Happy Fourth, everyone, and welcome to our weekly Chat Day.
I’ve got to start by telling you I spent last weekend mostly laughing until it hurt.
My longtime pal Tim Leach happened to be in town, so he bunked in the loft while his son, Art, took the couch.
These guys have a great sense of humor all by themselves, but it helps that Tim’s brother Mike is the outspoken and often-eccentric Washington State football coach.
There were just so many tales about Coach Mike that, well ...
You’ll just have to wait until I squeeze a few into my Tuesday sports column.
Just one story?
OK, a few years ago Tim was visiting Mike when his bro was the coach at Texas Tech.
One morning, Tim agreed to ride along to the football office to hang out. On the way to campus, Tim asked Mike to stop at a convenience store.
“I just wanted a cup of coffee,” Tim said, “Mike said no, there was a coffee machine at the office. That’s how tight he is with money.
“He wouldn’t even let me spend a dollar on a cup of coffee. I said, ‘Man, it’s just a buck and it’s MY money.’ ”
Mike just kept driving.
Moral: Anytime you’re in Pullman, best not to wait around for the coach to buy you lunch.
ITEM: Here we were thinking that I was a really strange shopper.
It turns out that Bill Monaghan of Post Falls makes me look cool and collected.
His wife Cindy should tell the story ...
“We were living in Arkansas at the time,” she said. “We both worked the graveyard shift at U.S. Electrical Motors.
“We came home from work one morning and discovered we needed milk, so Bill went to the store.
“I waited up for a while, then went to bed — and the next thing I knew, he was waking me up and saying, ‘Sign these.’
“Out the door he went again. He came back 20 minutes later with a new truck and no milk.”
Yep, Bill’s in the super-shopper class.
ITEM: If you’re one of the many, many muttering drivers who use Highway 41 regularly, you may also be among the dozens of frustrated readers who’ve emailed to howl: “I heard they’re going to widen that damn road.”
Yes, they are.
Just not anytime soon, unfortunately.
“Work is going to start in the summer of 2020,” said Megan Sausser of the Idaho Transportation Department. “The highway will become four lanes from Post Falls to Rathdrum.
“It’s scheduled to be completed by the fall of 2021.”
Sausser offered a tiny bit of good news.
“When the new lanes are finished in one direction, drivers will be diverted to that side during the second phase of construction,” she said.
ITEM: Here’s some food for thought if you shop at one of the three Dollar Tree stores in Kootenai County.
The Guardian newspaper reports that the average consumer spends $29 at a dollar store every month, which seems like a lot.
But as an ace shopper, what do I know?
I can add, though, and at a dollar a pop, that would be 348 items per year.
Where are people putting all that stuff?
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Steve Cameron is a columnist for The Press.
A Brand New Day appears Wednesday through Saturday each week. Steve’s sports column runs on Tuesday.