Doug Clark wasn’t looking for a sign when he visited Coeur d’Alene on Tuesday.
But he found one while waiting for a burger at Hudson’s – a colorful poster advertising 20th Street Music Week on the restaurant’s wall.
“Seeing the poster at Hudson was a real unexpected bonus,” Doug told Huckleberries. “It was like someone handed me a platter of tasty fries to go with my double cheese pickle.”
Doug knew that event coordinator Jenny Wayman had done her job alerting Lake City to the annual event. From June 13-17, at noon, local buskers will serenade pedestrians on Sherman Avenue to raise funds for the 2nd Harvest Inland Northwest Food Bank.
Street Music Week, which started like a lark outside Spokane City Hall in 2002, has raised more than $290,000 to feed the poor. Ten years ago it spread to Coeur d’Alene, where Doug worked for La Presse (1976-83) before becoming a columnist at the Spokesman-Review.
Doug enjoys the ambiance of downtown Coeur d’Alene, from the motorcycles parked in front of the Iron Horse to diners eating along the sidewalks. He enjoys the bustle of visitors window shopping, queuing for ice cream, popping into taverns to listen to music and/or have a drink, holding hands, greeting friends.
The absence of such synergy in Spokane two decades ago kicked off Street Music Week.
During a family trip to Seattle in 2002, Doug was fascinated by downtown street talent. He remembers a drummer playing “like Gene Krupa” on plastic buckets. A guitarist impersonating Jimi Hendrix. Piano music and jazz compete for auditory space. And the break dancers amaze passers-by.
All he found in downtown Spokane upon his return was an elderly man on a stool fiddling with a toy recorder while reading a book outside the Bon Marché.
The retired journalist described Spokane’s street music simply, “It sucks.”
Doug knows music. An accomplished guitarist, he is the lead singer of Spokane’s Trailer Park Girls.
Doug told readers of his column that he would perform on the streets of Spokane during his lunch hour for a week. And then grabbed his guitar. He donated some $400 to the food bank, which he raised. Twelve other street musicians joined him in Spokane the following year. That number grew to over 300 at times, and expanded to the Garland District of Spokane, Coeur d’Alene, and even Appleton, Wis.
Doug has played every day since Street Music Week began – and will hit 100 consecutive performances by the end of week 2022. Any musician, no matter how talented, can perform.
“It’s not about virtuosity, it’s about generosity,” he said.
That world record-breaking rainbow trout destined for President Truman’s table 75 years ago has a different story.
As you may recall (Huckleberries, May 8), CC Shepherd of Opportunity, Washington, landed a world record 36-pound rainbow trout on Lake Pend Oreille which was shipped for dinner at Harry Truman.
Well, there’s more to the story.
Jim Worst reports that Shepherd and his father, RC (Bob) Worst were fishing partners that day, May 1, 1947. It appears they were trolling towards Garfield Bay when their lines started to unravel. Both thought they had caught a fish. Then they realized their lines had become tangled. And they had a big fish.
They untangled the lines and fought the fish for 45 minutes, not knowing whose line had caught it. They later decided that Shepherd caught the Big One.
Jim Worst doesn’t know if President Truman really ate Shepherd’s record catch. But he knows what happened to that world record Dolly Varden his dad caught two weeks later near Bayview. Jim and another guy were fishing with the worst worst that day.
“There definitely wasn’t the hype that Shep’s fish got because I only have a picture of me and my two sisters holding that fish,” Jim told Huckleberries. “I also know for a fact that President Truman did not feast on this trout. My family ate it for dinner.
Women also fish
By the way, Mrs. OG Olson of Post Falls also caught a huge rainbow on Lake Pend Oreille in 1947, about a month after Shepherd’s. She landed a 33½-pounder, which would have set a world record if Shepherd hadn’t caught her monster. Coeur d’Alene angler Wes Hamlet beat them both with a 37-pound rainbow six months later. At the time, Ms Olson’s rainbow was the biggest ever caught by a woman.
Poet’s Corner: She loves to hear the robin sing/its song in the tree,/yet the little garden worm/would probably disagree – The Bard of Sherman Avenue (“It’s all relative”).
A reader, named Judy, spotted an often-seen window sticker on a Pathfinder on Prairie last week: “Women who behave infrequently make history.” However, the woman behind the wheel was applying mascara while driving, prompting Judy to add, “She’s going to BE the story! I hope she doesn’t take anyone with her. Huckleberries second that sentiment.
Benewah County Coroner Ron Hodge and his lady, Molli, were traveling Highway 95 to Coeur d’Alene to decorate the graves of family members when they pulled up behind a blue Mazda with California plates. And this disclaimer chalked next to the license plate: “7B (Bonner County) local rental” with a smiley face. Ron and Molli honked and gave the driver a thumbs up. She laughed and waved her hand. You can’t be too careful these days.
The 72-year-old upperclass Coeur d’Alene invited former Vietnamese POW Fred McMurray to participate in all color guard activities for his 50th reunion in early August, even though he attended IHM Academy. However, he is married to CHS meetings of 50 or more. His wife, the former Judy Reiswig, is a member of the CHS class of 1965.
·Two signs along 9th Street Tuesday depict the Great Divide in the United States. Venture High’s reading board read, “Don’t Hate Appreciate.” And a block later, a huge banner on a trailer read, “Trump 2024: (F-bomb) your feelings.” What we have here is the communication failure.
On the Nextdoor app recently, a woman from Dalton Gardens had a message for a woman in a northbound RV on 3 p.m. Street toward Hayden: “You are not Sandra Bullock. It’s not “Speed”. Nothing will happen if you exceed the posted speed limit, I promise. Also, (it) wasn’t absolutely necessary to blow through 2 – yes, 2 – stop signs. Be careful there.
DF (Dave) Oliveria can be contacted at [email protected]