Monday, May 17, 2021

Focus on the banks in the coming year

| January 13, 2021 1:00 AM

“Civilization is a stream with banks. The stream is sometimes filled with blood from people killing, stealing, shouting and doing things historians usually record, while on the banks, unnoticed, people build homes, make love, raise children, sing songs, write poetry.

"The story of civilization is the story of what happened on the banks.” — 1935 preface to the first volume of "The Story of Civilization" by Will Durant.

I’ve long loved this quote and use it for a philosophical template of what I hope to achieve each week in this column … focus on the people on the banks. There’s no shortage of doom, gloom, contentiousness and negativity to be found without much effort. As we head into a new year and a long winter, we’re grateful for the promise of spring, with summer soon to follow.

Do I have opinions on current events, local, regional and national? You bet. Do I need to shout them from the rooftop or in this column? Not at all. Those who know me know those opinions and those who don’t probably could not care less.

I continue to be awed by the resilience of the human spirit and the generosity of those among us who have the least. The good Lord willing and the creek don’t rise, I’ll continue to shine the light on the banks of the community where historians rarely tread.

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Twelve days after retiring from a 37-year career in law enforcement former Kootenai County Sheriff Ben Wolfinger started a new job. Now a substitute teacher in the Coeur d'Alene School District, he exchanged his uniform and badge for a brightly colored M&M tie and subbed at Borah Elementary on Monday.

According to his wife, Mary, Ben had a smile on his face when he came home, although he was a little hoarse.

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In 2020 I estimate having read more than 100 books. Books are my happy place, especially when living through stressful times. They offer a respite and escape. I enjoy biographies of interesting people and crime/suspense novels.

Early in the stay-at-home, limited outings era I started to read George Orwell's 1984. After just a few chapters I realized it certainly wasn't the kind of escapism I was seeking. I still haven't picked it back up. It seems we may be living much of what was created as fiction.

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Happy Birthday today to JJ Dion, Joni Clevenger, Janice Myers, Mike Jorgenson, Karen Gage, Judy Manley, Tory Lee, Karen Holt, Teddi Johnson, Tasha Holmes and Andy Irgens. Tomorrow Teresa Wasileski, Addison Baltzell, Judy Eichelberger, Anita Weaver, Claudia Elliott, Jason Wereley (50!) and Jaden Alexander mark the day of their birth.

Rex Grace, Gayle Erickson, Paula Laws, Betsy Anderson, Kelli Ormesher and Jim Roberge take another trip around the sun on Friday. Saturday Kenny Peterson, Anita Millward, John Keener, Shelly Robson, Kelly Blaski (60!), Charlie Kimball, Mary Mort, Nick Dimico, Bill Miller and Elaine Cook will celebrate.

On Sunday Eden Irgens, Michelle Martens and Charles Newman are putting on their party hats. Kenna Scott, Travis Chaney, Aubrey Davis, Mike Webb, BJ Holinka, Suzanne Courtney, Amanda Kralicek, Kristy Walsh, Mike Taylor and Nina Tikalsky share birthdays on Monday. Austin Isakson, Wade McLean, Roy Carlson, Gavin Krieg and Terry Drapeau blow out the candles on January 19.

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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 Follow her on Twitter @kerrithoreson.