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The Slice: Greetings from Spokane

October 29, 2016 GMT

Here’s a question for collectors of vintage postcards with a Spokane theme.

When the cards were mailed from Spokane by people visiting our fair city, what did the senders say about our town all those years ago?

Let’s move on.

Long ago, not far away: “With sadness we are cleaning and remodeling a rental I bought in 1978,” wrote Sally Bean. “I rented to Mary that year. She had three small children. She raised her family here and was a wonderful renter since 1978. She passed away recently. As we were working we were wondering if this is some sort of record for the longest time to rent to one person.”

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Observations about air travelers headed for Spokane: Bryan Vila, a professor emeritus at WSU, saw Tuesday’s column addressing this topic.

“Here’s what I’ve seen among the folks waiting with me for that last leg home.

“Nearly everyone smiles more the closer they get to Spokane. No matter how beat I am from a trip, I find myself grinning as we come in for a landing.

“These are people who routinely help one another, and strangers sometimes seem stunned by the nonchalant good will.

“All in all, most of the passengers are kind, friendly, polite, direct, self-confident, and can-do folks.”

So, you’re thinking that seems a tad rose-tinted? Well, maybe most of the problem personalities in our midst don’t do a lot of flying.

Warm-up question: Had enough of Halloween already? OK, let’s jump ahead to Thanksgiving. With which character in 1987’s “Planes, Trains & Automobiles” do you identify?

A) Shower ring con man and Ray Charles fan Del “The Canadian Mounted” Griffith. B) Marketing snob Neal Page. C) William Windom as the indecisive executive. D) The sinus-snorting Kansan who arrives in a pickup to give Neal and Del a ride to the train station. E) Neal’s son with the “Hey kids, please beat me up” haircut. F) The state trooper played by Michael McKean. G) Neal’s upscale suburban wife. H) Other.

Today’s Slice question: For what product/service categories would Spokane still be considered an excellent test market?

(Our relative isolation from the message contamination of other media markets isn’t what it once was. And our area’s consumer demographics certainly do not reflect the nation as a whole. But maybe this would still be a good place to test a new line of camouflage leisure wear or discount survivalist snacks.)

Write The Slice at P. O. Box 2160, Spokane, WA 99210; call (509) 459-5470; email pault@spokesman.com. Slice reader Ron Hunt likes cowboy boots but not wearing them.