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  • It's all about family

    Roger Lucas|Nov 15, 2023

    Thanksgiving is about family. Without family Thanksgiving is just another holiday. This year, Kim, our youngest daughter, is coordinating the Thanksgiving dinner. She lives in Louisiana and arrived here on Monday. Each year the menu changes a bit, depending on the collective mood in family members. Nathan and his wife Karen will be here from Portland. He recently announced retiring from teaching at a private school in Portland. We will get to see the new book he published with pictures of all the courthouses in Oregon, about 35 of them. The...

  • Three times no thanks

    Roger Lucas|Nov 8, 2023

    I first met Mr. Sis when I took my shoes in to get them half-soled. Sims had the local shoe repair shop in Palouse. His daughter Delores was in my class at school and a close friend of mine. Not of the dating kind of friend, just a friend. Mr. Sims visited with me for quite a while, which surprised me, but I thought it was probably because Delores knew me. When I returned to pick up my shoes, he took some time visiting with me and asking a lot of questions. Then he suggested that when I wasn’t busy some afternoon to drop by his shop. I’m sti...

  • Scott wins statewide award

    Roger Lucas|Nov 1, 2023

    Our Scott Hunter received the Miles Turnbull award for excellence in journalism. Turnbull was the publisher of the Leavenworth paper and later executive director of the Washington Newspaper Publishers Association. He is deceased, but remembered for his dedication to the principles of journalism. Miles traveled around the state visiting the various newspapers and was always asked for tips on how to run a newspaper more efficiently, especially a need in today’s marketplace. The award is given periodically to an outstanding publisher who beats t...

  • Memorable stops, sights along the way

    Roger Lucas|Oct 25, 2023

    Everyone has memories and favorite places. Here are a few of mine. We were vacationing in Wyoming and had our oldest son, Paul, with us. Our plan was to stay overnight and travel to the Tetons the next day. We stopped at the Irma Hotel to get rooms and learned that we could get the Buffalo Bill suite that had two bedrooms for a very reasonable amount, so we took it. We learn that Bill Cody stayed there when he wasn’t traveling with his Wild West show. The suite was well worn and very plain. A large picture of Cody was on the wall, the only a...

  • Just call him Smith

    Roger Lucas|Oct 18, 2023

    We visited Grand Cayman Island back in the 1970s, before it mushroomed into a popular vacation spot. Grand Cayman is one of three islands in the chain, and about 200 miles off Cuba. My wife and I were looking for a getaway place, and our travel agent in Kirkland said he had just the spot for us. At the time, the only thing I knew about the Cayman Islands was that people hid their money there so they didn’t have to pay taxes. I didn’t have any money so it wasn’t going to be a problem. At the time, the biggest island, Grand Cayman, was large...

  • My favorite time of the year

    Roger Lucas|Oct 11, 2023

    My pick is the fall. It offers some relief from the heat, and everything seems to return to normal. The tourists have thinned out, school is back in session, and the football season is upon us. I also like the fall colors. We don’t have a lot here in the coulee, but what we have is great. I’ve been to the New England states, but never at the right time of year. I moved to southern Idaho when I was in my 20s and always anxious to see new things. I discovered the South Hills, a splotch of hills and forests just south of Twin Falls. There were lar...

  • Ads, penalties and the cheap rich

    Roger Lucas|Oct 4, 2023

    It’s football time and I am getting confused. Between time taken up by penalties and replays, plus ads, it’s getting tough to watch games. There are five- and 10-minute stretches where nothing is happening except poorly conceived ads and avoidable penalties. With all the talent in the country, you would think at least some ads would show some creativity. The penalties show me that there isn’t a lot of fine tuning going on in football programs. Upping test scores It’s time for parents and townspeople to take more of an interest in our schools...

  • Idaho's best football players

    Roger Lucas|Sep 27, 2023

    As a kid I remember rooting for Idaho when they played the Cougars. It was great in both 1999 and 2000 when the Vandals won. In 1999, Idaho won 28-17, and in 2000, 38-34. They had a great tradition: the losing cheer squad had to walk from Pullman to Moscow, about nine miles. Needless to say that the Vandal cheer squad over the years got very familiar with the scenes between the two towns. Later it was great football when Jerry Kramer and Wayne Walker played for the Vandals. The two had great careers at Idaho and were drafted in the fourth...

