Sunday, December 10, 2023

Thanks from the heart for the lessons

| January 11, 2023 1:00 AM

Sometimes, something happens right on deadline that stops me in my tracks. Tuesday afternoon was one of those times. As I prepared to file this column, I received a press release from the Coeur d’Alene Tribe about the unexpected passing of David Matheson. I’m reeling. I first met Dave in 1998, when he was CEO of the Coeur d’Alene Casino. I was executive director of the Post Falls Chamber of Commerce. The tribe was bringing their Julyamsh Pow Wow to the Greyhound Park for the first time and I served on a small committee with him. Through the years, I learned so much about pow wows, native culture and my friends from the Coeur d’Alene Tribe. Those friendships endured long after the pow wow.

Dave on horseback, his second home, was a spectacular sight. But Dave the visionary, the leader, the soft spoken and wise Renaissance Man is who I’m grieving.

Once during a Julyamsh Pow Wow meeting I was a bit fired up about a vendor who I believed was taking advantage of the tribe’s generosity. Dave looked at me, smiled and said “We need to keep a good heart in all things.”

Many times in the 25 years since, I’ve recalled Dave’s words to keep a good heart in all things. Words that have served me well. Thank you, David Matheson, for your friendship and lessons.


Although February is Heart Health Month, January is always a reminder to me. In 2008, I was emceeing the Post Falls Chamber's Annual Awards Banquet. During the evening, I felt a bit clammy, muddleheaded and short of breath on the microphone, but finished the event.

I told Bert that I was feeling "odd" and didn't want to go home, I wanted to go to the emergency room at Kootenai Health. That decision saved my life.

At the ER, within minutes, the doctor told me the bad news was that I was having a heart attack, but the good news was that I was at the hospital. Within 30 minutes, I was receiving two coronary stents. I was 55 years old. Today, I'm 70, and since 2008, I've enjoyed 5,829 bonus days. Every day is a blessing for real.

Each year approximately 800,000 people in the U.S. experience a heart attack. Heart disease is the No. 1 cause of death world-wide.

While symptoms of a heart attack are often subtle, especially with women, here’s what I know. You’ll know when something just doesn’t feel right. Trust yourself to know and don’t hesitate to seek help! Listen to your body and take action.

I’ll never forget one of the nurses from the heart center coming into my room the next day and thanking me. Puzzled I asked why she was thanking me. She said that she was trained to save lives and because I’d made the wise decision to come to the ER, she and her team were able to do just that. The bonus days are sweet.


Friday the 13th is in two days. I’m not super superstitious but prefer not to tempt fate. So, I’ll not be walking under ladders, will keep an eye out for black cats to avoid and not break a mirror. Then I can relax until October, when the second and final Friday the 13th of 2023 happens.

In a quick poll of my Facebook village about being superstitious, it appears for the most part they aren’t. Marlo Gerber said Friday the 13th is just another day and she’s just happy when it’s Friday and her work week is over. Sarah Andrews pooh-poohed superstition, declaring most Friday the 13ths have been great days for her. Rhonda McIntire Budvarson figures that a Monday the 13th is worse than a Friday the 13th, since Fridays can never be totally bad. Vicki Isakson said when she was younger she and her friends knew it was a bad idea to hit the bars on Friday the 13th or during a full moon, due to an abundance of “crazies.”

At least a dozen responded that it’s a good day, no worries. My favorite response was from Angela Hatch, who said she and her husband, David, were married on a Friday the 13th, so it’s a good day for her. When I asked how long they’d been married, she replied, “Almost 14 years.” Oh my gosh, I cracked up. So maybe she’s superstitious about saying she’d been married 13 years!


Happy Birthday today to Kathy Kress White, Chris Hansen, Luke Gonzales, Tim Elder, Cora Cole, Amy Morfitt, Ivan Bosanko and Nathan Johnson. Tomorrow Vivienne Mitchell (First birthday!), Mike Baker, Deborah Shaw, Pat Russell, Wendy Wallin, Debbie Oliver and Ryan Wichman will blow out their candles. On Friday the 13th Andy Irgens turns 13! Also celebrating lucky Friday the 13th birthdays are Len Benes, JJ Dion, Joni Clevenger, Janice Myers, Mike Jorgenson, Karen Gage, Judy Manley, Tory Lee, Karen Holt, Teddi Johnson and Tasha Holmes. Saturday celebrants are Teresa Wasileski, Addison Baltzell, Judy Eichelberger, Anita Weaver, Claudia Elliott (80!), Jason Wereley and Jaden Alexander. Taking another trip around the sun on Sunday are Rex Grace, Gayle Erickson, Paula Laws, Betsy Anderson, Kelli Ormesher and Jim Roberge. On Monday Kenny Peterson, Gail Wilson (70!), Anita Millward, John Keener, Shelly Robson, Kelly Blaski, Charlie Kimball, Mary Mort, Nick Dimico, Bill Miller and Elaine Cook will hear the birthday song. On Jan. 17 Paul Anderson, Valentina Tripepi-Shoop, Eden Irgens, Michelle Martens and Charles Newman are putting on their party hats.


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.

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