Monday, April 12, 2021

Beauty queens and basketball

by KERRI THORESON/Special to The Press
| April 7, 2021 1:00 AM

LaDonna McCaw is living her dream as a pilot and loves sharing the view from the sky with friends, documenting her passengers with photographs. I had the pleasure of taking a turn in the cockpit with her this past July and loved it.

LaDonna is a member of The 99s, the International Women Pilots’ organization founded by Amelia Earhart in 1929. So she knew she wanted her 99th guest passenger to be “a smart, strong, inspiring woman.”

Enter Elaine Heston Damschen ... business owner, community volunteer, wife, mother, daughter. Elaine just happens to be the reigning Mrs. Coeur d’Alene and in the "small world" we live in, LaDonna was Mrs. Coeur d’Alene in 2007.

There were a couple of mega-watt smiles flying over the Coeur d’Alene area on Saturday, that’s for sure!

• • •

I enjoy basketball as long as it’s the Post Falls Trojans or Gonzaga Bulldogs playing. High school basketball season ended so following the Zags took center stage. After last year’s NCAA March Madness was an early casualty of COVID-19, this year’s lead up with Gonzaga undefeated game after incredible game was extra sweet.

On Saturday evening for their Final Four match-up with UCLA at the tip-off I was 68 years old. Forty-five mind-blowing minutes of basketball later I’d aged several years. The 3-point shot at the buzzer to propel Gonzaga to the championship game will be in college basketball highlight reels for generations.

Monday night’s championship game with Baylor had me flashing back to the intro to Wide World of Sports back in the day … the thrill of victory and the agony of defeat. The contrast between Saturday night’s euphoria and Monday night’s steamroll of a game was stunning.

But what an amazing season and gift the young men from Gonzaga provided to all of us just starving for the normalcy of life pre-COVID. For one brief shining moment we were all along for the ride with them, and oh, what a ride!

• • •

I’ve noticed something wonderful lately. There are actually events on my April and May calendars! Last year at this time the only way I knew the day of the week was by looking at my daily pill holder. It seems we’re able to clear the cobwebs off our calendars and embrace life as we knew it.

Main Street, April 2020: As I write this we’re preparing for a historic meeting of the Post Falls City Council. My fellow councilors and I, along with the mayor will have held the Tuesday meeting via Zoom, which was transmitted to a Facebook Live feed on the city’s Facebook page. I feel like I’ve just written something in a foreign language. Not in a million years did I ever envision virtual meetings to conduct the business of the citizens of our city. Thankfully this is a temporary fix and soon the chambers will be filled with the public weighing in on issues and decisions that affect us all.

*note: one year later our meetings are still a hybrid of in-person and Zoom due to the governor’s orders limiting the number of people allowed to gather. Sigh.

• • •

Happy Birthday today to Carrie Gridley Shenfield, Katie Keane, Mary Epstein, Melaine Spalding and Eli Gonzales. Tomorrow Amy Bartoo (60!), Wilma Higgins, Greg Prado, Kevin Kram, Patrick Hughes, Veldon Lee and Shanna Riske will put on their party hats.

Friday Nicole Medlock, Jodi McKenzie, Kimber Gates, John Hays, Caleb Peck, Carol Graham, Joan Nowoj-Phelps, Cynthia Taggart and Tom Messina mark the anniversary of their birth. Dianna Scott, Sandra Borg, Jim Hightower, Darin McEvers, Sharon Finnerty, Kathryn Rosia and Nancy Benjamin do the birthday dance on Saturday and Sunday Lonna Duncan, Idella Mansfield, Karen Zande, Doreen Johnson, Karen Reagan and DiAnna Macklin are the birthday girls.

Monday birthdays for Dorothy Morey, Mallary Juarez, Connie Munk, Russell Heitstuman and Kevin Reed. On April 13 Chloe Hudson, Angelina Pischner, Evalyn Adams, Kathy Behm and Corbin Messina take another trip around the sun.

• • •

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 Follow her on Twitter @kerrithoreson.