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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Nominate your neighbor

Fred Rogers, left, may have sung,
Fred Rogers, left, may have sung, "I've always wanted to have a neighbor just like you. I've always wanted to live in a neighborhood with you," but he never lived next to Homer Simpson, right. If you have a neighbor who's more like Rogers than Simpson, let us know. (File/Associated Press / The Spokesman-Review)
The Spokesman-Review

Their dogs bark all night. Their yards are full of car parts and beer cans. Their lawns have weeds, their pets have fleas, and their children have lice.

They are the bad neighbors, the people who make fences desirable and locks a necessity.

But, fortunately, there are plenty of the other ones, Spokane’s own versions of Mr. Rogers and Aunt Bee. These are the neighbors we celebrate every year in our Good Neighbor Contest.

When all you see is an endless field of snow between your car and the street, they show up with a mighty roar of their snowblower. When you need someone to sign for a package, feed your cat or give you a lift, they’re happy to help.

They are the people who turn a collection of houses into a neighborhood – and a neighborhood into an extended family. They see property lines not as a division, but as a connection.

Last year, in the Valley, these neighbors were Dan and Vicky Frickle, aka the Pumpkin People. For nearly 20 years the Frickles have been carving scores of pumpkins for the enjoyment of the neighborhood. When a neighbor was in the hospital for nearly two weeks, Dan Frickle took over all the yardwork. They’ve thrown barbecues for new arrivals and in 2004 told The Spokesman-Review that they someday planned to put in a new pool – but not just for themselves. “If we put in a pool, it’s going to be a neighborhood pool,” Dan Frickle said. “We want people to use it.”

The Frickles are the kind of neighbors who make you enjoy stepping out the front door, knowing that whatever comes along, you can count on a helping hand.

If you have a neighbor like the Frickles, let us know. Send us a letter or e-mail of up to 250 words. If your neighbor is chosen as the winner of our 16th annual Good Neighbor Contest, he or she will receive an engraved plaque, and be the guest of honor at a catered block party paid for by The Spokesman-Review.

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