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Sunday, May 24, 2020  Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Most likely to be a great reunion site

By Paul Turner The Slice/Paul Turner

For a lot of people who did not grow up here, attending a high school reunion can be an expensive proposition.

We are, after all, tucked up in a remote corner of the Lower 48.

Travel can be costly, so maybe some Spokane entrepreneur ought to sponsor different sorts of reunions that could be held right here. These could be big parties for anyone who graduated in a certain year, regardless of where they actually went to school.

You know, one gathering for the class of ‘75, another for the class of ‘88, and so on.

It wouldn’t matter if your high school days had been spent in Pennsylvania or Texas – you would be welcome.

OK, you might not know a lot of fellow attendees at first. But thanks to sharing memories of the same music and countless other cultural references, making connections would be a cinch.

So whether you were a Mustang or a Tiger, a Wolverine or Hornet, you would feel right at home.

And just think. The people you definitely would not want to see at your reunion will still be a thousand miles away.

•Here’s another thought: Maybe we should make this the reality-check summer here in the Inland Northwest.

It would take a lot of us, working together. But the tactics would be simple enough.

Whenever you encountered someone who appeared to embrace the “going to the lake” myth, you could pleasantly acquaint them with the statistical truth.

“No. I won’t be at the lake. You know, that whole thing involves a minority of people around here. The vast majority of Spokane area residents do not have lake places, nor do they spend much time at the few public beaches around here.”

But … but …

OK, hanging out at area lakes is a big deal here. No question. But somewhere along the way, those who could afford to do so started assuming that this was a universal experience. It is not.

It’s like Bloomsday. A lot of people do it. But most don’t.

The reality-check summer wouldn’t have to be grouchy or foment class warfare. And it wouldn’t have to involve knocking the considerable charms of water recreation.

It would just inject a much-needed dose of truth into Spokane summertime dialogues.

So, like they say in “The Producers,” let’s hear from the majority.

•Today’s Slice question: Last Tuesday, I mentioned a West Side fifth-grader seeking help in gathering information about the state of Washington. I offered to pass along his address over there in Buckley (approximate population, 4,000).

Well, half a dozen of the readers who requested that information reported that they had grown up in Buckley. That struck me as amazing.

So here are my questions.

Is there someone from every town in Washington now living in the Spokane area? How about Idaho?

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