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The Slice: Where there’s a thrill, there’s a way

There are those with religious faith, of course.

But the true believers in our society are those who pay money to go on carnival thrill rides.

Each person who does so demonstrates an apparent belief that …

… the people who reassembled the ride upon arriving in your town did so properly.

… all the important parts are reliable and there is no danger of breakage, slippage or cataclysmic uncoupling during moments of peak mechanical stress.

… others going on the ride are not going to retroactively share their corn dogs, Gigagulp drinks and cotton candy with everyone within spewing distance.

Thanking a teacher: “I did get to thank my favorite teacher,” wrote Lan Hellie. “His name was John Hyatt and he taught high school wood shop.”

Hellie remembers that this teacher was stern and had a temper. “Most students feared him. I respected him. I learned a lot in his class. Not just about woodworking and shop theory either, but about life and how to live mine.”

A little more than 10 years after high school, Hellie found himself in a checkout line behind Mr. Hyatt. “It was the first time I’d seen him since I was a teen, but recognized him right away.”

Hellie thanked him for all the teacher had taught him. “I was glad I did, too, because I never saw him again, learning of his death from an obituary in the local paper.”

Curt Olsen remembers presenting his high school gym teacher, Mr. Goffman, with a McDonald’s gift certificate on the last day of class. “He was a great guy.”

And Susan Johnson did get a chance to thank her fourth-grade teacher in Metaline Falls, Mrs. Hooper – for failing her.

On the extreme young end of those starting first grade, Johnson struggled her first few years in school. Mrs. Hooper saw a solution. “She held me back, and I gained confidence. The pressure was off.”

Johnson, who is about to turn 60, did fine for the rest of her school years.

“Thank you again, Mrs. Hooper.”

Who watched over Dodge City when Matt and Festus were out of town on “Gunsmoke”: “They had an ombudsman,” said Dan Simmons.

Today’s Slice question: Has having 9/11 birthdays and anniversaries gotten more normal?

Write The Slice at P.O. Box 2160, Spokane, WA 99210; call (509) 459-5470; email Remember when the new fall TV lineups were a big deal?

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