HISTORY IS ALL AROUND YOU, IF YOU KNOW WHERE TO LOOK. HELLO, I’M TOM MCARTHUR IN THE GREAT GALLERY OF THE CHENEY-COWLES MUSEUM. THIS IS ONE PLACE WHERE YOU CAN FIND REMNANTS OF THINGS THAT USED TO BE IN SPOKANE. FOR THE NEXT HOUR YOU’RE TV SET IS ANOTHER. DO YOU REMEMBER RIDING THE STREETCARS IN SPOKANE? VISITING THE MANITO PARK ZOO? – OR WATCHING CAP’N CY ON TELEVISION? WHETHER YOU ANSWERED “YES,” OR “HUH,” I THINK YOU’LL ENJOY OUR NOSTALGIC WALK THROUGH SPOKANE DURING THE MIDDLE HALF OF THE 20TH CENTURY, FROM ROUGHLY 1925 TO 1975. WITH THE HELP OF OLD PHOTOGRAPHS, OLD MOVIES AND A FEW OLD TIMERS, THIS IS OUR WAY OF REMEMBERING SPOKANE. THE STREETCAR RAN UP BERNARD AND THERE IS SORT OF A SLIGHT INCLINE THERE. AND IT WAS GREAT SPORT FOR ME TO TAKE MY GRANDMOTHER’S HOME-MADE LYE SOAP-GREAT BIG BARS OF IT-AND GO OVER AND SOAP THE LINE WHERE THE STREET CAR STOPPED TO LET THE PASSENGERS OFF WITH SOAP. THEN HE COULDN’T GET STARTED AGAIN. THE WHEELS WOULD SPIN AROUND AND HE’D HAVE TO BACK THE TRAIN BACK DOWN THE STREET AND GET A RUN TO GET OVER THAT SOAPY AREA. STREETCARS HERE DATE BACK TO 1888, WHEN A TWO HORSEPOWER CAR CONNECTS BROWNE’S ADDITION WITH DOWNTOWN SPOKANE FALLS. STREETCARS SOON BECOME EVERYONE’S FAVORITE WAY OF GETTING FROM HERE TO THERE. ODDLY, THEY ARE NEVER FITTED WITH WINDSHIELD WIPERS, SO INVENTIVE MOTORMEN TAKE TO SMEARING THEIR WINDSHIELDS WITH A WAD OF CHEWING TOBACCO TO SHEET OFF THE RAIN. THE PAY AS YOU ENTER FARE IS A NICKEL. WE DIDN’T THINK A THING ABOUT IT. IT WAS OUR MODE OF TRANSPORTATION. IT HAD THE HANGING STRAPS UP ABOVE AND IF IT GOT TOO CROWDED YOU HAD YOUR STRAP AND HUNG ON. THOSE WERE THE DAYS WHEN THE GENTLEMEN GAVE THE LADIES SEATS. AND I CAN REMEMBER THE WOVEN COVERS ON THE SEATS. THEY WERE SLICK AND SHINY AND WHEN YOU WERE YOUNG ENOUGH YOU SLID ON THEM. WHENEVER THEY WOULD GET SOMEWHERE AND THEY WERE TURNING AROUND THIS CABLE THAT WAS UP THERE BEGAN TO SPARK. YOU KNEW THERE’D BE A SPARK LIKE ELECTRIC SPARK WHENEVER THEY WERE TURNING AROUND OR EVEN WHEN IT WENT DOWN THE STREET THERE WAS AN ELECTRIC SPARK. AND THAT’S WHAT FASCINATED ME AS A KID SEEING THAT ELECTRIC SPARK. ASK GIRLS WHAT THEY REMEMBER MOST ABOUT THE STREET CARS AND THEY’LL PROBABLY SAY RIDING THEM. ASK BOYS WHAT THEY REMEMBER MOST ABOUT THE STREET CARS, AND THEY’LL PROBABLY SAY PULLING THEM. SEE, THE TROLLEY