the Coeur d'Alenes Inland Northwest Barbecue Championship at the Kootenai County Fairgrounds. And how could you not love Spirit Lake's annual Big Back-In Lawn Mower Drag Races down Maine Street on Father's Day?

***I'll be reprising my morning show co-host role on KVNI this coming Friday and again on Monday with Kris Siebers. Tune in to AM 1080 between 6 and 9 a.m. to see if I can muster up perky and verbal in the morning. Pat McGaughey, Jeff Selle, Chelsea Rosenberger, Kim Cooper, Dave Walker and more friends will be coming into the studio and on the air with me those two days.

***Happy birthday today to Tim Shepperd, Rebecca Morelli and Bill Dick. More birthdays ... June 17: Raydeane Owens, Susan Reilly, Vicky Houle and Jennifer Smith. June 18: Jim Hammond (60!) and Sean Watson. June 19: Jim Morrison, Jerry Riggs, Sue Shibley, Twyla and Bill Cope, Doug Harwood and Lauren Hoffman. June 20: Eva Jones and Sherin Diehl. June 21: Shirley Bade and Stephen Larson. June 22: Joe Butler

***THERE'S MORE ... at More Main Street photos and links to local people and events, including photos of Monty's Crusin'. Access More Main Street at the url below or at site under the "columns" tab.

***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. More Main Street blog is at Kerri can be reached at

Recent Headlines