  • Losing a national treasure

    Roger Lucas|Sep 20, 2023

    We are slowly losing a national treasure. Former president Jimmy Carter is 99 years old and is under permanent hospice care in his home in Plains, Georgia. His wife Rosalynn is also under hospice care. Jimmy is a national treasure and continues to be an inspiration to the country. The Iran hostage crisis began during his first year in office, 1977. The hostages were released as soon as Reagan defeated Carter amid reports of the B-actor’s activities to take advantage of the crisis. Carter was later awarded the Nobel Peace Prize and the P...

  • Football season is back

    Roger Lucas|Sep 6, 2023

    Last Saturday was football time. For so many of us it was time to slump down in the old recliner and focus on the television set. My days of covering football for a newspaper are over, but the season causes me to relive some peculiar football times. While at the paper in Boise, I had the opportunity to travel a bit. One trip was to Utah State University in Logan, Utah to cover the Idaho-USU afternoon game. I had a former colleague who was on staff at the Salt Lake Tribune. He asked me to travel with his paper's photographer from Logan to Salt...

  • Stages of an extended family

    Roger Lucas|Aug 30, 2023

    For a lot of years, I have enjoyed how my family has grown. It started and flourished for a time with my four kids, two boys and two girls. It is always true that as parents we have notions on what our kids might become. Toss that idea; kids are going to make their own choices, and sometimes stumble along the way. If you are honest and clear your mind, you likely will remember a few times you stubbed your toes along the way. As parents, we have the unique ability to make adjustments and start over again. Sometimes it takes a lot of adjusting....

  • Happy drew the crowds

    Roger Lucas|Aug 16, 2023

    Happy Humphrey was a professional wrestler. He stood out because he weighed over 600 pounds. Happy came to Boise near the twilight of his career, and the place where he wrestled had to be reinforced due to his weight. The wrestling promoter had tried to convince me that I should cover pro wrestling. I told the promoter that I would cover Happy’s match if he would let me interview him before the match. Happy wore britches and a huge shirt, and he resembled a rodeo clown. He was huge. I challenged him and said I didn’t think he weighed over 600...

  • It's the deep blue ones

    Roger Lucas|Aug 9, 2023

    Quite a few years ago my friend, Will Chaussee, asked me to take some time during my trip to Thailand to see if there might be any Thai interest in purchasing sapphires from his mine in Montana. Will had a cedar lumber company in Bothell and sold out his interest in it to spend full time mining sapphires. The mine was halfway between Hamilton and Philipsburg, Montana on mountain road 38. We were invited several years in a row to vacation at the mine. There was good fishing in a creek running nearby, and, of course, the promise of sapphires....

  • What to do with those letters…

    Roger Lucas|Aug 2, 2023

    Last week I came across a number of old letters written to me from my three older brothers who served in various theaters of war during World War II. They were written in the 1940s, some nearly 80 years ago. The question I am facing is, do I toss them or hang on to them? So, I settled in for a trip down memory lane and decided to re-read them. My three brothers were Richard, who was drafted and served in the army; David, who was drafted and served in the air force; and Robert, who volunteered in the navy when he was 17. I have several letters f...

  • Saying goodbye to a friend

    Roger Lucas|Jul 19, 2023

    I recently returned to Palouse to say goodbye to my final classmate. Bob Olson and I were born in 1930, at the beginning of the Great Depression. We entered the first grade together in 1936, midway through some very hard times. In fact, 15 of our graduation class of 24 in 1948 entered the first grade together. Bob had requested that there not be a funeral service, so his younger brother Arvid chose a graveside event for those who would come. So Bob had been a friend for 87 years. That’s a long friendship. We were casual friends for many of t...

  • Symbols that make a story

    Roger Lucas|Jul 12, 2023

    While taking a walk recently I had the opportunity to visit with my neighbor, Brad McConnell. Brad has lived next to me for nearly five years and this is the most extensive visit we’ve had. As we were talking about travel, he shared his experience in the Statue of Liberty. That’s right, “in” the statue. The Statue of Liberty is probably the most familiar patriotic symbol we have in this country. It is located on Liberty Island with New York City as a backdrop. Brad spent the better part of a day at the statue. A good part of the time, he was...

  • Experience Mel Johnson

    Roger Lucas|Jun 28, 2023

    Mel Johnson is an oil painter I first met while living in Bothell. I used a framer in Lake Forest Park to frame pictures I liked. Knowing I was a reporter, he said that I ought to do a story about Johnson. He had a couple of Johnson’s paintings hanging in his gallery. They looked interesting so I called Mel and set up a time I could go over to his place and talk with him. That’s when I came to say “experience him,” rather than just meet him. It may seem cruel to say he was strange. But he was strange. It appeared that his paintings reveale...