GOES, THERE’S A LINE AND YOU PULL A TROLLEY AND IT SLIPS OF AND IT KILLS ALL THE ENERGY, THE ELECTRICITY. OH, WE’D PULL IT A LOT. I REMEMBER PUTTING PENNIES AND NICKELS ON THE TRACK SO THAT THE STREET CAR WENT OVER IT AND SMASHED THEM. THAT WAS CHILD’S PLAY IN THOSE DAYS. GIRLS AS WELL AS BOYS COULD DO THAT SORT OF THING. THE BOYS USED TO PULL THE LINE, THE TROLLEY LINE OFF THE WIRING ABOVE. I REMEMBER ONE TIME I PULLED A TROLLEY RIGHT ON SPRUCE STREET, WHERE COEUR D’ ALENE PARK IS, AND THE CONDUCTOR CHASED ME CLEAR TO THE WESTMINSTER HOTEL, WHICH IS A BLOCK AWAY, WESTMINSTER APARTMENTS, NOW; IT USED TO BE THE WESTMINSTER HOTEL. AND THEY HAD A DINING ROOM, AND HE CHASED ME ALL THE WAY THROUGH THE RESTAURANT IN THE HOTEL BUT HE NEVER CAUGHT ME. ON THE LAST DAY OF AUGUST IN 1936, SPOKANE BECOMES THE FIRST CITY ON THE PACIFIC COAST TO COMPLETELY MOTORIZE ITS PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION SYSTEM WITH MODERN BUSSES. STREET CAR NUMBER 202, A VETERAN OF MORE THAN 1-MILLION-6-HUNDRED-THOUSAND MILES–MORE THAN THREE ROUND TRIPS TO THE MOON–TRAVELS ITS LAST MILES TO THE END OF THE LINE AT NATATORIUM PARK, WHERE IT IS STUFFED WITH HAY BALES AND SET ON FIRE. FROM NOW ON, PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION IN SPOKANE MEANS RIDING THE BUS. IT IS STILL POSSIBLE TO DRIVE YOUR CAR ALONG THE BOONE-ASTOR LINE, AND IMAGINE THE SOUND OF STEEL WHEELS ON THE RAILS, AND PUT A PENNY ON THE TRACKS. SPOKANE EMBRACES TELEPHONE TECHNOLOGY! IN THE BEGINNING, TELEPHONE NUMBERS CONTAIN ONLY THREE DIGITS, AND AN OPERATOR MUST MAKE THE CONNECTION. ROTARY DIAL TELEPHONES ARRIVE IN THE 1920S, ALLOWING ONE TO DIAL DIRECTLY-FIRST A LETTER FOR THE OFFICE NAME, THEN A FOUR-DIGIT NUMBER. CALLERS RING THE 1950S BY DIALING TWO LETTERS AND FIVE NUMBERS. AND TODAY, MOST CALLERS USE TOUCH-TONE PHONES, MAKING THE DREAM OF VOICE MAIL A REALITY. AND THAT’S THE WAY IT WAS. NATATORIUM PARK, WHERE SPOKANE BURNED ITS LAST STREETCAR, WAS MORE COMMONLY KNOWN AS NAT PARK. THAT’S ONE OF ITS ORIGINAL SIGNS UP THERE. NAT PARK WAS SPOKANE’S PLAYGROUND FOR 79 YEARS. ON ITS BEST DAYS, MORE THAN 60- THOUSAND PEOPLE WENT TO NAT, TO PICNIC, TO SWIM, OR TO DANCE. TODAY, THERE ARE MORE THAN A DOZEN PLACES WHERE YOU CAN DO THOSE THINGS, BUT FOR A TIME THERE WAS ONLY ONE–NATATORIUM PARK. I’D GO DOWN THE SHOOT-THE-CHUTE INTO