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The Slice: Don’t let the look scare you

Tue., Jan. 15, 2013, midnight

It can be tempting, when waiting for a bus outside the STA Plaza, to speculate that some young people are not on a trajectory hurtling them toward achievement and stellar citizenship.

Let’s face it. You don’t have to be a “Get off my lawn” caricature to find certain combinations of braying, smoking, cursing, sidewalk blocking, unhurried jaywalking, panhandling, spitting and pants-wearing incompetence somewhat less than charming.

Still, many of us were guilty of style crimes once upon a time.

Youth happens.

Not all of the loiterers without a cause outside the bus station are simply crazy mixed-up kids, of course. Some have real problems and have been in serious trouble.

How can we reach them? How can we help them turn it around?

I was wondering that when my bus pulled up. As passengers stepped off the No. 43, an old guy dropped one of his gloves but kept walking.

An underdressed-for-the-weather teen who looked liked he had spent most of his young life getting tattoos picked up the glove and quickly caught up with the man.

They exchanged smiles. The man said “Thank you.” And in that moment, no one watching thought that boy looked like a loser.

Slice answer: Kathleen Fuller said Providence Sacred Heart Medical Center’s Linda Hurtado climbs a mind-blowing number of stairs during breaks.

Today’s Slice question: When was the last time you studied a single snowflake in all its intricate, sparkling glory?

I ask because I found myself doing precisely that just the other day. I was outside during a light snowfall in the early afternoon. I took off my Detroit Tigers cap, ran my free hand over the top of my head and was about to place the hat back on.

And there it was. Resting on the dark blue back of my cap – right in front of my face – was the geometric perfection of a single snowflake.

It could be that I haven’t truly admired a snowflake for seconds and seconds since childhood. But I did on this occasion.

All I can say is that I recommend it.

Write The Slice at P.O. Box 2160, Spokane, WA 99210; call (509) 459-5470; email An amateur folklorist told me hanging used condoms on barbed wire fences was once a tradition in parts of the West.

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