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The Slice: Deciphering those scraps of memories

On Christmas Eve, I phoned an older friend who lives on the North Side.

Usually, his is among the first Christmas cards we receive. But this year, no word.

He answered my call and explained that he had experienced a health setback, but was getting better. We visited for a while and I told him my wife and I were rooting for him.

It was good to hear his gravelly voice, especially after my search for his phone number.

In the course of riffling through a couple of chaotic names/addresses files, I noticed something.

I apparently do not discard pieces of paper on which I had long ago written the phone numbers of individuals who have since died.

That doesn’t make much sense, I realize. My memories of these people are not based on index cards or scraps of paper.

Still, something keeps me from tossing those numbers. Maybe you know the feeling. Perhaps you will make similar discoveries when doing some year-end organizing this week.

And if someone asks why you are silently staring off into space, you can just say you’re remembering.

Warm-up questions batch 1: Could you pinpoint your No. 1 time-wasting activity? Have you ever considered going cold turkey and totally discontinuing your habit of spending time doing this? How do you visualize making better use of that time?

Warm-up questions batch 2: If someone approached you early next year and said he or she is trying to set a record for “the most people hugged” in the Inland Northwest in 2014, how would you react? A) “No, thanks.” B) “Sure, come and get it.” C) “It depends.” D) “Define ‘hug.’ ” E) “You seem a bit pervy.” F) “Come back when you have 10,000 audited hugs.” G) “My face is up here.” H) Other.

Today’s Slice question: It is exactly six weeks until the 50th anniversary of the Beatles’ first appearance on “The Ed Sullivan Show.”

If you were watching television on that Sunday night, have you ever shared your memories of that experience with someone who hadn’t been born yet?

Write The Slice at P.O. Box 2160, Spokane, WA 99210; call (509) 459-5470; email Some transplants from the East never get used to Hellmann’s mayo being labeled Best Foods in the West.

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