THE WATER, GO ON THE CARROUSEL (WENT UP AND GO DOWN THE JACKRABBIT. OH THAT WAS FUN). AND SWAM IN THE POOL THEY HAD A WONDERFUL POOL. NATATORIUM PARK IS THE CONEY ISLAND OF THE INLAND EMPIRE. IT IS OPENED IN 1889 AS A TROLLEY PARK-ENTICING OASES AT THE END OF THE LINE-TO ENCOURAGE RIDERSHIP OF THE CITY STREET CARS. NAT QUICKLY BECOMES THE RECREATIONAL CENTER FOR THE ENTIRE REGION, AND IS THE CITY’S FIRST HOME FOR THE NEW GAME OF BASEBALL. A POPULAR TEAM IS THE HOUSE OF DAVID. THEY HAD ALL SORTS OF TRICKS THAT THEY WOULD PLAY BEFORE THE GAME. THEY WOULD LINE UP OUTSIDE AND THEY WOULD BE PASSING THE BALL BACK AND FORTH SOMEWHAT LIKE THE HARLEM GLOBETROTTERS DO WITH THE BASKETBALL. YOU NEVER KNOW WHERE THE BALL’S GOING TO GO NEXT. NATATORIUM IS THE LATIN WORD FOR POOL, AND NATATORIUM PARK TAKES ITS NAME FROM ITS MOST POPULAR ATTRACTION-AN OLYMPIC-SIZED SWIMMING POOL FILLED WITH PURE WELL WATER HEATED BY COAL. SOME ARE CONTENT TO SPLASH ABOUT, WHILE OTHERS SEEK A THRILL FROM DIVING OFF THE SECOND FLOOR BALCONY. WELL, I DON’T KNOW WHETHER WE DOVE OR JUMPED. WE’D CLIMB UP ON THE RAFTERS, YOU KNOW, THEY HAD SOME TRESTLES UP THERE ON A BIG BEAM, AND WE’D CLIMB UP IN THERE AND JUMP IN THE DEEP END. IN THE 30S AND 40S, THEY HAD SOMETHING CALLED THE TILLICUM’S. THE CHRONICLE SPONSORED IT. I THINK IT WAS ONE DAY A YEAR WHERE YOU COULD WRITE TO THE PAPER AND GIVE THEM YOUR NAME, AND THEY WOULD SEND YOU FIVE TICKETS OR SOMETHING LIKE THAT TO GO ON A FEW RIDES AT NAT. THE WILDEST ATTRACTION IN THE PARK’S HISTORY IS ADDED IN 1920. IT IS OFFICIALLY BILLED AS A GRAVITY SLIDE, AND CALLED THE JACK RABBIT. BY ANY OTHER NAME, IT’S STILL A ROLLER COASTER OF A RIDE. AS YOU GOT UP THERE, THERE WAS THAT MOMENT OF ANTICIPATION. YOU KNEW YOU WERE GOING TO GO OVER THE BANK, AND YOUR MUSCLES GOT TENSE, AND YOU GOT READY TO YELL, AND THEN YOU WENT OVER THE TOP AND SCREAMED LIKE MAD. TO LET GO AND SCREAM, AND HAVE THAT WIND WHIZZING THROUGH YOUR HAIR. IT WAS MARVELOUS. NAT’S “GOLDEN AGE” COMES DURING THE 1940S WHEN HUNDREDS OF SOLDIERS FROM FORT WRIGHT AND SAILORS FROM FARRAGUT HAVE ONLY ONE PLACE TO GO FOR FUN. THE BIG BANDS ARE A BIG HIT, AND NAT BRINGS PEOPLE TOGETHER-IF ONLY FOR AN EVENING–WHO WILL SOON BE TORN APART BY THE WAR. AS PEOPLE FIND OTHER PLACES TO GO, NAT PARK DIES A SLOW DEATH AND CLOSES FOREVER IN 1968. THE JACK RABBIT