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The Slice: He has entered a new dimension; it’s the Spokane zone

Dexter DuPont has a big slice of respect around here.
Dexter DuPont has a big slice of respect around here.

Anything can happen in Spokane.

I was reminded of that when I found myself speaking to someone I’ve been watching on TV since childhood.

Dexter DuPont phoned about a trivia question The Slice had posed. It involved the late actress Jeanette Nolan. He told me he had worked with her on an episode of “The Twilight Zone.”

Now readers of this column know how much I admire that old TV series, and how often I mention it. So you know Mr. DuPont had my full attention.

Well, it turns out the episode is one of my two or three favorites. It’s called “The Hunt,” and it first aired in 1962. It was written by the guy who would go on to create “The Waltons.”

I would guess I have watched it at least 50 times over the years. My wife and I recycle lines from it on a regular basis.

DuPont, who moved to Spokane a few years ago to be near family, played a flannel and denim-clad angel. He assists a recently deceased mountain man named Hyder Simpson who is wandering a bucolic road to the afterlife with a hound dog named Rip.

It’s a small role. But he is terrific as the folksy door man for heaven. Affecting a backwoods demeanor without resorting to the usual “Hee Haw” gawping or “Li’l Abner” cluelessness, he gently helps the befuddled old man find his way after a close call/wrong turn.

I told DuPont that I am currently using as computer passwords two expressions lifted from his handful of lines in that show. He probably doesn’t hear that every day.

As it happens, the S-R did a little story on him in 2007. It was part of a series on newcomers. Somehow I missed it.

But sometimes, like in “The Twilight Zone,” you get a second chance. So I told him we ought to have lunch. I’ll try to resist asking him to recite from his role in “The Hunt.”

“You see, Mr. Simpson … a man, well, he’ll walk right into Hell with both eyes open. But even the Devil can’t fool a dog.”

Today’s Slice question: Would you be embarrassed if people knew how often you Google yourself?

Write The Slice at P.O. Box 2160, Spokane, WA 99210; call (509) 459-5470; fax (509) 459-5098; e-mail Gene Moore wonders how many others remember the Spokane Shockers.

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