  • Less traveled roads

    Roger Lucas|Jun 21, 2023

    When we used to return to Southern Idaho to visit my wife’s family, we were usually treated to something special by her brother, Robert Compton. He is still known affectionately as “Uncle Bob.” This particular time we got in his car and headed to Jarbidge, Nevada. We headed down Highway 93 to Rogerson, Idaho, where we turned west on a very questionable road. The road xsxsign said 28 miles to Jarbidge. Jarbidge lies in Elko County, very close to the Idaho line. The road follows a canyon with high mountains around. Soon my brother-in-law turne...

  • Can you package pep?

    Roger Lucas|Jun 14, 2023

    If you could, you would end up with someone who has the human characteristics of Colleen Leskinen. Colleen lives a couple of miles out of Nespelem. She was mayor there for 14 years, but if you know her it is probably for her daycare program. Not long ago she applied for and won a state grant to erect a daycare center on her 80-acre farm. She has provided daycare for the area for a number of years, in her home. This fall her new daycare facility will be finished and Colleen will be authorized to provide services for up to 50 children. She...

  • Whoever stayed in his dump?

    Roger Lucas|Jun 7, 2023

    When checking into a motel or hotel have you ever wondered who had stayed in this place? In this country, places seldom reveal who has been there before you, like it would be an invasion of privacy. That’s not true in many places, at least in the Orient. Several places I have stayed in, like Taiwan, Calcutta, and Burma, apparently want you to know that they are visited regularly by the rich and famous. For instance, in Taipei, on the island of Taiwan, they make it a point to let you know who some of their most famous guests have been. The G...

  • Palouse's own Dick Eicher

    Roger Lucas|May 31, 2023

    If you are a basketball fan and have been around the sport for a while, you will know the name. When the Denver Nuggets won over the Lakers the other day, I recalled how I knew him. Dick went to school in Palouse and was part of a trio of lads growing up there, including myself and a boy named Jon Skovlin. Dick had a rich basketball life in Palouse and then four years at Eastern Washington, where he played for Red Reese. He then made his way to Denver, where he was instrumental in starting the Denver Rockets, a pro team that later became the...

  • Strange baseball season

    Roger Lucas|May 24, 2023

    With the basketball season coming to a close, we will be into baseball. It will be a strange season; I can’t name a single player, on any team. I remember that when I was covering baseball, I kept track of several big league players, many of them from the Boise Valley where I worked for the Idaho Statesman newspaper. Baseball was big in the valley, partially because we had a Milwaukee farm club locally. The Boise Braves were part of the Pioneer League, a class C franchise. But baseball was big for another reason. We had several players from t...

  • Miss Colville Tribes

    Roger Lucas|May 17, 2023

    The Colville Tribes have reason to be proud of Michelle Stanger. Michelle just returned from Albuquerque, New Mexico, where she competed along with 26 other Indian national representatives for national honors and the opportunity to represent Indian tribes, teaching diversity, throughout the world. Michelle was selected as Miss Colville Confederated Tribes last July and has been representing the 12 tribes since then. She won local recognition through competition on the reservation. Michelle and her mother Lucy drove to New Mexico in late April,...

  • Have we run out of best foot forward?

    Roger Lucas|May 10, 2023

    I have been to the nation’s capital city. My efforts have been to see as many famous places as a day there will allow. My first visit was a real disappointment. We had hired a tour guide to shepherd us around, believing that we would see more if we didn’t have to worry about the traffic, a wise decision. I recalled these visits when I went out to cut several tulips for the house. We were driving around, and our driver stopped and said, “I’m going to get those tulip bulbs.” There was a large flower bed where someone had dug up the tulips. T...

  • Checking on an old friend

    Roger Lucas|May 3, 2023

    Hearing the deadly dust storm on Monday caused me some alarm. The storm was reported to be in Indiana, where I have a close friend. So I called Warner Bartleson, who is well known in the coulee. Warner was hospital administrator here for four years in the early 1990s, during the struggle to save the hospital. Warner said they had the wind, but no dust. However, the area was visited by four tornadoes recently. Warner’s wife, Sara, had recently suffered a bad fall and is still recovering from that. He remarked that the years he was here were r...

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