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The Slice: Spring has sprung, etc.

MONDAY, MARCH 20, 2017

OK, it’s officially spring.

What will you miss about winter? Complaining, of course.

But you say you need help with your list of specifics to grouse about upon the new season’s arrival?

I’m on it. Here are 10 vernal equinox beefs you’re welcome to borrow.

1. Potholes. (OK, that’s a holdover.)

2. Advent of allergy season.

3. Clusters of runners training for Bloomsday have been known to be sidewalk hogs downtown.

4. Kids on the lawn.

5. Mariners mathematically eliminated.

6. People wearing shorts at work and the office smelling like baloney.

7. The aroma of a neighbor’s grilling mocking your own dinner plans.

8. Still more kids on the lawn.

9. The return of 9 p.m. lawn mowing down the block.

10. Silence reminding you that the Spokane Indians aren’t AAA anymore.

TODAY’S SLICE QUESTION: What do you wish you could do over?

I’m thinking here of situations where you might have stood up for what’s right, but chose not to. I’m not thinking of cataclysmic moments during, say, combat or life-threatening natural disasters. What I have in mind are more daily life moments that you still haven’t forgotten, years later.

I’ll tell you my story, maybe you can tell me yours.

When I was in high school in Vermont, there was a freshman on our hockey team named Jerry. He was a decent player. He had to be to have made the varsity as a freshman. We were state champions, after all.

But here’s the thing. Jerry was unlikable.

Early in the season, he was subjected to some hazing by a few teammates. It was not especially horrible, as that stuff went. It wasn’t perverted or dangerous. It was just mean-spirited. And, I’m sure, hurtful.

I was a junior, a co-captain. I could have stopped it. But I didn’t.

I don’t think our coach, a decent man, knew about it.

Soon Jerry quit the team. My feeble efforts to make it right (calling Jerry on the phone) were too little, too late.

I realized later, that was mostly an attempt to make myself feel better about something I richly deserved to be ashamed of.

Because Jerry attended a different school (my high school was 10-12), I hardly ever saw him again. I think his family moved before the next school year. Through my inaction, I had failed him as a teammate and as an upperclassman.

Maybe I learned something. I’d like to think so.

I was 16 or 17 then. I’m 62 now. And I still internally wince when I think of Jerry.

Write The Slice at P.O. Box 2160, Spokane, WA 99210; call (509) 459-5470; email pault@spokesman.com. Are you sorry you sold the convertible?


 
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