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The Slice: School’s out but the memories linger

Slice readers remembered one particular last day of school.

“There has always been one day that has stayed in my mind,” wrote Wayne Sanders. “Not sure how old I was, 9 or 10 maybe. My dad picked me up, which was highly unusual in itself. He had errands to run and I was to tag along. It was Flag Day and back in the early ’60s that meant a lot more than it does now.

“I remember time with my dad, flags out on a lot of houses, blue sky, and a beautiful day. It just felt like a perfect day and I remember thinking that it was going to be a great summer.”

I asked Wayne if that season had indeed turned out to be great.

“I honestly don’t remember. I’m sure it was. At 9 or 10, they were all great summers.”

Amen, brother.

Bill Bancroft remembers the last day of his fourth-grade year at Greenacres Elementary School, then at Barker and Mission.

“My parents gave me 50 cents, which was a fortune at the time.”

After school, Bill went to a lunch counter across the street and bought a double-scoop chocolate ice cream cone and multiple candy bars.

“I lived two blocks away, so I was walking and trying to eat them all before they melted. I was lost in thought to all the fun, freedom and adventures I was going to have, in my own backyard (which was quite large), my grandma’s old barn, the trees, the irrigation ditches … it was magical. It is still one of my best memories.”

Eileen Hartzell shared this. “My second-grade teacher had us all bring a large grocery bag (paper, of course, in the ’50s) to take home various papers and items we had brought throughout the year.”

After Eileen got home, her mom was looking through the bag and let out a wild shriek. She had discovered animal remains.

Oh yeah, those. Eileen explained. “I had found a near complete garter snake skin in our woodshed and had taken it for show and tell months before.”

And now, much to her mother’s surprise, it was home again.

Today’s Slice question: If summer is not your favorite season, does living in the Inland Northwest sometimes make you feel like a stranger in a strange land?

Write The Slice at P.O. Box 2160, Spokane, WA 99210; call (509) 459-5470; email If your spouse has never been an alarmist but says something seems to be wrong with you and insists you need to see a doctor ASAP, don’t fight it. Just do it.

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