April 22, 2014 in Features

The Slice: We can be ourselves around here

By The Spokesman-Review
 

It occurred to me the other day that I am not easy to stereotype.

Not me, personally. People who live where I do – Spokane, Washington.

Many in other parts of the country tend to think of the Northwest as a bastion of progressive politics. Others see our region as infested with racist nuts.

Because you live around here, you realize neither image presents a complete picture.

I got to thinking about this because of Mrs. Bass and her daughter, Betsy.

They have known my mother longer than I have been alive. And lately, as my mother has had a couple of setbacks, they have been among her most faithful correspondents. They send cheerful cards and upbeat notes that I read to my mother and then tack up on her bulletin board.

I haven’t seen these women since they came to Spokane for a visit 10 or 12 years ago. But it would be only a slight exaggeration to say I love Mrs. Bass and Betsy.

Did I mention that they are Texans?

No, because we love generalizations. And I know what a lot of people here think when they hear that someone is from the Lone Star State.

As if tens of millions of people would all be exactly alike.

So anyway, please keep your comments about Mrs. Bass and Betsy to yourself. I will not have them bad-mouthed.

Let’s face it. Judging people on the basis of where they live instead of what’s in their hearts is a dubious proposition.

I might be baffled by many voters in Spokane Valley. But that doesn’t mean I don’t have dear friends there.

And the political antics in Idaho might make me scratch my head. But I happen to know plenty of Gem State residents who are, quite simply, great people.

So what would someone far from here assume about me if he or she heard that I’m from Spokane?

Who knows. I’m sure this area shapes me to some significant extent. But the truth is, I’m just a guy taking it day by day and trying to be half as good as a couple of women in Texas who have recently reminded me what loyalty looks like.

Today’s Slice question: If there was such a thing as “Spokane Day,” on what date would it be celebrated and why?

Write The Slice at P.O. Box 2160, Spokane, WA 99210; call (509) 459-5470; email pault@spokesman.com. Call with your knock-knock joke.


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