IS BURNED AND THE SITE LEVELED. TODAY, WHAT WAS NAT IS THE SANS SOUCI MOBILE HOME PARK. KAREN DESEVE AND MARK BLUMHAGEN BOTH REMEMBER VISITING THE PARK AS KIDS, AND TOGETHER ARE WRITING A BOOK TO PRESERVE ITS STORY. THE ACTUAL PLUNGE IS STILL BURIED DOWN HERE. IT’S STILL HERE, PUMPS AND EVERYTHING STILL UNDERGROUND. THEY TRIED TO JACKHAMMER IT, AND THEY TRIED TO BREAK IT ALL UP AND ALL THEY DID WAS KNOCK A FEW PIECES OF TILE OFF INTO IT. IT WAS SO WELL BUILT THAT THEY JUST WENT AHEAD AND FILLED IT ALL IN. THAT WAS IN 1964. IF YOU KNOW WHERE TO LOOK, YOU CAN FIND OTHER SIGNS THAT NAT WAS HERE. OVERGROWN BY TREES AND SHRUBS IS THE V-SHAPED STAIRCASE THAT DELIVERED PATRONS TO THE PLUNGE. LEAN AGAINST THE RAILING HERE, AND YOU’RE STANDING EXACTLY WHERE THIS WOMAN PAUSED FOR A PICTURE ALMOST A HUNDRED YEARS AGO. ANOTHER PIECE OF NAT LIVES IN RIVERFRONT PARK. THE LOOFF CARROUSEL, INSTALLED AT NAT PARK IN 1909, OPENS HERE IN 1975 AND DECLARED A NATIONAL HISTORIC PLACE IN 1977. THIS WAS TOP OF THE LINE. AND IF YOU LOOK AT THESE HORSES, EVERY ONE OF THEM IS DIFFERENT, THERE ARE NO TWO ALIKE, EVERY ONE OF THEM IS VERY, VERY SPECIAL. BEAUTIFULLY CARVED. IT’S A SHOWPIECE. SPOKANE OUGHT TO BE VERY, VERY PROUD OF THIS ONE. INVENTED IN SPOKANE! THE FIRST TIME/TEMPERATURE SIGN IN THE WORLD IS INSTALLED IN DOWNTOWN SPOKANE, WASHINGTON IN 1951. NEED TO PARK DOWNTOWN? LOOK FOR A PIGEON HOLE PARKING LOT, WHERE AN ELEVATOR GENTLY LIFTS YOUR CAR AS HIGH AS THIRTY FEET IN THE AIR. TIME/TEMPERATURE SIGNS ARE NOW FAMOUS AROUND THE WORLD. PIGEON HOLE PARKING IS NOT. AND THAT’S THE WAY IT WAS. “OUR NEXT STOP ON THE CITY LOOP DRIVE WAS MANITO PARK, NATIONALLY FAMOUS FOR ITS SPECTACULAR FLOWER GARDEN.” SPOKANE PRIDES ITSELF ON ITS PARKS. THE MOST FAMOUS AMONG THEM BEING MANITO PARK-MANITO IS THE NEZ PERCE INDIAN WORD FOR HIGH GROUND. THROUGH THE YEARS, SOCIAL CLUBS OF ALL STRIPES AND COLORS MEET HERE, AND THE TREES PROVIDE SHADE FOR MANY CHURCH PICNICS. WE’D TAKE THE BUS, WITH OUR LUNCH AND EVERYTHING, CAN YOU IMAGINE GETTING ON THE BUS WITH ALL THIS STUFF, ALL YOUR BLANKETS AND ALL THIS STUFF-AND GOING TO MANITO PARK? THAT’S WHAT WE DID, ALL THE WAY ACROSS TOWN. BUT WE HAD A GREAT TIME. OF COURSE, MANITO PARK IN THOSE DAYS HAD A ZOO. THEY HAD WILD ANIMALS, BEARS AND COYOTES AND FOXES AND THINGS LIKE THAT. THAT WAS A BIG DEAL, THE ZOO. IF