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The Slice: They make the best of a bad situation

Dwight Hume’s Bernese mountain dog, Hans.
Dwight Hume’s Bernese mountain dog, Hans. "Don’t hate me because I’m beautiful." Courtesy of Dwight Hume (Courtesy of Dwight Hume / The Spokesman-Review)

Readers from Colville to Colfax have been telling me this for years.

But John May in Chewelah recently reminded me.

When it comes to Spokane’s image in the rest of the Inland Northwest, this city’s best ambassadors are the people who work in hospitals here.

Just wondering: Back around the time of the state’s centennial I read that the use of “North” Idaho (instead of “Northern”) originally had something to do, at least partly, with a desire of some Panhandle residents to emphatically distinguish their region from parts of the Gem State where Mormons were more prevalent.

So are modern-era LDSers up here more apt to say “Northern Idaho” than the population in general?

The stuff clogging our brains: The South Hill’s Steven Wells said he can remember the address of every place he has lived in his 55 years, every phone number he has ever had and the license plate number of every car he has owned.

Plus he knows pretty much every line of dialogue in “Bullitt” and several other movies.

Things to talk about at Thanksgiving: North Idaho’s Pat Raffee recommended “The Book of Questions” by Gregory Stock. This small volume includes more than 200 conversation starters, including “What is your most treasured memory?” and “How do you picture your funeral?”

She also suggested the “Chat Pack,” a collection of cards featuring questions such as “If you had to change your first name, what would you choose as your new name?”

Check with your favorite bookstore.

More good dogs: Molly Zammit’s Yoda, Kathy Morse’s Becky, Dwight Hume’s Hans, Judi Young’s Kiara, Diana Lawson’s son’s dog Zeus, Steve Zwicker’s Chang Ti, Caroline Herzog’s Rocket, Matt Cameron’s Lucky, Les Norton’s Malcom Sharon in Elk’s Toby, Carolyn Green’s Chief, Lea Sammons’ Eddy, Ellen Sherriffs’ Dozer, Dee Hargitt’s Honey Girl, Jean Maryborn’s Rocky, Ed Harwood’s Moose, Sue Spinelli’s Maddie, Bruce Werner’s Argo, the Vordahls’ Ashton, the McPhails’ Maya, the Johns’ Susie, Marion Giles’ Muffy, Marilyn Love’s daughter Jodi’s dog Pickle, Marcia Wagner’s Tiny Bear, Loyce Pace’s Daphne, and Nancy Gleason’s Chubs.

For the record: Reader Jack Vines good-naturedly noted that snowthrowers and snowblowers are quite different mechanically. But I remain convinced that most people call them all by whichever name the individual started using long ago.

Today’s Slice question (for readers over 50): Where were you on this day in 1963 when you heard the news?

Write The Slice at P.O. Box 2160, Spokane, WA 99210; call (509) 459-5470; fax (509) 459-5098; e-mail The future looked bright for Ryan Leaf on this day in 1997.

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