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Opinion >  Column

The Slice: Santa says: Keep on truckin’

After Bill Turner shared a family Halloween story in October, the retired WSU professor mentioned that he also had a memorable tale of Christmas from his childhood, if I was interested.

Here it is.

“During World War II, my parents and I were living in Southern California. I was 2 years old at the time.

“Money was short and my parents were always looking for ways to trim the family budget. Although I do not recall the incident, my mother mentioned it several times later as I was growing up. It was one of her ‘lesson tales’ that she related to help me understand how difficult financial conditions for the family were then.

“Apparently, I received a small, wooden truck for Christmas. It was one of those simple but sturdy wooden semi-type trucks with a solid cab pulling an open trailer behind.

“The next year, my parents ‘stole back’ the truck before Christmas, rewrapped it in tissue paper, and re-gifted it to me on Christmas morning.

“They thought it was particularly amusing that I failed to recognize my own truck from the previous year.

“I always wondered what eventually happened to that truck after I grew up. It was sturdy enough to still be around. Perhaps they re-gifted it to someone else.”

Today’s Jane Austen birthday item: What Inland Northwest place name would have been right at home in one of her novels?

A) Colfax. B) Colville. C) Spangle. D) Cocolallashire. E) Other.

Today’s Beethoven birthday (there is some question about this) item: What do you visualize when listening to the Pastoral Symphony?

Today’s Battle of the Bulge item: What’s the best response to a hostile ultimatum?

A) “You know, I really don’t care for your tone.” B) “Yea, verily.” C) “Oh, really?” D) “Nuts!” E) Other.

Slice answers: Readers had been asked about listening to music when they were 13.

“I turned 13 years old in 1964 but I listened to music from my Westinghouse AM transistor radio that I received for Christmas in 1963,” wrote Gerry Wilson. “This also had me becoming a Beatles fan that year (still am) and especially after watching them on the ‘Ed Sullivan’ show.”

Shelley Davis shared some perfectly fine memories of music she listened to in 1970. Then she wrote, “This answer was much more interesting in my head, but that’s the thing with nostalgia.”

Today’s Slice question: Any chance visitors think your home smells funny?

Write The Slice at P.O. Box 2160, Spokane, WA 99210; call (509) 459-5470; email A number of Slice readers described their visit to the USS Arizona Memorial as a moving experience.

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