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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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100 years ago in Spokane: Letter from voyaging army man describes weather-side seasoning

 (Spokesman-Review archives)
(Spokesman-Review archives)

Cyrus Hawver, the first Lewis and Clark High School students to enlist after war was declared, sent a letter to his mother, describing his voyage to Europe. He wasn’t able to say where he was or what ship he was on, but he was able to describe a typical dinnertime:

“If our food lacked salt we went to the weather side of the deck, where the spray blew high and lo! the food was salted,” Hawver wrote. “But the high wind that sometimes blew would often remove the contents of a fellow’s mess tin to the overcoat of a nearby chap. Some chaps had a knack for catching the flying food in their own mess tins, however. I saw a chap catch two pork sausages this morning during a strong blow.”

From the library beat: About 14 candidates took the examination for the Spokane Public Library’s librarian training class, and six or seven of the top scorers would be chosen for the course.

Applicants were expected to be well-versed in literature, science, history, geography and the arts. Here are a few of the questions:

In what books do these characters appear? Bill Sykes, Hester Prynne, Jean Valjean, Edmond Dantes, Nydia, Mulvaney, John Silver, Tess, Becky Sharp and Sidney Carton.

What and where are the following? Faneuil Hall, Cambrai, St. Sophia, Harper’s Ferry, the Piave, Culebra Cut, Mosque of Omar, Brest-Litovsk, the Ukraine and Sistine Chapel.

Applicants were also expected to keep up with current events. They had to answer this question: “Why is there a coal shortage, and what steps has the government taken to relieve it?”

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