HUCKLEBERRIES: A nickel for your thoughts – and bikes

A man walks into the Lake City Bicycle Collective store and claims he has the strangest donation ever made.

Founder Tom Morgan is skeptical. He has received many strange gifts in his seven years with the nonprofit.

But Coeur d’Alene’s Jesse Suitter insists his contribution will surpass them all.

And it did.

He had over 500 pounds of nickel, $ 100 per bank box, and more in military metal containers for a total of $ 2,500.

After sorting and counting, Tom finds that this amount provides 100 free bikes for local children.

Tom, a former full-time HVAC mechanic, refurbishes donated and discarded bikes for children and others who cannot afford them. He gave away 178 bikes last Christmas. And has donated 2,000 bicycles since the non-profit organization was founded in 2014.

Jesse, now 37 and project manager for IT at Kootenai Health, grew up in a low-income family of five siblings who shared two or three bicycles. He dreamed of having one of his own. Later, as a young adult seeking financial freedom, he commuted by bike.

“I believe in bicycles,” said Jesse Huckleberries in a telephone interview. “It’s a great way to travel. It gives children freedom. Every child should have one. “

And the story has even more to offer.

Jesse began collecting nickel as an investment in 2010 after serving in the Coast Guard. Times were tough after the 2008 real estate crisis. Jesse and his wife were deeply in debt, as were their friends. Jesse assumed he was ahead of the game after investing in nickel as they had a melting value of 7.2 cents each.

Then he moved to Denver and four times within Denver and back here and several times within Coeur d’Alene. He had to pack the over 500 pounds of nickel with each move until he had enough.

Jesse never got the expected return on his investment. But he’s okay with that.

“Now,” he said, “I am making this investment that is guaranteed to improve children’s lives.”

If you’d like to donate some nickels to a good cause this Christmas, the Bicycle Cooperative can be found in the basement of First Baptist Church at 424 E. Wallace Ave. ([email protected]).

O pioneers!

One of the first women to attend a national congress as a delegate from a major political party was the Coeur d’Alene pioneer Teresa Graham. This emerges from her obituary in the Coeur d’Alene Press of November 13, 1951. Ms. Graham, about 83 years old, had died the day before. This remarkable woman immigrated here from London, Ontario in 1890, married lawyer James W. Graham in 1896, and became a delegate to the 1916 Democratic National Convention in St. Louis, Missouri. She was part of the committee that announced President Woodrow Wilson had been nominated by his party for a second term. She was friends with the president. And received Treasury Secretary William Gibbs McAdoo and Postmaster General James J. Farley at their home on East Lakeshore Drive. She was also a prominent Catholic who once had an audience with the Pope and attended the beatification ceremonies for St. Bernadette of Lourdes took part.


• Poet’s Corner: All that daylight / we saved ourselves all year round / now that we need it / why isn’t it here? – The Bard on Sherman Avenue (“Time Change”).

• In response to the snow at Bonners Ferry on Tuesday, former Mayor Darrell Kerby reminded Facebook Friends of the four different seasons of the year in northern Idaho, adding, “No car accidents or injuries please!” That message, he said, was from ” a dream insurance agent who regularly sees and deals with too much misery during our long winters ”.

• After five years – and 6,500 cups of coffee – serving as a business manager at Dave Smith Motors, Mitch Alexander appreciates the financial freedom and vacation that private companies offer. Above all, says the former Shoshone County sheriff, it is a “nice” thing not to be available around the clock.

• Despite multiple elections, Councilor Woody McEvers is still not used to people giving him money to promote himself. As a result, he tries to get the most out of the money donated. In his successful re-election race, Woody spent 58 cents per vote. And Woody sez: “I feel pretty good with that.” So did the voters who wanted to keep a competent leadership in the town hall.

Farewell shot

So Britt Thurman was watching a historic preservation show when someone referred to a worker as a “handyman”. And that prompted the management of the Museum of North Idaho to have some mild Facebook talk: “How do you say ‘craftsman’ offensive? Does anyone really hear the word “craftsman” thinking it is gender specific? Are we going to say ‘human’ instead of ‘human’? ”And we’ll end today’s Huckleberries column with some common sense.

• • •

You can contact DF “Dave” Oliveria at [email protected]



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