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The Slice: It’s hard not to look twice at world’s largest Radio Flyer

Mon., Aug. 11, 2014

What do you remember about your first day in Spokane?

It’s a question for transplants. If you were born here, you probably don’t recall much.

“There were bright lights and someone smacked me on the butt. I assumed I had been abducted by Martians and was about to be probed.”

But for those who arrived here later in life, the ups or downs of that first day can leave a lasting impression. At least that is my theory.

Now I am not suggesting that your first-day interactions and experiences are an absolutely accurate predictor of how it will go for you here. Still, they can’t help but set a tone.

Your first day in a new town (not counting a job-interview visit) can make you feel uncertain and vulnerable. Excited, too, but not stress-free.

I hope your recollections are upbeat.

Just think. Chances are this is someone’s first day in Spokane.

I hope things proceed as planned and that we Lilac City residents present ourselves as a cheerful, helpful lot.

I hope those with whom the newcomer deals exude a reassuring vibe.

And I hope the fresh transplant has a moment like one I remember from early 1988.

After a cross-country westward drive, my wife-to-be and I had stayed a Friday night in Coeur d’Alene. We drove to Spokane the next morning and got a room at the Ridpath.

We spent much of that Saturday driving around. Late that afternoon we walked over to admire the Review Tower up close.

As we were about to head back to the hotel, a teenage girl walked by on the sidewalk next to Riverside. She was dressed angry, like a punk rocker of the period. Her clothes were black. I think she had face metal and face paint. Her hair was done up in some outlandish manner.

But as we met her gaze, she greeted us with a shy, sweet smile. Welcome to Spokane.

We both remarked on it a few moments later.

I wonder what became of that girl. I hope she is happy and healthy and still in Spokane.

And I hope she still has a knack for presenting strangers with a gift.

Today’s Slice question: What is something that seems to anger a lot of people around here but which you find remarkably easy to ignore?

Write The Slice at P.O. Box 2160, Spokane, WA 99210; call (509) 459-5470; email Charley Pride performed in Spokane on this date in 1974.

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