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The Slice: Can a microwave last long enough to be considered retro?

The other day, a Slice reader wondered if anyone still uses a microwave oven as old as her 1986 model.

Here’s a sampling of the responses.

Betty Peters said the JC Penney unit her family bought in the fall of 1984 endures. “It is a large boxy thing,” said Peters, who lives on the east side of Jump Off Joe Lake.

It’s no longer in the kitchen, having been relegated to a spot downstairs. But it’s still cooking.

Tum Tum’s Jim Haunschild continues to use the Toshiba microwave oven he bought in 1985.

Bernadette Powers relies on a Riccar microwave purchased in 1981. “I have all the original paperwork including a recipe book.”

Spokane’s Wendy Pemberton still has an Amana that was a Christmas gift from her mother-in-law in 1982. It has had a couple of parts replaced but has, as Wendy put it, chugged along like a trouper.

“Silly how I am attached to it and all the memories it has warmed.”

Virginia Breckenridge’s Sharp microwave is from 1979.

Beulah Patterson has a Sharp purchased in 1978.

Gary Goddard still uses a Quasar from 1984.

Wende Barker purchased her Quasar 7720 for $597.95 plus tax on Nov. 26, 1982. “Still works.”

Another reader, who said she and her husband are older than dirt, reported having a microwave from 1978. “Animal House” was a new movie that year.

Candy Frankel’s microwave came with the house when they moved in 25 years ago. It’s a 1984 model. “We’ve never had to do anything except clean it.”

Then there was this from Robin Hoyt in Priest River, Idaho.

“My sister’s is a 1984. It still works great, we use it presently, and the only thing that was replaced on it was the light bulb.”

It’s a General Electric. “The family has tried to get her a new one and she tells them NO, that this one works just fine.”

The hilariously heavy unit is being left to her granddaughter in her will. Hoyt explained why. “She has been the only one that hasn’t tried to replace it on her.”

Today’s Slice question: If you spend a lot of time interacting with elderly individuals, do you find that you are often asked by younger people to lower your voice?

Write The Slice at P.O. Box 2160, Spokane, WA 99210; call (509) 459-5470; email You might not always remember where you put the car keys. But thanks to born-in-Spokane animator Chuck Jones, Americans of a certain age can almost universally recall “Kill the wabbit!”

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