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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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News >  The Slice

The Slice: Lake Doe is beautiful this time of year

This is just a theory, mind you.

But it’s my belief that a significant percentage of Inland Northwest residents would not admit it if they had never heard of an obscure area lake that came up in conversation.

They would just nod and maybe change the subject.

Such is the local desire to not be seen as a newcomer that many would rather keep silent and refrain from admitting the truth than expose their pockets of regional ignorance.

You see, if one were to say “Where the heck is Lake Samolian?” or “I’ve never heard of Jump-Off-Ezekiah Lake,” others might think you are from California or, God forbid, Seattle.

The thing is, there are a lot of lakes around here. It would not be real cause for shame if, by chance, one or two ponds had escaped your notice. But some of us pretend to have encyclopedic knowledge of area waters.

Doubt me? OK, try this.

Sometime when the opportunity presents itself, make up the name of a fictitious Spokane area lake and find a way to work it into conversation.

“Yeah, we’re going up to Dingus Lake next weekend to see if we need to evict any raccoons from our summer place up there.”

OK, some might ask about that. Or assume it is your private nickname for a lake with a recognizable designation. But I’m betting at least a few other locals would fail to acknowledge that they were not at all familiar with that particular geographic place name.

“Dingus Lake? Yeah, I was up there one time and a huge sturgeon rammed my boat.”

The hierarchy: Spokane might not be the T-shirt wearing capital of the United States. I suspect countless other cities could make that claim with equal legitimacy.

But with one of the big days on the local T-shirt calendar just a week away, this seemed like a good time to contemplate the categorization of the dozens of shirts in the typical Spokane resident’s collection. You know, when do you wear certain shirts and when do you wear others.

Now each individual has to make the call on what shirts go in which grouping. But here, according to The Slice, are the basic categories in Spokane.

Bedtime apparel – Shirts suitable for use as sleepwear.

Everyday wear – Working in the yard, washing the car, going to the store.

TV watching togs – Shirts already so food-stained that a few more pizza splotches won’t matter.

Motivational – These tees are way too tight because you have gained weight since acquiring them. They make you look like a bursting sausage. But a little tough love is the whole idea.

Office apparel – Shirts presentable enough to be worn to work.

Marie Kondo – For the love of … isn’t it time to get rid of a few dozen of these?

Special occasions – T-shirts reserved for parties, weddings, graduations, et cetera.

Never wear – Your prized, absolute favorite tees.

Feedback: Last week, in a column over in the Northwest section, I brought up the subject of ticks. Several readers then shared their experiences with being involuntary blood donors. But my favorite bit of feedback came from a woman who took me to task for appearing to be squeamish about the word “scrotum.” (As in arthropods latching onto and burrowing in.)

My first impulse was to simulate the classically crude “Hey, I gotcher …” gesture. But I had to admit she had a point.

This month’s Slice question: Because the year 1969 abounded with cultural milestones, 2019 has been and will be choked with 50th anniversary observances. You know, the Joe Namath Super Bowl, the moon landing, Woodstock, the Amazin’ Mets winning the World Series and so on.

But here’s my question, aimed squarely at Slice readers who have been around the block more than a few times: What was the best age to be in 1969?

I’m curious about readers’ takes on this because, of course, I’ve always more or less assumed my own age for most of that year – 14 – was the best in many ways. The ideal societal vantage.

For middle class American 14-year-olds, life was really starting to get interesting on the social front. But things were still innocent enough to avoid most truly life-wrecking mistakes. For boys, the possibility of getting shipped to Vietnam was still distant thunder. And popular culture suddenly seemed obsessed with youth. It was, as the song said, the dawning of the Age of Aquarius.

OK, kidding about that last one.

Sure, 14 was too young to be fully immersed in mind-blowing hedonism. But there’s a lot to be said for anticipation coupled with imagination. And 1969 was a gangbusters year for imagination.

The Eagle had landed, baby. In more ways than one.

Still, your mileage may vary. So feel free to make a case for the age you were in 1969, assuming you had joined the party by then. I might share a few of your observations in some far-out future column.

Columnist Paul Turner can be reached at

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