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The Slice: Treat guests to tall tales of Spokane’s greatness

Sat., Nov. 26, 2011

You might face a rare opportunity today.

If you have stay-over company visiting from out of state, this could be your chance to re-invent Spokane, so to speak.

There is a possibility that your guest doesn’t know much about our area. So this will allow you to take a few liberties when telling stories.

I’ll show you what I mean.

“Calamity Jane once called Spokane the best-dressed city in the West.”

“Spacely Sprockets and Cogswell Cogs actually got their start here.”

“That corner right there is where Teddy Roosevelt punched an aggressive panhandler.”

“We moved into this house the year Gonzaga played Villanova in the Final Four.”

“Well, that was back when all Spokane schoolchildren were required to speak Dutch.”

“The downtown river falls were constructed for Expo ’74.”

“The city’s motto is in Latin, but it means ‘The farmer and the cowman should be friends.’ ”

“Bing Crosby’s father was a notorious hit man who worked for a bootlegger named Tom Foley.”

“When the timber barons and the mine owners were on the brink of a shooting war, Ryan Crocker’s grandfather brokered a peace settlement.”

“Well, the book’s original title was ‘The Bridges of Spokane County’ and it was written by one of the Brett brothers.”

“The whole idea for the tunnel to Idaho came about in response to a record snowfall in 1955.”

“Chuck Jones would later say that Bugs Bunny was based on a wisecracking marmot he met as a youth.”

“Spokane’s original form of government was known as constitutional anarchy.”

“Before the Czechs flooded the market, Spokane was the leading producer of hockey pucks.”

“The theme of the city’s first tourism campaign was ‘Never trust a stranger.’ ”

“It was the dream of the city’s founders that Spokane could be a place where a rich man could get richer and everybody else would pipe down and get back to work.”

OK, you get the idea. You can take it from here.

Today’s Slice question: What do you suppose people say about your handshake?

Write The Slice at P.O. Box 2160, Spokane, WA 99210; call (509) 459-5470; email pault@spokesman. com. Not crazy about those antacid commercials where food comes to life and slaps people in the face.

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