Like many others, I will miss the musings on “the wall” by the Monroe Street Bridge. During my daily STA commute, my head would turn with other riders’ to see if anyone had visited it the previous night.
In this fast-paced world, it was always refreshing to see that something so basic as a wall and some buckets of paint could keep us in touch with the sad, and more often the happy and fun, things that go on in our community daily.
Perhaps the most impressive thing about the wall was the unwritten etiquette that seemed to exist. I don’t recall seeing anything that even bordered on being vulgar or tasteless.
For the most part, messages were left intact until the next group left their mark. Rarely, if ever, did I see leftover paint materials lying around.
Sometimes you didn’t know all the details behind the musings, but you came away with a good idea. The wall’s last message recognized a young lady’s 18th birthday. She must have been pretty excited and proud to know that people would plan and spend the time they did to recognize her special day.
My family’s own encounter with the wall never came to pass. Along with the wall, our painting party plans also came tumbling down.
Several years ago, when my 40th birthday came and went, my seven brothers and sisters extended their sympathy in a variety of ways. Being the oldest, I promised them their 40ths would not go unnoticed.
A tradition was born. Even though we are scattered throughout the Northwest, those of us who have reached the golden age have conspired against the remaining youngsters to honor their days.
My personal favorite was when we published my sister’s picture in her hometown newspaper.
We congratulated her on her special day. Her problem with it was that it was a year too early. She thought we had make a mistake until she opened the next day’s paper and saw our retraction.
On Nov. 15, the sixth of us, and my only other family member living in Spokane, will be 40.
Sister Sue, your sisters and brothers had planned to paint “your” wall Friday night. They join me now in saying: “Happy 40th, Pinhead.”
I only wish the wall was still there so others could silently join us in wishing you well.
And as for the wall, goodbye and thanks for the memories.
MEMO: Your Turn is a feature of the Wednesday and Saturday Opinion pages. To submit a Your Turn column for consideration, contact Rebecca Nappi at 459-5496 or Doug Floyd at 459-5466 or write Your Turn, The Spokesman-Review, P.O. Box 2160, Spokane, WA 99210-1615.
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