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Vietnam vet honors his brothers of long ago

| August 19, 2020 1:00 AM

Michelle Miller of Coeur d’Alene shared a touching story that only a few people in her Avondale neighborhood would know about.

Most nights at dusk a bugler plays Taps near the 15th fairway of the golf course. Michelle said that the disabled Vietnam Army vet prefers his anonymity but told her that as a soldier he was assigned to funeral detail. Taps is only to be played at funerals, flag ceremonies or when the American flag is being retrieved or lowered at dusk.

The veteran said he doesn’t play for the living but for those who died in Vietnam and their families who suffered their loss.

Due to surgery this summer his playing has been limited but this unsung hero vowed to keep playing as long as he’s able. Another example of the quiet good deeds that create the tapestry of life in our community.

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Two months ago when I was so disappointed the Coeur d’Alene Fourth of July parade was canceled, part of my disappointment stemmed from not hearing Madison Leonard sing the national anthem to kick things off. Madison, a professional opera singer and hometown girl, and her husband have spent much of the summer here visiting her parents. She heads back to their home in Switzerland tomorrow.

Well, the planets aligned and I was able to hear Madison sing “The Star Spangled Banner” after all. She performed during the dedication ceremony for the Suffragist statue on the 100th anniversary of women gaining the right to vote in America.

It was a very special commemoration, no small amount of emotional to think of the struggle and sacrifice of our ancestors fighting hard so me and my daughters could participate fully in the right to vote. And in my case, hold elected office.

It was a very good day to celebrate equality and girl power.

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What seems like a lifetime ago but is actually only five months or 125 days ago, at the onset of the COVID-19 onslaught inexplicably the hoarding of toilet paper began in earnest. I still haven’t been able to wrap my head around the impulse to stock up on toilet paper back then. Next was hand sanitizer and bleach and cleaning supplies.

In May there was a shortage of meat in the grocery stores and in the supply chain just as restaurants began to re-open. Yes, I did stock up on canned chicken and beef once the local groceries posted signs in their meat departments limiting purchases to two packages of beef, pork and chicken per customer. In July we were told that there’s a coin shortage and some stores would only accept exact change for payment or you’d have to use a debit or credit card. I’m still not convinced this coin shortage is a “thing.”

As summer began and we were still not able to travel much beyond our backyards and towns, bicycles became scarce and people also began buying swimming pools of all shapes and sizes. By June it was rare to find even the most modest of kiddie pools in the stores. We’ve had a backyard above-ground pool for about five years so I’ve been good to go since Bert put it up in May.

We had plenty of chlorine tablets, shock treatment and filters from last year to tide us over this summer until we realized last week that we’d need a few more filters to get through the next month or so. That’s when I discovered the next item to be missing from store shelves, pool filters. Online they’re plentiful and pricey but most orders won’t even ship until late September or early October, just in time for pool season in North Idaho to be over. Calling around I scored what I needed at Pool World in Coeur d’Alene where I was told that the few remaining on their shelves weren’t likely to be replaced in the foreseeable future.

There should be a contest to predict what the next shortage will be.

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Happy birthday today to Barrett Herman, celebrating his very first birthday, joining Vicky Jo Carey, Scott Noordam, Amy Elder, Peter Woods and Frank Garcia. Tomorrow Mary Condie, Nancy Scofield, Elaine Carda, David Buerge, Louise Gillespie, Christina Gardner, Gene Colley and Art Elliott share Aug. 20 birthdays.

Celebrating on Friday are Crystal Shofner-Moore, Jared Phay, Matthew Behringer, Doris McCaulley, Mike Warren, Ed Hatter and Kelly Chadderdon. Saturday Brett Seright, Leanne Campbell, Mary Gomer, Cathy Smith, David Walrath, Cecilia Peterson and Lilliana Raynor blow out the candles. On Sunday wish a happy birthday to Art Flagan, Susie Heitstuman, Beth Dagastine, Debbie Berger, Eileen Mann, Bobby Bunch, Donnie Goodnature and Rod Robins.

Starting the week with Monday birthdays are Peggy Turrell, Karen Sorbel, Mike Dodge, Linda Fox, Lori Chissie, Sarah Rasmussen and Eric Burgeson. Taking another trip around the sun on Aug. 25 are Jeff Selle, Ali Shute, Angie Penzkover, Rhonda Budvarson, Staci Anderson, Cindi Carlson, Mack Mannschreck and Lydia Myers.

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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.