YOU GO UP THERE, I THINK ITS 24TH YOU KNOW WHERE THE POND IS. AND YOU GO UP IN HERE WAS WHERE THE WHOLE ZOO WAS. YOU HAD THE ELK’S PLACE UP ABOVE, AND THEY HAD BEARS, AND WE USED TO WALK A PATH AND IT WAS REALLY SOMETHING WHEN WE COULD GO TO THE ZOO. THE MANITO ZOO STARTS WITH A BEAVER FAMILY AROUND THE TURN OF THE CENTURY, AND GROWS TO INCLUDE A MENAGERIE OF EVERYTHING FROM BUFFALO TO GOATS. I CAN REMEMBER MY TERROR WHEN THE PANTHER AND THE COUGAR USED TO GO UP AND DOWN. WE WERE SO AFRAID THEY MIGHT GET OUT. AND THE STENCH FROM THE FOX CAGES. AND THEN THE TWO POLAR BEARS. THE TWO POLAR BEARS ARE ACTUALLY THE REASON MANITO PARK DOESN’T HAVE A ZOO ANYMORE. IN THE SUMMER OF 1923, 9-YEAR OLD MARY ELIZABETH HARRIS GRABS A HANDFUL OF BREAD, AND PUTS HER HAND INTO THE BEARS’ CAGE TO FEED THEM. THE LITTLE GIRL WHO GOT HER ARM PULLED OUT SAT RIGHT IN FRONT OF ME IN GRADE SCHOOL. A NICE LITTLE GAL. PULLED HER ARM OUT AT THE SHOULDER. SHE WAS FEEDING A POLAR BEAR AND HE GRABBED HER ARM AND TOOK THE WHOLE THING. THE GIRL SURVIVES, BUT TALK BEGINS OF KILLING THE ZOO, OR AT LEAST MOVING IT. THE MANITO ZOO PROVES TO BE TOO EXPENSIVE TO MOVE, AND TOO EXPENSIVE TO KEEP, SO THE PARK BOARD SHUTS IT DOWN IN 1932. THE SMALLER ANIMALS ARE ADOPTED OUT. THE LARGER ANIMALS– INCLUDING THE POLAR BEARS, TWO GRIZZLY BEARS AND THREE BUFFALO–ARE TAKEN OUT BY A GAME WARDEN WITH A 30-30 RIFLE. THUS ENDS THE MANITO PARK ZOO. YOU CAN SEE WHERE THE MANITO PARK ZOO USED TO BE BY SPOTTING THIS HOUSE IN THE OLD PICTURES. AS YOU STAND FACING THE BLUFF BEHIND THE PARK RESTAURANT, YOU ARE STANDING WHERE MARY ELIZABETH HARRIS STOOD WITH HER HANDFUL OF BREAD 75-YEARS AGO. THERE IS A TIME, IN SPOKANE, WHEN YOU DON’T HAVE TO GO TO THE ZOO, THE ZOO COMES TO YOU. WELL, A ZOO OF SORTS. WILLIS R. WILEY GAINS FAME FOR HIS COLLECTION OF SKUNKS, MONKEYS, PIGLETS AND OTHER CRITTERS WITH WHOM HE SHARES HIS LIFE, AND THE FACT THAT HE WEARS BARELY ANY CLOTHES. WILLIE WILEY WAS SUCH A CHARACTER THAT WHEN WE HEARD THAT HE WAS AROUND, KIDS WOULD RUN AROUND THE NEIGHBORHOOD, YOU KNOW, WILLIE WILEY IS IN THE PARK! AND WE’D ALL RUN OUT TO SEE HIM. HE WORE ONLY TRUNKS ALL YEAR ROUND. NO SHOES. HE LOOKED LIKE HE LIVED IN HIS CAR. I THINK THAT WAS WHAT WE GENERALLY UNDERSTOOD. AND HE HAD A BUNCH OF ANIMALS WITH HIM, AND SOME DOGS. WELL, WE WOULD JUST STARE AT HIM. I