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Opinion >  Column

The Slice: Maybe this is how Tony the Tiger started

Some phonetics lessons stick.

“My first grandchild had trouble talking,” wrote Lillian Moore Lind of Coeur d’Alene.

Over and over, Lillian coached her to say “Grrramma.”

But initially at least, the child could manage only “Grrr.”

It sounded a bit like a youth imitating the growling sound a large predator makes.

“So now, at 92 years old, all the grandchildren call me Grrr or Great Grrr. I like it. My daughter-in-law thinks it is appropriate and earned.”

Grrr addendum: The previous item reminded me of a misheard lyric. When I first heard the 1971 hit song “Family Affair” by Sly & The Family Stone, I thought the refrain was “It’s a family of bear.”

Sure, that makes no sense. But isn’t that true of much in life?

Gullibility Dept.: Sue Hille remembered how, back in their high school days, a couple of her sons had a certain young lady convinced that a bridge was being built from Seattle to Hawaii.

That’s ludicrous, of course. But I wonder how long that drive would take.

One more note on funeral music: “My Dad’s friend Tom was a huge Mariners fan with a wonderful sense of humor,” wrote Jan Jenne. “He died when the Mariners were a great team with players like Edgar Martinez, Randy Johnson, Jay Buhner, Ken Griffey Jr. Of course, his obituary included ‘Go Mariners!’

“Tom had a nephew who was his namesake and also a priest. He officiated at the funeral. It was indeed a celebration of life with great stories about Tom. As the funeral ended and we left the church, the recessional was ‘Take Me Out to the Ballgame.’ ”

North to Alaska: The Slice’s stories about summer vacation road trips reminded David Ellis of an epic family holiday in 1966.

“My dad, then police Captain John W. Ellis, took eight kids and two adults on a one month journey in a ’57 Ford station wagon and a 5x8 plywood trailer – a trip from Spokane to Fairbanks, Alaska.”

David said this newspaper did a story on the family trip after they returned. He said his dad was pictured with a full beard, the only time David can remember him having one.

“We suffered 21 flat tires, forgotten tent poles and many mechanical problems. My mom, to this day, still has the log book of that trip.”

David’s dad passed away in 1990.

Today’s Slice question: How do you respond when you cheerfully say hello to people in passing and they ignore you?

Write The Slice at P. O. Box 2160, Spokane, WA 99210; call (509) 459-5470; email pault@spokesman.com. Robert Fairfax’s granddaughter, Clementine, calls him “Boppa.”

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