Today is Maine’s statehood day, and I would like to use the occasion to make a proposal.
I think Washington and Maine ought to establish a sister cities relationship.
As the northern corners of the lower 48, we have several things in common.
Maine is the Pine Tree State. Washington is the Evergreen State.
All four of the two states’ senators are women.
They have an inland border with New Hampshire. We have one with New Idahoshire.
They have lobsters. We have, uh, other stuff.
Both states have a Lincoln County.
Maine has Stephen King. Washington has Jess Walter.
They had Ed Muskie. We had Scoop Jackson.
Maine doesn’t have an NBA team. Neither does Washington.
Maine was the setting for “Murder, She Wrote.” Washington was the setting for “Twin Peaks.”
They have college sports teams called the Black Bears. We have the Cougars.
They have a lot of Native American place names. So do we.
In 1947’s “Welcome Stranger,” Washington’s Bing Crosby played a new doctor in a small Maine town.
Both states have a state capital that is not the largest city.
Maine’s flag depicts a farmer and a seaman. Washington has farmers and seamen.
Both states touch Canada.
Maine has moose, blueberries and chickadees. Washington has moose, apples and pit bulls.
Maine has L.L. Bean. Washington has peas and lentils.
Both have inscrutable state mottoes.
Maine has the Maine coon cat. Washington has the Rac-coon garbage raider.
Maine has distinct regions. So does Washington.
Both states get a little snow.
And so on. I’m sure you could come up with your own list.
But here’s the real reason this is a good idea.
Since this proposal originates in Spokane, the Lilac City should get first dibs on our sister city in Maine. We could choose Portland, which is a pretty neat place.
And then on some bright day in the future, someone here in Spokane could be talking about our sister city’s charms and find himself or herself interrupted by a visiting eavesdropper from God’s Gift to Lifestyle Enlightenment – Portland, Oregon.
Buttinski from the Beaver State: “Excuse me, but I heard you say that Portland is a coastal city. It’s really not. It’s actually …”
Spokane Sister Cities Buff: “I wasn’t talking about Oregon. I was talking about Portland, Maine. Do you mind?”
•Today’s Slice question: What would be the best way to thank Inland Northwest Blood Center CEO Judi Young for the job she has done before she retires next month?