Thursday, April 17, 2008

War Of The Wordsmiths

I've written about Rathdrum on occasion, both the good and bad. It's the small town whose zip code we share. It is an old town, a relatively poor town with a rich history that is little know beyond the locals. Once the county seat and a main stop on the pony express route, it has long been little more than run down buildings and a Main Street difficult to find.

This past week a fellow blogger who writes Get Out North Idaho , a local travel and restaurant review column for the Spokesman Review visited the town apparently for the first time and reported his findings. Hub and I laughed heartily as we read the column. "He's going to get letters," Hub chuckled. And indeed he did.

He also go a tongue lashing from a fellow reporter who writes a compilation of Rathdrum news for the same paper.

Come on Rathdrum. Be honest. You have tons of potential and you've come a long way since I first discovered you seven years ago. But you have a long way to go. Vic Holmes is the first pro active forward looking mayor you've had since Tawnda Bromley left office under duress two mayors ago.

You've got some great people trying to pull you into the current century but many of the old timers are still resisting everything that looks like progress. True, Main Street has come a long way. When I first saw it the only two buildings that had any semblance of what the town could be was the Chamber Building and City Hall. Now new facades are being added and the buildings are being occupied by viable businesses. You've got the Rathdrum Star in one and the Salsa Factory in another. You've got the skate board park and an insurance office, hair salon and what else?. The new book store/ coffee stand. Let's face it, really, One Eye's, the biker bar, while a downtown fixture, is not a place most would choose to pop into for a quick refreshment. And the Westwood is hardly known for fine dining.

This does not a destination make.

While the reporter mentioned several places Mr. Jacobs missed, she did not mention O'Malleys or the Route 53 Diner, two eating establishments right across the highway from Burger Heaven! A person happening onto Main Street and following the route Mr. Jacobs took would be sure to have a similar reaction to the surroundings. There wasn't anything self serving nor mean spirited about his assessment of what he saw but rather an accurate description. At least he didn't talk about the railroad traffic that rattles the town almost constantly.

If he returns per your invitation and actually gets out of his car what will greet him? The devastation vandals did to the renovation of the historic old jail? What, maybe three blocks at most from the police station? That's a fine how-do-you do!

When you look in a mirror you see the exact opposite of what really is. Put the mirror away for a bit longer. Really! Enjoy the publicity Mr. Jacobs gave you; people may actually seek out Burger Heaven then have a look around to see if his description was accurate. They wouldn't be coming for any other reason. They wouldn't be expecting to see Johnny Depp clearing snow off your roof as you had previously claimed.

Talk about a snow job! Which assessment of Rathdrum is the most accurate? Remember, we're looking to newspapers for factual information!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I live here, and agree! Of course, even though I am a north Idaho longtimer, I have only lived here for three years, so people don't much like me, either cuz I wasn't born here. You guys did forget there is a pretty nice Super 1 in town, and Westwood Nursery is a good place, if spring ever arrives out here in the frozen tundra! Other than that, haven't found much to be too excited about which is why I am constantly driving to PF or CDA to shop.