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Opinion >  Column

The Slice: These bruins have seen it all, sometimes with one eye

We’ve all heard of love birds. But love bears?

“I guess it was a given that my husband and I would get married,” wrote Christy Himmelright.

Why? Because they both had stuffed bears called “Panda.”

“I haven’t known anyone else who had this same style. All my friends/siblings had brown bears.”

The Slice asked readers if they still had their childhood stuffed bears.

Kimberly Shaw definitely does. “When I was about 3, I received the gift of a Teddy bear I aptly named Green Ted.”

She has had him for about 55 years. “He’s been snuggled by a number of different cats, cried on, forcibly fed things most bears would definitely not be interested in and I hate to even think about some of the other things he’s endured. But through almost all my life he has remained with me.

“To this day, I still love him and I think every child should have a Ted in their life. I hope when I’m old and tattered, someone still wants to snuggle me, but if not I will still have Ted.”

Mae Greenwood got her bear at Christmas in 1955, as she recalls. His name is Buster Brown. “He looks pretty good for 62.”

Greg Cossette is another who never turned his back on his old friend.

“I still have the stuffed bear I got for my 2nd birthday in 1950. His name is Grump. He was made to utter a growl when tipped down and back up. But it came out as ‘grummmp’ instead of ‘growwwl.’ He is silent and patched but still in one piece, a constant reminder of the good old days.”

Al Burtner said he has had his bear since 1940. The straw-filled bruin has been mended, but Al said the treatment was covered by Medi-Bear.

Much of the fur has been loved off Lisa Lasswell’s panda, Teddy, a bear she has had since the mid-1960s.

Don Hartvigsen has had his bear, Teddie, for about 70 years. “We’ve been through a great deal together.”

Richard Walden, who is 78, still has his bear, Teddy. And Teddy has his own little rocking chair.

Sue Plummer’s dad got Cubby for her while hitch-hiking from San Diego to Spokane in the early 1950s. “He sits on my sewing table and has a place of honor in my Christmas decorations.”

And certainly a place of honor is exactly what they all deserve.

Today’s Slice question: What’s the surest sign that your stuffed bear is a grizzly?

Write The Slice at P. O. Box 2160, Spokane, WA 99210; call (509) 459-5470; email pault@spokesman.com. How many stuffed animals have you mended over the years?

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