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Opinion >  Column

The Slice: This date in history doesn’t seem to offer much

Let’s get right to it.

Today’s Slice question: What lessons can Spokane learn from the Oct. 19, 1864, Confederate raid on St. Albans, Vt.?

A) Proximity to Canada is not necessarily a walk in the park.

B) A couple dozen soldier-age men arriving in town for a “sporting vacation” may be, in fact, rebels planning to rob banks.

C) If hostiles can launch border-crossing mischief from Montreal, why not from Trail or Nelson?

D) Watch your flank.

E) Everyone in Spokane should be armed at all times.

F) Expect the unexpected.

G) If the politician or security-system salesperson on your front porch sounds like a Confederate sympathizer, close the door and call the cavalry.

H) Being considered a “quiet” town can make your community a target.

I) Strangers lie.

J) Men with accents will try to steal your horse.

K) Being a bank teller is no piece of cake.

L) “Near nature, near raiders sneaking across the border”?

M) The name “British Columbia” is inherently hostile and rife with portents of simmering conflict.

N) Suspect everyone.

O) Those people with rusted trucks in their yards could be loyal to Gen. Robert E. Lee.

P) Why does your gray cat scratch you? Could be a Reb.

Q) North-of-the-border polluting of the Columbia River – the usual corporate expedience or a sinister plot?

R) Wake up America, before it’s too late.

S) Despite what proponents of major junior hockey say, players who go the U.S. college route can wind up being stars in the NHL – see stats on St. Albans native/University of Vermont grad John LeClair.

T) Ken Burns can be a bit much, but he produced remarkable programming over the years.

U) Just when you least expect it …

V) If some rude yahoos try to burn down your town and succeed only in scorching one measly shed, it means God was on your side.

W) Get distracted by foliage and some plantation owners’ belligerent lackeys might try to rob you.

X) You cannot count on Canadian courts to do the right thing.

Y) There are no lessons Spokane can learn from that obscure Civil War incident.

Z) Other.

Write The Slice at P.O. Box 2160, Spokane, WA 99210; call (509) 459-5470; email Does apple cider, to borrow a Northwest yogurt brand’s euphemistic slogan, activate your life?

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