The Slice: Take pride in your talents

Let’s start with a reader challenge.

Rewrite the ending of “To Kill a Mockingbird” (movie version) by replacing everything bracketed by parentheses.

Localizing is a plus, but not a requirement.

Three winners will receive coveted reporter’s notebooks.

“The summer that had begun so long ago had ended, and another summer had taken its place. And a fall. And (Boo Radley) had (come out). I was to think of these days many times, of (Jem and Dill and Boo Radley and Tom Robinson). And (Atticus). He would be in (Jem’s room) all night, and he would be there when (Jem waked up) in the morning.”

Good luck.

Things learned from reading local obituaries: “What matters most is a person’s love and devotion to family, their loyalty and service to others and their kindness toward animals,” wrote Joan Nolan. “What doesn’t matter one iota is their wealth, their possession of stuff, and, thank goodness, how clean and dust free they kept their home.”

“That my aunt had passed away, a fact my mother or dad had failed to mention,” wrote Patsy Wood.

“In general, I’ve found two things,” wrote Bill Brock. “1) Almost everyone is an expert at something. 2) A surprising number of people have made huge journeys in life, ending up far from the graves of their ancestors.”

“Nearly everyone who died had an exemplary life and was loved by all,” wrote Burgess Joyner.

“About twice as many people in Spokane live to be 100 as in my hometown of Philadelphia,” wrote Victor Buksbazen.

“Everyone has a talent almost no one knows about,” wrote Jeri Hershberger.

Warm-up question: I’ve occasionally encountered people taking what strike me as geography liberties with their assertions that they grew up in Spokane. You know, a couple of natives will be talking and someone will chime in, “Yeah, I grew up here, too.” Then it turns out that the person in question spent his childhood hundreds of miles from here.

So what should be the rule about who does or does not get to say he or she grew up in Spokane?

Today’s Slice question: Who around here would you like to interview?

Write The Slice at P.O. Box 2160, Spokane, WA 99210; call (509) 459-5470; email pault@spokesman.com. People who work in local emergency rooms just smile when they hear someone say people are all alike in Spokane.

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