Friday, June 18, 2021

The story behind the Obama sticker

| July 17, 2020 1:00 AM

Regular readers of the Coeur d’Alene Press Opinion page know that letter writer Marvin George Miller of Coeur d’Alene is a red-meat conservative. He eats liberals for breakfast. And considers President Donald Trump to be one of our nation’s greatest presidents.

But did you know that Marvin once drove around town with a Barack Obama sticker on the bumper of his truck, during the former president’s first run for office?

There’s more to the story, of course. And Marvin tells it in Chapter 29 of an autobiography that he published in 2019, “The Way It Was — As I Remember It.”

Seems Vic Eachon, a Rathdrum man known for canning top-notch pickles, stuck the sticker on Marvin’s bumper surreptitiously. The caper followed a breakfast enjoyed by Marvin and wife Pat and Vic and his late wife, Kathy. Pat noticed what Vic was doing. But he swore her to secrecy.

Marvin learned a lesson from the incident: “Check the back bumper of your truck once in a while.”

Marvin’s book is full of such lessons learned: “Don’t think too much of yourself.” And: “Beware of deals.” And: “Never, never judge a person by how they look or dress.” Also, the 201-page paperback explains why he hates the word, “assume” — you know, it makes an “ass” out of “u” and “me.”

Above all, the pages of “The Way It Was” tell how a hard-working, humble couple who was willing to take business risks found success. The climb began with a trailer court and an A&W franchise in their native Dillon, Mont. After moving to Coeur d’Alene in 1977, they built the Showboat Theater on U.S. 95 and later sold it and the adjacent Skate Plaza to Candlelight Christian Fellowship.

“We thought we were building a movie theater. God was building a church!” writes Marvin, who walks his Christian talk.

Marvin George Miller is proof that people who work hard and dream tend to have the most “luck.”

Shoeless in CdA

Councilman Dan Gookin created a buzz at the July 7 council meeting by going shoeless.

The rest of his attire was routine. But nothing was covering his bunions during the meeting or afterward while he was standing in the parking lot.

The Coeur d’Alene Public Library has a policy that requires staff and patrons to wear shoes. AND that policy extends to the community room downstairs, where the City Council meets.

We’ll see next meeting whether Councilman Gookin reprises his Huck Finn look. Until then, the question remains: Why did he do it in the first place?

He emailed his answer to Huckleberries: “I thought it would be a fun and crazy thing to do.” At least, it gave us something to discuss that wasn’t COVID-related.


• So what do you do when you buy a red, white, and blue dress on sale during winter that’s meant to be worn on the Fourth of July — and COVID happens?

Anne Marin of Hayden didn’t squander her purchase or the holiday. She put on the stylish garment, called Rolig, her 5-year-old Corgi, and modeled the outfit for neighbors around the block. She says she stayed clear of grates because she didn’t want to go “full Marilyn” (think: Marilyn Monroe, New York subway grate).

• Yesteryears: On this day 50 years ago, R.J. “Bob” DeArmond was named president of Idaho Forest Industries. Former president J.S. Richards became chairman of the board. And W.T. “Tom” Richards became executive vice president. You might be a newcomer if you don’t know the economic and civic contributions the three lumbermen made to this area.

• Poet’s Corner: The hot dog’s largely tripe and fat/with snouts and tails and such as that;/ because of this some folks eschew them,/but I’m quite pleased to barbecue them — The Bard of Sherman Avenue (“Hot Dogs”).

• Sign of the Times (on Dalton Elementary readerboard): “Dinosaurs didn’t read, now they are extinct. Keep reading.”

• Just Joking (from vocalist Karen Riggs of Northbound Bluegrass Band in City Park Sunday): Question: “What’s the difference between a pizza and a banjo player?” Answer: “A pizza feeds a family of four.” Onward.

Parting Shot

Steve Sibulsky, happily semi-retired in southern Arizona, is surprised to be reminded of huckleberries regularly.

During a career in Coeur d’Alene radio and voice-over production, Steve was acquainted with the wild berry found in our mountains and this long-running Huckleberries column (1985 to present).

But that’s not why his thoughts turn to huckleberries in far-off Arizona. Almost nightly on the news, he hears from a Huckleberry — Pima County Administrator Chuck Huckleberry. Emails Steve: “Oh, and we do still have a few bags of the purple gold left in the freezer!”

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You can contact D.F. “Dave” Oliveria at


Courtesy photo Dan English, left, talks with 'Shoeless' Dan Gookin.