Friday, March 21, 2014


It seems that the last dog days of winter finds the grim reaper ready and able.

We lost two huge citizens in the recent past. Not huge in size, but in stature.

First Lanny Spurlock, who was often referred to as Mayor for life in Athol, indeed was, since he died in office after nineteen years as mayor. He was a gentle common as an old shoe kind of guy. No big shot in him at all. He recognized the need for Athol to stay small due to the preponderance of  lower priced homes in the city. Folks that couldn't have kept their homes if they had to pay for sewers.

H stood firmly against expansion, knowing that the one place in the county that lower income people could live, was Athol. The septic  system they are on is at about capacity for today's rules.

When I first announced the Athol Daze parade, he dropped by to appoint me as announcer for life. He apparently thought I did a passable job, and he liked lifetime appointments. I'll be there again this Summer, in honor of Mayor for life, Lanny Spurlock, as long as I'm able and wanted.

The second was a tragedy, involving one of Coeur d'Alene's finest attorneys. He tried many cases that were high profile, such as rhe federal trial of Sheriff Frank Crnkovich. for racketeering. He was charged with ignoring gambling and prostitution in the County. Yes he did. Those vices were long a tradition in this mining community where the young single miners outnumbered the population's families. For over 100 years these things were woven into the fablic of Wallace life. In several cases, the madams donated to community causes. He was acquitted.

Sam Eismann, attorney was once a U.S. attorney, a state legislator and practiced law for almost 50 years as a criminal defense specialist. He was a boon to prison overcrowding. Sam died March 16 early in the morning of hypothermia and subsequent drowning, according to the Kootenai County Sheriff Department. Sam owned a float home in Bayview which he stayed in regularly and from which he drowned. He loved Lake Pend Oreille and the village of Bayview, and Bayview loved him back.

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