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The Slice: Called out on blanket assumptions

Let’s address the reader who said her brother sucked his thumb while holding on to his blankie as it was drying on an outdoor clothesline.

As you might recall, I had wondered if she might actually be remembering an old “Peanuts” strip. But a number of readers suggested it was, in all likelihood, an accurate account.

“I have to support her,” wrote Janet Benoit. “I have a photo of my daughter when she was in diapers (she is now 48 years old). She is standing at the clothesline clutching her baby blanket firmly in one hand. The other thumb is firmly in her mouth.”

Benoit speculated that cartoonist Charles Schulz might have observed a similar scene long ago.

Brenda Walker sent a picture of her son, Gates, holding his blanket as it dried on the clothesline. He was 3 at the time. In a couple of weeks, he’ll head off to college.

“He didn’t stand there the entire time it was drying,” his mom recalled. “However, he would notice it off and on and go over to the clothesline to get his fix.”

Dana Eberly is another who urged me to believe the original reader submission. “I have absolute faith in the story about the dried security blanket with the attached child. My son gripped the free edge of his blanket as I repaired the other side with the sewing machine. Kids know you have to protect precious friends.”

Sib Gray, who also submitted photographic evidence, wrote, “It could happen! It happened quite frequently with my third child.”

And Nancy Betts took me to task for being skeptical. “Shame on you for doubting the dear lady who said her brother would hold on to his blanket while sucking his thumb. My daughter wouldn’t let her blankie out of her sight even while it was drying on the clothesline. She would stand there hanging on to it while sucking her thumb until it was dry.”

Thanks for the feedback. I sent a coveted reporter’s notebook to the reader who first brought this up.

Today’s Slice question: Do you have any close friends whose lifestyle choices are not exactly the same as your own?

Write The Slice at P.O. Box 2160, Spokane, WA 99210; call (509) 459-5470; email “I predict that anyone reading this now will not see the Avista Stadium parking lot paved in their lifetime,” wrote Jeff Bergman.

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