March 21, 2010 in Features

The Slice: Next thing you know, it’ll be 2030

By The Spokesman-Review
 

The start of spring reminds us of new beginnings.

And so I find myself wondering about people who are, at this very moment, moving to Spokane. Suppose they stay for 10 or 20 years. What will they remember about the early days in their adopted city?

Maybe in 2020 or 2030 they’ll recall restaurants that are no longer open, news stories that have faded away and the kind or confounding people who greeted them.

Perhaps they will remember 2010’s weather, the frozen-in-time lineup of local TV anchors and those first neighbors and co-workers.

OK, I’m well aware that a great many of those in our midst were born here. Spokane’s ongoing story has been the background of their lives from the start. Their localized memory files fill up gradually.

But for transplants, it’s different. Those first “This is Spokane” images come in a rush.

The city’s quirks and charms wash over you like a sensory-input wave.

Sure, you can read about local history. You can talk to lots of people about the way things were before you showed up. But firsthand experiences are what punch your life’s reset button.

The thing is, newcomers arrive at different times. So they frame their perceptions of Spokane in varied chronological contexts.

People who move here occasionally get lumped into a big outsiders bin, as if they are all cut from the same cloth. That’s crazy, of course. Even the pictures of Spokane they carry in their heads are different.

Who was the mayor when you came here? The police chief? Was The Davenport hotel open, closed or reopened?

Anyway, if you are a newcomer, welcome.

Just be forewarned. There’s suction here. Sometimes that notion of staying for just a couple of years doesn’t work out like you planned.

Today’s Slice question: Who holds the Inland Northwest record for having worn a necktie to work the most days in a row?

Write The Slice at P.O. Box 2160, Spokane, WA 99210; call (509) 459-5470; fax (509) 459-5098; e-mail pault@spokesman.com. Does anybody say “South Idaho”?


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