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The Slice: Vintage cans help raise bar for recycling

When I was a college freshman in New England, my older brother came for a visit.

He brought some Coors beer from his home in Colorado. That brand was not available back East then and enjoyed a certain cachet.

This guy in my dorm – Jerry something – asked if he could have one of the empty cans. And for the remainder of that school year, I would see him at keggers holding that Coors can like a torch. He refilled it over and over.

Pathetic poser clinging to a silly affectation? Sure. But I think some Spokane 21-year-old ought to try that. Except, instead of a Coors can, he or she ought to employ a vintage can or bottle from a long-ago Spokane brewery. (They can be found online.)

The choices include Bohemian Club, Brown Derby, Golden Age and even “brewed in Spokane, Washington” Rainier.

It’s a heritage-saluting conversation starter. Just try not to swallow any rust flakes.

Slice answers: “I’ve been pretty lucky in the kitchen, but my mother was notorious for regularly cutting and burning herself while preparing the family meals,” wrote Robin Moseley of Coeur d’Alene. “Westerns were big on television when I was a kid and I remember thinking that the row of oven-rack burn scars on her forearm looked like notches on the bad guy’s pistol grip.”

In another matter, a Slice reference to common gadgets with more computing power than Apollo 11 reminded Coeur d’Alene’s Kate Wendell of what passed for kids’ communications technology when she was a child in the 1940s back in Milwaukee.

Wendell and her best friend attached a long piece of waxed string to a pair of empty soup cans and “talked” from house to house.

They might not have had a firm grasp on the science of voice transmission. But there was nothing wrong with their imaginations.

Today’s Slice question: Do those who toil in open offices know less about their co-workers’ private lives these days because conversations that once might have been conducted over the phone can now take place silently via email or texting?

Write The Slice at P.O. Box 2160, Spokane, WA 99210; call (509) 459-5470; email Mary Jo Sattler wonders how many others remember the radio adventures of The Cinnamon Bear.

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