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The Slice: When snow flies, some people are such babies

Fri., Dec. 6, 2013, midnight

I’d like to hang out with Spokane-area 8-year-olds at this time of year.

It would be a hoot to hear them recall the winters of their youth. You know, back when they needed taped-together yard sticks to measure the snow.

Can’t you just hear them?

“Yes sir, back in my day, we had real winters. Why, I remember aught-eight and aught-nine. We got buried alive.”

If some wet-behind-the-ears preschooler gets all excited about a few inches of snow, a world-weary 8-year-old can set him straight.

“This is nothing. You should have seen the snow we got back in November of 2010. The guys driving the plows raised a white flag. The mayor started speaking in tongues.”

Few children walk 4 miles to school these days. But that doesn’t mean a seen-it-all 8-year-old would not have stories to tell.

“Well, the way I remember it, school and day care would be closed for days on end. My mother freaked about what to do with us. Of course, she couldn’t get the car out of our driveway, so we all stayed home.”

People tend to exaggerate when recalling childhood winters. But Spokane-area 8-year-olds would have experienced some remarkable blizzards back in the day. They wouldn’t really need to stretch the truth all that much.

“When I was about 3 or 4, the kids on our block built a snow fort that was about the dimensions of one of those old-timey European castles. And the snowmen we erected were the size of King Kong. Those were the days.”

Or, “The mounds of snow created by clearing parking lots were so massive that they didn’t completely melt away until September.”

Wait, maybe that was true. No matter. When little kids recall winters past, there is a good chance they’ll mostly remember the hardy spirit that saw them through.

“Yeah, you had to be stout-hearted back then. Not like now. Kids today are soft. Back in my day, you had to have the right stuff.”

Today’s Slice question: When dressing for cold weather, what’s your personal record re: the most layers donned?

Write The Slice at P.O. Box 2160, Spokane, WA 99210; call (509) 459-5470; email Mountain pass reports can seem exotic to newcomers from flat parts of the country.

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