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The Slice: Organized enthusiasm not for all

Tue., Aug. 5, 2014, midnight

In my senior year, 1973, a mind-control group called Up With People put on a peppy midday program in the gym at my New England high school.

Attendance must have been mandatory.

Not everyone reacted the same way to those ebullient young singers and dancers. Some, impressed by their relentless message of bouncy wholesomeness, regarded them as refreshingly positive.

My friends and I, being a tad more jaded, wondered if they had been lobotomized.

But one or two girls in that grinning troupe were quite fetching. So I watched in the way only a teenage boy can.

Anyway, the next year at least one Up With People cell camped out at Expo ’74.

And so every once in a while I wonder. What if one of those perky girls I ogled way back when had decided to settle in Spokane?

Maybe I pass her on the street downtown or see her in Rosauers.

It would be nice to know, so I could finally say something after all these years.

“Uh, sorry about the staring back in ’73.”

Slice answer: “I don’t necessarily celebrate Nixon’s resignation but certainly think about it each year,” wrote Lois Farnsworth-Whysong of Metaline Falls. “In 1974, I had just graduated from the UW. My 19-year-old sister and I went to Sweden to meet the cousins. We returned the day before Nixon resigned. I called my Swedish American grandmother the next day to tell her about our trip and mentioned that I had just seen on TV that Nixon had resigned.”

Lois and her grandmother were on opposite ends of the political spectrum. While the younger woman greeted this news with amusement, her grandmother was in a state of disbelief.

And Lois bringing up the president’s downfall made her grandmother really mad.

“We loved each other anyway.”

Warm-up question for readers of a certain age: When you first heard about the atomic bombs dropped on Japan, how much did you really understand about these weapons?

Today’s Slice question: How many bags of ice has your family purchased since Memorial Day?

Write The Slice at P. O. Box 2160, Spokane, WA 99210; call (509) 459-5470; email Travel to other regions can make local coffee lovers appreciate the Northwest’s ubiquitous java.


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