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Opinion >  Column

The Slice: Reaching into the mailbag

OK, it’s time for Slice readers to have their say.

Correspondents telling about what they were doing when they were the farthest north they’ve ever been included Air Force veterans who have flown over the pole, one-time oil company employees who had worked in Alaska and travelers who had visited the northernmost tip of Norway.

And there were other reasons for being that far north. “I spent three years working as a program director at KBRW radio in Point Barrow, Alaska,” wrote Joe Sivula.

Examples of encountering those who don’t know their U.S. geography included several instances of confusing Idaho with Iowa, not remembering that there are two Washingtons, and the classic failure to recognize that New Mexico is in the United States.

Craig Parks shared some of the things students at a large university in the Midwest wrote down when challenged to draw a map of the 50 states in just two or three minutes. It was a long time ago, but Craig still has a notebook in which he recorded some of the highlights.

“A sampling of the things I saw: The state of Middle Dakota; South Carolina above North Carolina; California spanning the entire West Coast; Nevada bordering Mexico; Nevada bordering Canada; Mississippi and New Mexico switched; and Rhode Island being added as an actual island in the Atlantic.”

Lots of readers do, in fact, remember the cartoon character Huckleberry Hound. And quite a few others knew Hugh “Dr. House” Laurie played the newspaper reading Mr. Palmer in 1996’s “Sense and Sensibility.”

Several Slice readers agreed one drawback to being so far from larger cities is the relative lack of options when it comes to nonstop, direct flights.

Let’s wrap up with a childhood Halloween memory shared by Linda Peters.

“Many years ago, a week before Halloween, I became very sick and ended up in Sacred Heart hospital having my appendix removed. Not being able to move much, let alone walk, trick-or-treating was obviously out of the question. My brother, Larry, went out as normal and, unbeknownst to me, came home, changed his costume (which may have meant wiping the hobo coffee grounds off his greasy face), and went out again, covering the same houses he had gone to the first time. He then proudly surprised me with a bag of candy exactly like his. Now that’s a GOOD brother and great memory.”

Today’s Slice question: Ever looked closely at the list of ingredients in a store-bought pumpkin pie?

Write The Slice at P. O. Box 2160, Spokane, WA 99210; call (509) 459-5470; email pault@spokesman.com. Stan Hughes wonders if Spokane could rightfully call itself the Pine Needle Capital of the World.

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