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Our living historians are dying off

The day after my Sunday story about Spokane's “first” real adult soccer team (from the 1950s), a 93-year-old woman called me to tell me that there had, indeed, been an adult team in the early 1900s in Spokane.

Indeed, she was right, and even though I'd searched soccer history in our archives for the story, our clipped newspaper archives didn't go back far enough. The woman knew this because her dad was one of the players.

I searched on his name, Jack Kaye, in Google news archives and found a few stories from 1912 and 1913 when the “Rose Soccer Team” played two other teams: The Indians and the Spokanes.

The teams were made up of men from England, Ireland, Scotland and Germany., immigrants who found their way to Spokane at the turn of the 20th century.

I didn't get one other call to inform me of this historical oversight in my story. It makes me realize our living historians, such as the nice woman who called, are dying off.

We’re losing a generation of “fact checkers” one by one, every day. We'll miss them.

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Writer Catherine Johnston of Olympia, Wash., addresses issues facing aging baby boomers and seniors as well as issues of serious illness, death and dying, grief and loss.

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