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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Spokane Before Christmas

Courtesy of the Spokane Regional Convention & Visitor’s Bureau
Note: The following poem is the Spokane Regional Convention & Visitor’s Bureau’s twist on Clement Moore’s poem “Twas the Night Before Christmas”. Twas just weeks before Christmas, and all through Spokane The people were working as hard as they can, Placing stockings and elves in store windows with care, In hopes kids of all ages might look in and stare. The children were busy at school making gifts, With their friends of all colors who have no social rifts. Mamma’s home in her Snuggie, while I try to recruit More visitors to fill Spokane’s coffers with loot. When out on the street, I heard such a huge clatter, I ran out of my office to see what was the matter. Away to the front desk I flew like a flash, I ran down the stairwell and fell with a crash. In a dizzy dilemma, I saw new-fallen snow and my staff making snow angels a few feet below. Then, what to my wondering eyes should appear, But Doug Clark in a sleigh, with eight people to steer. His humor as always, was lively and quick, But I couldn’t believe Doug had a chance as St Nick. When more rapid than eagles his one liners they came, And he whistled, and shouted, and called some of them names! “Now Verner! now, Shogan! Apple, French – let’s not blush!” “On, Snyder! On, Corker! McLaughlin and Rush!” To the top of the skyride! to the top of the wall! Calling out barbs at each as they raced for City Hall!” As dry leaves that before the wild hurricane fly, When they meet with an obstacle, mount to the sky. The council and mayor to chambers they flew, With their big sack of issues and old Doug Clark too! And then, in a twinkling, I heard sounds of laughter Of listening… and planning … and what happened after… First quiet… then sounds of immense jubilation… In the midst of the battles they’d found collaboration. Emerged dressed in fur, from their head to their feet, Former foes, arm in arm, they came back to the street They had bundles of cost cuts they’d flung on their back, Plus a sheaf full of papers in a mile high stack. Their eyes-how they twinkled! Their outlook…so merry! Spokane’s balanced budget was held out like a cherry! As though a big present wrapped up with a bow, A fiscal approach just as fresh as the snow. They marched around town, arm and arm as new friends Filled with promise for Spokane they didn’t need to pretend So often they laughed that it pained each one’s tummy, But they envisioned our city as a place sugar-plummy! With kids chubby but not plump, and a healthy old elf, And I soon saw their vision, in spite of myself! A generous community, where few tears were shed, warm houses, clean streets, really nothing to dread. They spoke not a word, as they set about their works, Filling stockings, and storefronts, cutting unionized perks. When finally the Christmas eve moon had arrived, Well…Spokane’s economy, it actually thrived! “Our work here is done”… and in a blink … they all vanished, Most of Spokane’s old naysayers had quite frankly been banished. And I wondered, still rubbing my bumped head at the sight, “was I dreaming or was this Spokane’s most perfect Christmas night!”
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