After I solicited invitations, about 75 families indicated I would be welcome at one of their backyard cookouts.
“My cheeseburgers (aka Grumpy Burgers) are legendary,” wrote Bill Mahaney.
In the matter of providing an adequate supply of napkins, Alan Howard said I could have my own roll of paper towels.
Mitch Kemple advised me to make sure I’ve had a recent tetanus shot and suggested that I bring a change of clothes.
Toby Johnson promised that I wouldn’t have to listen to a lot of complaints about the S-R. “Although the sports section could be expanded.”
Dave Whipple promised that there would be no dancing.
Molly Butler said there would be an option to play croquet.
Stephanie Swan said the beer lineup would include some memorable homebrew.
“Beer, Brats and Bocce Ball,” wrote Marvin and Mary Anne Wheeler.
Robbie and Cheri Robinson assured me that their salads do not resemble Klingon cuisine.
Paul Hagan said that if I came to his place for a barbecue he would show me a 1912 Spokane County atlas that might clear up the whole “Nine Mile”/“Five Mile” matter.
Sandy and Stan Reider noted that their cookouts are on a houseboat.
“We have been told many times that our yard is park-like beautiful,” wrote Ken Stout.
Ashley Gaddy noted, “We are all photogenic, especially the dogs.”
Gary and Carol Polser alluded to a family-secret steak sauce invented 40 years ago.
“We have a great deck, complete with outdoor bar,” wrote Jody Hamilton and Matt Jones.
“Everyone leaves with a smile on their face,” said Peter Maxwell.
Shirley Hoy wrote, “There is room for tents, if you don’t want to drive home.”
Charlene Luzynski in Blanchard, Idaho, said I ought to come to their place to prove that people in Spokane will occasionally leave home even if it doesn’t involve a lake.
Helen Dennis mentioned homemade ice cream.
And Ron Weidman, who made reference to pork ribs and potato salad, wrote: “If I were in your position I’d make it a summer’s effort to get out and meet my readers.”
Sounds like a good idea.
Of course, a few of the cookout invitations came from readers I have already met.
“You hit me on the head with a baseball during a ‘catch’ session,” wrote Maria Washington, recalling another successful Slice experiment in interactivity.
•Today’s Slice question: Do you open e-mails addressed to a zillion people?