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Jim Kershner’s this day in history

From our archives, 100 years ago

The “stork” visited the bear cages at the Manito Park Zoo. Nobody was quite sure how many cubs had been born because the “mothers were in no mood” to entertain prying eyes, and nobody was “willing to encounter the fury of a mother bear in the darkness of the pits.”

However, the “squealing, whining and snarling” indicated that there were at least two sets of twins in the bear pits.

“The ‘babies’ are interesting objects to the other members of the colony and they sniff constantly at the mouth of the pits,” the article said.

“These have been boarded up to keep the cubs from harm.”

From the music beat: Josef Hofmann, a world-famous Polish piano virtuoso, was in Spokane to perform at the Auditorium Theater. He was asked to give his best advice to piano students.

“Think and practice,” he said. “Practicing without thinking will make you a mere echo of someone else, or worse still, a machine. Thinking without practicing may develop you into a fine musician, but you will never become a great virtuoso, for the virtuoso must have technical skill and that comes through practicing so many hours every day.”

Yet he also offered this advice: “Do not over-practice.”

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Then and Now: Comstock Park

James M. Comstock, born in 1838 in Wisconsin, arrived in Spokane in time to witness the great fire of 1889 and start Spokane Dry Goods with Robert Paterson. It became the Crescent, Spokane’s premier department store for a century. He also worked in real estate and owned other businesses. He served a term as Spokane mayor, starting in 1899. James Comstock died in 1918.