Friday, April 12, 2024

A carrier never (ever) forgets

| May 22, 2020 1:00 AM

Ryan Brodwater is now a capital projects manager for the Spokane Transit Authority. But in another life he was one of four sons of Mike and Sandi Brodwater who delivered papers for the Press.

And he still has one of those Mount St. Helens masks that Councilwoman Kiki Miller helped make when she was a district circulation manager for the Press — you know, the handkerchiefs with the inscription: “Cd’A Press carriers deliver thru rain, snow, sleet & volcanic ash.”

Ryan was only 6 when the mountain erupted, so the bandana had to have belonged to one of his older brothers, Mike or Alan, who had routes in the Fairway Hills (public golf course) area. Ryan tells Huckleberries that he vividly remembers riding with them and “leaving cool tracks in the ash.”

The Brodwater boys came by their childhood work naturally. Momma Sandi handled calendar events and community news for the Press in a column called Kootenai Kaleidescope. Poppa Mike wrote travel articles for both the Press and The Spokesman-Review.

Ryan grew up to become an engineering technician for the city of Post Falls from 2001 to 2007 before moving on to jobs with Spokane Valley, Spokane, and now the Spokane Transit Authority. Recently, he completed the new Moran Station Park and Ride, as well as several high-performance transit bus stops. He is married to Mandy Manning, the 2018 National Teacher of the Year who made headlines when she wore Pride and pro-refugee buttons while speaking at the Trump White House.

Ryan speaks fondly of his days as a newsboy. He learned how to ride a skateboard stacked with papers and could “roll, band, and throw while riding down a street.” Collecting subscription money was another thing. Crabby people treated him poorly, including an old-timer who griped every month the paper was only good for cleaning up dog poop. Says Ryan, “As if it was my fault he had to pay.”

Such early encounters with grouches prepared him for a life of public service.

Little surfer boy

Woody McEvers, the popular Cd’A councilman and Rustler’s Roost owner, resembles an aging surfer dude because, well, he used to be one, at Malibu, from 1967-70. He picked up trash — stick and bag — and cleaned restrooms by morning and surfed at noon. Woody considers his maintenance work to be the “best job ever!” Once, Woody Facebooks, he and a friend skipped school to surf and were paranoid all day that a truant officer would catch them. To which a friend responded: “Once?”


• Poet’s Corner: Within this building you will see/small countless acts of bravery/and kindness shown to fellow man;/it teaches more than sermons can — The Bard of Sherman Avenue (“The Cancer Center”).

• Crickets Restaurant & Oyster Bar on Sherman Facebooks to the “sub-human pieces of trash” who rained on its reopening Saturday by tagging the freshly painted and remodeled bathrooms: “I hope you grow up someday and stop hurting others for no reason.” Ditto.

• Add this PSA from Gary Dagastine, the Post Falls man who, with his wife, has served local businesses well during the C-Bug scare by dining daily at local restaurants: “The 50 percent seating and distancing is still not going to work for a lot of these poor folks with small inside areas. They are still going to need our help to stay afloat.” Go thou and do likewise.

• Bumpersnicker (on a gray Jeep parked at Independence Point this week with “Idaho veteran” inscribed on the license plate holder): “God bless our troops, especially our snipers.”

Parting Shot

If you look closely — as Ryan Rickard of Coeur d’Alene did — you’ll spot a fun surprise in Bill Buley’s front-page picture of the crowd outside the Iron Horse during the coronavirus Phase 2 reopening Saturday. Ryan describes Bill’s photo of the woman wearing a Corona Extra ballcap backward as “hilarious and ironic.” Downplaying his swell photo, Bill told Huckleberries he didn’t see the ballcap until later: “I was lucky on that one.” Tongue firmly cheeked, the aforementioned Gary Dagastine said the picture would have been doubly perfect if Bill had added someone with a squeeze of Lyme disease.

• • •

You can contact D.F. Oliveria at and/or join his Facebook page.