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Opinion >  Column

The Slice: Ah, sweet mystery of life

The Slice asked readers if they thought the young Bing Crosby ever rode his bike on their street.

Retired airline pilot Kevin Martin answered via email.

“Having grown up less than a block from Bing’s childhood home on Sharp Avenue, I’m certain he must have ridden his bike on my street.”

He continued.

“However, my claim to fame is that on a warm summer evening in about 1950, my friend Bobby, who lived in the Crosby home at that time, and I learned the facts of life on Bing’s front porch, but not from Bing. An older boy from the neighborhood explained things to us and I didn’t believe a word he said. Turns out he had everything pretty much right.”

Martin would have been about 6. “I can still clearly see us sitting on that porch that warm evening. I drive by that house fairly often and sometimes remember it. Funny how momentous life events stick with us.”

Tim Wink knows the young Bing didn’t ride his bike on Wink’s street. His part of town was still woods back then.

But when Wink is at the 100-year-old Downriver Golf Course, he thinks about Bing having caddied at the then-new course.

And I heard from my friend John Kafentzis, who teaches at Gonzaga University.

“My street didn’t exist when Bing was alive, but I often imagine him wandering the halls of the older buildings at Gonzaga, in sepia tone of course.”

Today’s unexpected delight of being a grandparent: “One of the most endearing things is the names our grandchildren called us,” wrote Laurie Newell. “The oldest boy (who has just turned 5) used to call both of us ‘gomma’ at first. In a while he added ‘gompa’ to his vocabulary, but on any given day we’d both be called the same thing. Whenever anyone politely corrected him, he’d just say the same name louder. It became a guessing game as to which of the two of us he really wanted.”

Slice answers: Dave Hutton said the song title that sums up his approach to yard work is “Let it Be.”

And in the matter of Spokane being a perfect test market for what product, The Slice heard from Carrie O’Shaughnessy. “I read the Slice question to my husband. Without much thought, he declared, ‘Shock absorbers!’ I completely agree.”

Today’s Slice question: In the Spokane area, how often is a vintage pickup truck mentioned as a specific bequest in someone’s will?

Write The Slice at P. O. Box 2160, Spokane, WA 99210; call (509) 459-5470; email Thanks to Colville reader Gordy Johnson for calling my attention to the Geezers of Fury bicycle club in Western Washington.

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