Beyond the Column

Larry's LaRue-minations

Archives: April 2013


Now, it’s only the House of Rat …. and junk

Yes, the television show ‘Hoarders: Buried Alive’ did a major cleanup of the Spanaway House of Rats last week, but no – the job, apparently, isn’t done.

Neighbors Sharon and Richard Collins, whose complaints led to what work has been done, e-mailed this morning at 6 a.m.

“The house still has all the cars still in the yard, our gardener just picked up a huge rat just outside our bedroom window, the old sofa, parts of the piano and garbage are still in the front yard. Received another letter from the health dept. stating that the place has passed inspection

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Want to help the homeless? Here’s an easy way

Northwest food banks do a marvelous job – with public help – of providing food to those in need, but food is only one thing the homeless need.

With that in mind, the Puyallup/Sumner Chamber of Commerce Leadership Institute will begin a drive this week to collect personal hygiene items.

They call their effort ‘Hearts for Hygiene,’ and they’re asking for contributions of toilet paper, tooth brushes, shaving cream and razors, soap, deodorant and laundry detergent.

To make it easier to contribute, there’s a long list of places in Puyallup and Sumner where you can drop off items beginning Thursday. Take

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Rats, cats, ghosts and … a Kardashian: That’s TV!

Yesterday’s column on Spanaway’s House of Rats – where a reality television camera crew followed a hoarder while showing just how badly she’d trashed her home – bothered me.

Fortunately, the News Tribune employs a wise counsel, C.R. Roberts, who doubles as a business writer. If C.R. can’t resolve an issue, at least he can make you smile about it.

When we began talking about the House of Rats, he went into ‘what if’ mode.

“What if,” C.R. said, “one of these hoarders lived next door to one of those people with 27 cats?”

Well, not only might that keep

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Rats! And now we may all need a shower

Yes, today’s column is a return to the Spanaway House of Rats that was driving neighbors Richard and Sharon Collins crazy months ago, when it seemed no one would ever clean up the home that had sold in foreclosure.

Yesterday, someone did – but at what cost?

The TLC channel’s “Hoarders: Buried Alive’ footed the bill for the cleanup, hauling literally tons of trash from the home now owned by Canadian brothers Mark and Tony Gore. To their credit, the Gores showed up, donned hazmat suits, and went to work.

And yes, there were rats.

““It’s worse than you

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A Poet fights to recall his life in poems

Lon Cole writes poems abut a life that is slowly fading away, and the worst part is, it’s his own.

The subject of today’s column, Lon is 64 and three years into what was early diagnosed Alzheimer’s disease. A Vietnam vet who was seriously wounded as a combat medic, Lon and wife Cris have been together for 43 years. They’re facing his disease together.

“Poetry was a pretty casual thing, something I’d do once in a while. After I was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s in 2010, it clicked – I don’t know how long I’ll be able to write.

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Spanaway’s House of Rats – eek! – gets a TV show

For those with long memories of stories about rodents, a January 25 column detailed the travails of a Spanaway couple living next door to a home that was overrun with rats.

The house had been sold in foreclosure, but the property was a mess – indoors and out. Rusting cars and old pianos out front, head-high piles of trash bags and another car out back. And between the home of  Sharon and Richard Collins and that abandoned house?

Rats! Jumping rats! Burrowing rats! And yes, one night, dancing rats!

Well,  Sharon and Richard will see the upside of living

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After 5 husbands and 100 years, Peg is just fine

If you think meeting one 100-year-old person, you’ve  met them all, you haven’t yet had the pleasure of running into Peggy Krutz Spidel Synovec Hoffman Chestnut Scheid.

The subject of today’s column,  Peg is a hoot.

Animated, happy and feisty, she’s been married five imes – buried three husbands, had the good sense to divorce two others. She’s also the matriarch of a family that includes six generations of women, from Peg to not-quite-one-year-old Gabby, her great-great-great granddaughter.

The tradition among Peg’s clan, remarkably, is that a daughter is born exactly ever 20 years. That includes Pluma, 80,her daughter Linda,

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Yes, Virginia, there really was a John Wayne

Channel-surfing the other day and came across ‘The Quiet Man,’ one of my favorite John Wayne  movies – which always reminds me of having met the man once.

My favorite Wayne films were before he became so iconic he couldn’t get out of being typecast. As a kid, I thought ‘Hondo’ was the best picture ever made, and later I thought ‘The Searchers’ was one of the better Westerns put on film. Still do.

Back in 1977, working at The Register in Southern California, I was assigned a reception at the Orange County Tennis Club for a pair of Cosmonauts.

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