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Opinion >  Column

The Slice: We don’t have to be defined by our lilacs

Apparently both Rochester, N.Y., and Lombard, Ill., refer to themselves as the “Lilac Capital of the World.”

Perhaps they have good reasons to make this claim. I don’t really care. The thing I find interesting is this whole notion of civic self-labeling.

I mean, it’s not like some regulatory body scrutinizes these slogans or fact-checks one town’s lilac cred versus another’s.

You can pretty much call your city whatever you want.

With that in mind, let’s consider a few possibilities for Spokane.

How about “The Get Off My Lawn Capital of the World.”

Or “The Cute Babies Capital of the World.”

Or “The Piquancy Capital of the World.”

“The Center of the Swimmer’s Itch Universe”?

“The Street Squirrel City”?

“The Underestimated City”?

“The Figure Skating and Crows Capital of the World”?

“The Disappointing Yard Sale Capital of the World”?

•Prediction: The young people who have been through the Spokane Youth Orchestra program are going to save the world. Well, them and kids who ran cross-country.

•Spoiler alerts: The new ease of recording TV programs has obvious advantages. But with people not watching shows on the same schedule, it can be a challenge to figure out when you can or cannot discuss surprise endings.

•A window on their tastes: A friend speculated that big-screen televisions have made it easier to deduce neighbors’ viewing preferences.

•Slice answer: “My husband, Dave Tolliver, has the same name as one of the central characters in the book ‘Trail of the Lonesome Pine,’ ” wrote Emylee Tolliver.

That novel has been made into a movie several times, once with Henry Fonda playing the character of Dave.

•Following up: So I did speak briefly at the Bike to Work Week breakfast Monday, as a warm-up for Mayor Verner. There were lots of appealing people there. Spokane looks good in helmets.

And I have chosen a first reader’s cookout to attend. It will take place on June 6. I assume it being on D-Day is just a coincidence.

•One of my favorite local blog names: Hank Greer’s “Shallow Cogitations.”

•This date in Slice history (1999): Subjects newspaper features sections care about way more than you do.

•Today’s Slice questions: Who around here is the absolute best when it comes to remembering names? The worst?

Write The Slice at P.O. Box 2160, Spokane, WA 99210; call (509) 459-5470; fax (509) 459-5098; e-mail pault@spokesman.com. For previous Slice columns, see www.spokesman.com/columnists. Back in 1959, Spokane’s Sandra Rima named a son “Flint” after a character on “Wagon Train.”

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