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EDITORIAL: Follow this fun guide to understanding

| October 23, 2022 1:00 AM

There’s treasure right under your nose.

And in our humble opinion, it should be dug up weekly by every North Idaho resident who had the misfortune of having been born elsewhere.

Yep, that’s most of us.

From a pure entertainment perspective, Dave Oliveria’s Huckleberries column, published every Sunday in the Lifestyles section of this newspaper, is hard to beat.

The Bard of Sherman Avenue, may he rest in peace, plied his poetic powers to reflect life around Lake Coeur d’Alene, and he lives on in Oliveria’s Poet’s Corner.

From Bumpersnickers to Parting Shots, you’ll be laughing out loud one minute and wondering what the world's coming to in the next.

There’s a reason we’re airing this “crummy commercial,” in the immortal words of Ralphie from “A Christmas Story,” to promote Oliveria’s column today. When we suggest that it should be required reading, that’s really what we mean.

Huckleberries imparts local history lessons without the tedium that so often accompanies writers’ plunges into the past. By mixing in recent society page-worthy items with deeper background that helps explain why things are the way they are today, Oliveria deftly fills in important holes of community understanding.

Greater understanding leads to stronger unity, better neighborliness and wiser decision-making. Ignorance of why things are the way they are heads down dead-end alleys, culminating in poor decisions that ultimately hurt the community.

Oliveria’s column isn’t a cure for all that ails North Idaho, but it’s a good starting point for both the curious and the ambitious. Yes, we’re talking about political candidates who move here and embark almost immediately on quests to remake the area in their image.

Stephen Covey might have said it best with one of his 7 Habits of Highly Effective People: Seek first to understand, then to be understood (Habit No. 5).

When it comes to living in and leading North Idaho, Dave Oliveria’s weekly Huckleberries column is a firm and fun step in that direction.

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