WASN’T BOLD ENOUGH TO TALK TO HIM, BUT SOME OF THE KIDS WOULD TALK. HE WAS FRIENDLY, BUT CERTAINLY A CHARACTER. IN 1956, WILLIE WILEY SWERVES HIS CAR INTO A TREE. 3-HUNDRED OF HIS FRIENDS ARE THERE WHEN SPOKANE’S AMBASSADOR OF GOODWILL IS BURIED AT FAIRMOUNT MEMORIAL PARK. SPOKANE WELCOMES INTERNATIONAL CELEBRITIES! FRESH FROM HIS TRANS-ATLANTIC FLIGHT IN THE SPIRIT OF ST. LOUIS, CHARLES AUGUSTUS LINDBERGH VISITS THE 1927 NATIONAL AIR RACES IN SPOKANE, WASHINGTON. A BANQUET TO HONOR THE FAMOUS AVIATOR IS HELD-IN THE MARIE ANTOINETTE ROOM OF THE LUXURIOUS DOWNTOWN DAVENPORT HOTEL. THIRTY YEARS LATER, THE BIGGEST NAME IN MUSIC ROCKS THE LILAC CITY AT ALBI STADIUM. THE KING OF ROCK AND ROLL, ELVIS AARON PRESLEY, SINGS HIS WAY INTO THE HEARTS OF THOUSANDS IN 1957 AND THE CROWD IS ALL SHOOK UP. AND THAT’S THE WAY IT WAS. THERE’S A LOT OF TALK, THESE DAYS, ABOUT REVITALIZING DOWNTOWN SPOKANE. MAYBE THAT’S BECAUSE SO MANY PEOPLE REMEMBER HOW VITAL DOWNTOWN SPOKANE USED TO BE. THROUGH THE DEPRESSION AND WAR YEARS, THERE WERE 15 THEATERS AND 13 BALLROOMS DOWNTOWN. NOT TO MENTION DOZENS OF STORES AND SEVERAL GRAND HOTELS. IF YOU WANT TO SEE WHAT DOWNTOWN SPOKANE COULD BE, JUST LOOK BACK AT WHAT IT WAS. DOWNTOWN SPOKANE IN THE 1950S. DOWNTOWN SPOKANE IN THE 1940S. DOWNTOWN SPOKANE IN THE 1930S. DOWNTOWN SPOKANE IN THE 1920’S. FOR DECADES, DOWNTOWN SPOKANE IS A VIBRANT, BUSTLING METROPOLIS. FROM BANKING TO SHOPPING, MOST BUSINESS IS CONDUCTED HERE. THE TERM CONSTABLE ON PATROL, OR COP, IS BORN ON BUSY STREETS AND SIDEWALKS LIKE THESE. THEATERS ARE BIG IN DOWNTOWN SPOKANE. THEATERS LIKE THE REX, THE EMPRESS, THE LIBERTY, THE BANDBOX, AND THE AUDITORIUM, WHICH BOASTS THE LARGEST THEATRICAL STAGE IN AMERICA. THE AUDITORIUM ACTUALLY TAKES UP AN ENTIRE BLOCK ON NORTH POST STREET, DOWNTOWN, DURING THE DAYS BEFORE MOVIES, WHEN SPOKANE IS RATED ONE OF THE MOST “SHOW CONSCIOUS” COMMUNITIES IN THE WEST. FOR 50-CENTS YOU CAN GET A MAIN-FLOOR SEAT, AND ENJOY THE FINEST TOURING STAGE PLAYS, VAUDEVILLE ACTS AND OPERA COMPANIES IN THE COUNTRY. EVERYONE, OF COURSE, DRESSES UP FOR THE THEATER, EVEN IF YOU’RE JUST GOING TO SEE ONE OF THE NEW TALKIES AT THE CLEMMER. BEGINNING IN 1931, SPOKANE’S FINEST THEATER IS THE FOX. 20-THOUSAND PEOPLE LITERALLY STOP TRAFFIC OUT FRONT ON OPENING NIGHT. INSIDE, IS AN ART DECO MASTERPIECE, WITH ROOM