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Here's why I love living here

| June 30, 2010 9:00 PM

Another Ironman Coeur d'Alene is in the rearview mirror and it was a great one.

I stopped by Don and Sue Saussers on Saturday afternoon for a view of downtown from their lovely apartment. They're up above the finish line, with a bird's eye view of Independence Point and city park. Celebrating their 50th anniversary that day, they had more visitors on their 10th floor outdoor deck ... a pair of finches who are obviously not afraid of heights.

On Sunday morning I went out on the lake early with Linda Wilhelm, her brother, Don, and my Bert to see the athletes enter the water for the swim leg of the race. What an incredibly beautiful morning and an incredible sight to see over 2,000 swimmers flow into the lake on a sunny morning.

Four generations of Kathy Edinger Dingman's family spent the morning volunteering at the Transition Aid Station in the park ... her parents, Jim and Marie Edinger; daughter, Michelle Dingman; and granddaughter, Jadyn Dingman.

Norm, aka The Stickman, enjoyed the athletes running the course past the driveway of his home at the east side of Tubbs Hill, and created a work of art on his front lawn for their viewing pleasure ... an Ironman logo made from several hundred golf balls.

At Sanders Beach on East Lakeshore Drive, Robert and Susan Cliff had a party going on in front of their beautiful "Taylor House," complete with a garden hose to mist the athletes on the warm afternoon ... their house guests Ben and Cindy Bigglestone, from Seattle via England, joined the cheering section as the runners passed by. Ben is a European triathlete of some renown who now trains and coaches Ironman competitors. Fifteen of his clients were racing on Sunday.

Only in Idaho are the athletes cheered on by beautiful cowgirls. Chelsea Rosenberger, her mom, Shelly and sister-in-law Breana are out on Rimrock Road every year on horseback to encourage the cyclists.

See More Main Street online for my photos from the weekend event.

As the Ironman athletes were reaching a lofty goal on Sunday, Madison Leonard of Hayden was achieving recognition of extraordinary proportion in Mobile, Ala.

Each year thousands of young women vie for their local titles in the Junior Miss Scholarship Program. Each state selects a representative who then goes on to the national competition. From those a winner is chosen America's Junior Miss (Distinguished Young Woman).

What a thrill to hear the news that Madison ... Coeur d'Alene's Junior Miss and Idaho's Junior Miss ... was the young woman chosen from all. Congratulations to the Leonard family and to all of the Junior Miss volunteers in our communities who make the program possible!

My friend Marie Fish, from the Post Falls Senior Center, tells me that their commercial 30-quart mixer "blew up" and they need to replace the nearly $4,000 piece of equipment in order to serve hundreds of meals each month. The center is holding a Cowboy Poets gathering on Wednesday, July 7 with the incomparable Rod Erickson and his friends to help raise the funds. $15 per person is a great deal!

Hard to believe that it's already almost the Fourth of July. For more than four decades our family tradition of celebrating includes the Coeur d'Alene parade. I have great memories of the event from my youth, when my daughters were young, and later with my grandsons.

For many years my 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. It hasn't been the same since he's been gone but I wouldn't miss it for anything! If you enjoy the spectacular fireworks over the lake you can now chip in for this year's display at http://2010july4th.eventbrite.com/

It's class reunion time all over the area ... my CHS Class of 1970 is gathering the weekend of July 23. Coeur d'Alene's Class of 1990 is reuniting the following weekend and Christina Nickel Hatfield would like to invite all of their teachers to the mixer on July 30 at The Mill at Riverstone. For more, visit www.cda90.com.

Kudos to all of the organizing committees from all of the classes in our towns. It's a thankless job trying to locate classmates so if you graduated in Post Falls, Coeur d'Alene or Lakeland in a decade year, reach out and contact someone from your class. Also parents, if your long ago grad now lives out of the area, contact one of their former local classmates for info about their reunion. I'll post on More Main Street any reunion info I receive.

On the last day of June, wish Louise Bershers and Kimberly Carlson a happy birthday. July birthdays start out tomorrow with Bill Brown, Tim Riordan, Mark Johnson and Byron Hamby. On Independence Day eve, Jeff Ward celebrates his birthday, the same day Maynard Lyson turns 80! Yankee Doodle Dandies born on the Fourth of July are Britney Davenport, Joscelyn Ramsey, Amber Hunt, Glenda Johnson, Jack Smetana and Tyson Chamberlain. Christopher Hollibaugh's birthday is Monday and on Tuesday, July 6, Barb McCarley and Wade Jacklin will blow out the candles on the cake.

THERE'S MORE: New stories and photos at More Main Street. Add your birthday to the Main Street Birthday Club on the link there!

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 http://moremainstreet.blogspot.com. Kerri can be reached at mainstreet@cdapress.com

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