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Opinion >  Column

The Slice: Spokane history being used as insulation

There’s no way to know exactly how many.

But behind the walls of a significant number of Spokane area homes of a certain age are wadded up newspaper pages from long ago.

I’ve always found that sort of interesting. But it became even more so when some old newspaper pages were discovered during remodeling last week at our house.

The brittle, yellowed pages are from the Spokane Daily Chronicle (Thursday, Oct. 22, 1953) and from The Spokesman-Review (Sunday, Jan. 17, 1954).

Wider than newspaper pages of today, they have a time-capsule feel.

The Chron pages are from the society section.

“Engagement Is Revealed” reads the headline over a story about Miss Kay Worthington’s plans to marry Donald Horan.

“Wedding Trip Taken By Pair” is the headline over a report on the nuptials of Wayne Hagel and Nadine Ferry. Among other details, it lists the bridesmaids and what they wore.

“Miss Louise Cadruvi, maid of honor, wore a ballerina length gown of orchid taffeta with a maroon velvet cape. She had a matching velvet headband and carried yellow pompons.”

Then there was “Curtis Paulsons Plan Birthday Celebration.”

Here’s how that story began. “Mr. and Mrs. Curtis Paulson will entertain members of the Warblers club Saturday evening at their home, W1210 Twenty-third. The occasion will celebrate Mr. Paulson’s birthday.”

A few of the other headlines included “Manito Golf Club Holds ‘Spook’ Party” (a Halloween gathering), “Spokane Club Has Harvest Country Fair Luncheon,” and “Butter Prices Boosted 1 Cent.”

Then, of course, there are the ads.

The Marlen Meat Market at 710 West Main offered “FRESH GROUND LEAN BEEF” at 29 cents a pound. “(Fine for Hamburgers or Meat Loaf).”

At Looft’s Food Market, Crestline and Empire, they had “Thick Juicy Sirloin Steaks” at 49 cents a pound.

Sigman’s (Monroe and Indiana, 5th and Washington, Post and Garland and 37th and Grand) advertised a “Large box” of Oxydol for 29 cents.

The old S-R pages had an ad for a floral print skirt ($9.88) from The Crescent.

“It’s for dancing and dating … it’s for walking and talking … it’s for fun under the sun and stars. …”

And there was a story by our very own Dorothy Dean, “Hoarding Habit Regarded as Very Impractical One.”

The gist of it seemed to be that if you received perfume as a Christmas present, go ahead and use it.

Then, I suppose, some of our big advertisers would be happy to sell you more.

Today’s Slice question: What did you find behind your walls?

Write The Slice at P. O. Box 2160, Spokane, WA 99210; call (509) 459-5470; email Try not to trigger a back spasm.

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