FOR MORE THAN 2-THOUSAND GUESTS AT EACH SHOW. LIKE ALL DOWNTOWN THEATERS, AN USHER WILL SHOW YOU TO YOUR SEAT. THERE WAS ALWAYS AN USHER WITH A FLASHLIGHT THAT WOULD TAKE YOU DOWN, ESPECIALLY AT THE FOX AND SOME OF THOSE OTHER BIGGER THEATERS. THEY WOULD HAVE THESE LITTLE HATS ON AND THEY HAD THESE NICE LITTLE PANTS AND SUITS AND I ALWAYS WANTED TO BE AN USHER. I THOUGHT THAT WAS CLASS. DANCE HALLS, LIKE WHITEHEAD’S, WASHINGTON HALL, THE METRONOME, AND THE GARDEN PACKED ‘EM IN, TOO. HERE COUPLES DANCE TO THE WALTZ, FOXTROT OR SLOW DRAG ACCORDING TO THE LADY’S DANCE CARD, OR PROGRAM. IT WAS AN ENVELOPER GENERALLY CARDBOARD WITH A LITTLE PENCIL ATTACHED WITH ALL THE NUMBERS OF THE DANCES THAT WERE GOING TO BE DONE. AND SO YOU WENT AROUND. THE GENTLEMEN CAME UP AND MADE ARRANGEMENTS WITH CERTAIN DANCES ALL THE WAY THROUGH AND YOU GENERALLY MET IN THIS CORNER OR THAT CORNER YOU KNOW SO THAT YOU COULD GET TOGETHER. AND THE LAST DANCE WAS ALWAYS WITH THE GENTLEMAN THAT BRUNG YOU. NONE OF SPOKANE’S ORIGINAL DANCE HALLS EXIST ANYMORE, BUT TWO OF SPOKANE’S GRAND THEATERS STILL REMAIN. WHAT WAS THE STATE’S NOW THE MET, AND THE FOX WELCOMES YOUR PATRONAGE AT A DOLLAR A SEAT. SMALL DETAILS OF HOW LIFE USED TO BE ARE ALL BUT FORGOTTEN. THAT’S WHY CAROLYN NUNEMAKER IS WRITING “DOWNTOWN SPOKANE IMAGES,” A BOOK ON DOWNTOWN SPOKANE’S HALCYON YEARS, TO REMEMBER THE LITTLE THINGS. BEFORE THEY HAD CASH REGISTERS IN THE STORES THEY HAD THESE BASKETS THAT THE CLERK WOULD PUT CHANGE IN. THEY WOULD GET THE CHANGE AND IT WOULD BE SENT BACK IN THESE LITTLE SWINGING BASKETS. AND THEY’D MAKE THIS LITTLE CLICKETY-CLICKETY-CLICK SOUND AND THEN THEY’D COME BACK. YOU DON’T REMEMBER WHEN THESE THINGS CHANGE, ALL OF A SUDDEN THOSE ARE GONE AND THEY’VE GOT CASH REGISTERS. STORES LIKE THE WHITE HOUSE, KEMP & HEBERT, MONTGOMERY WARDS AND JOHN W. CRAHAM DRAW SHOPPERS FROM MILES AROUND. ONE STORE, MORE THAN ANY OTHER, PERSONIFIES THE DOWNTOWN EXPERIENCE. IT IS CALLED THE CRESCENT. AS FAR AS SHOPPING YOU COULD FIND ANYTHING YOU WANTED THERE. FURNITURE CLOTHING FOOD OH WE’D GO INTO THE CRESCENT THEY HAD A LONG COUNTER YOU USED TO GET COKES FOR 5-CENTS A GLASS AND THEY HAD FOOD THERE, TOO. IT WAS KIND OF AN ALL-PURPOSE DEPARTMENT STORE. THE CLERKS THE COUNTERS THE LACE THE HANDKERCHIEFS THE LADIES HAVING LUNCH, ALL THESE THINGS. IT WAS MEETING UNDER THE CLOCK YOU MET YOUR MAMA THERE IF YOU LOST HER OR YOU MET YOUR GIRLFRIENDS WHEN YOU WERE A TEENAGER AND YOUR LADY FRIENDS WHEN YOU WERE A YOUNG MOTHER. EVERYBODY MET THERE, UNDER THE CLOCK. I MEAN, THERE WASN’T ANY OTHER PLACE TO MEET. YOU’D TELL SOMEBODY ‘I’11 MEET YOU UNDER THE CLOCK AT A CERTAIN TIME.’ AND OF COURSE, WHAT WE DON’T HAVE BUT IN A FEW INSTANCES WAS SERVICE. BOY, THEY HAD SERVICE. NO QUESTIONS ASKED. I MEAN IF YOU DIDN’T WANT SOMETHING, BRING IT BACK AND THEY’D CHANGE IT. THE CRESCENT OPENS IN 1889–THE DAY AFTER SPOKANE’S BIG FIRE. THE BUILDINGS OF THE CRESCENT BLOCK-NAMED FOR THE CURVING STREET OUT FRONT-ARE BUILT OF BRICK INSTEAD OF WOOD, AND SURVIVE. AS THE ONLY DEPARTMENT STORE IN TOWN ON THEIR FIRST DAY OF BUSINESS, CRESCENT OWNERS CAN EASILY CHARGE ANY PRICE THEY WANT, BUT THEIR BUSINESS MOTTO IS “BE FAIR TO EVERYONE,” AS THEY WILL BE FOR 99 YEARS. THE CRESCENT IS SOLD IN 1988–ONE YEAR SHORT OF ITS HUNDREDTH ANNIVERSARY. ALL THAT REMAINS OF THE ORIGINAL CRESCENT STORE IS ITS NAME STONE. THE OLD CRESCENT BLOCK IS NOW SHADOWED BY THE SPOKESMAN-REVIEW TOWER. THE LAST CRESCENT STORE IS TODAY THE CRESCENT COURT WHERE IT IS STILL POSSIBLE TO MEET SOMEONE UNDER THE CLOCK. ONE OF THE CRESCENT’S BIGGEST CUSTOMERS BECOMES A SPOKANE INSTITUTION ITSELF-THE DAVENPORT HOTEL. LOUIS DAVENPORT ORDERS HIS CURTAINS, LINENS, FURNITURE AND FIXTURES INCLUDING A MARBLE FOUNTAIN FOR THE LOBBY THROUGH THE CRESCENT. DAVENPORT OPENS SPOKANE’S GREATEST HOTEL IN 1914. THE DAVENPORT FEATURES 3,200 ELECTRIC LIGHTS, 450 TELEPHONES, 20 SYNCHRONIZED CLOCKS, AND A TANK IN THE BASEMENT WHICH PRODUCES 5-TONS OF ICE A DAY. THE PRICE TAG ON ALL OF THIS IS 2-AND-A-HALF MILLION DOLLARS, THOUGH A ROOM WITH PRIVATE BATH WILL ONLY COST YOU 2-50 A NIGHT. ONE OF THE THINGS I REMEMBER VERY CLEARLY, AND FONDLY, IS WE WOULD COME TO TOWN, AND THE FIRST PLACE MY MOTHER WOULD TAKE ME WOULD BE DOWN IN THE BASEMENT OF THE DAVENPORT HOTEL WHERE THEY HAD WHITE TILE FLOORS AND THEY HAD ABOUT SIX BARBERS IN THERE, AND VERY FANCY PLACE FOR MEN TO GET THEIR HAIR CUT. AND MY MOTHER WOULD LEAVE ME THERE TO GET A HAIR CUT, AND I WAS SUPPOSED TO WAIT AROUND THERE UNTIL SHE CAME BACK TO PICK ME UP. AND I WOULD WANDER ALL AROUND THE DAVENPORT HOTEL AND POKE INTO EVERYTHING. THE DAVENPORT HOTEL SUFFERS FROM A SLOWING PULSE AND CLOSES IN 1985. EXCEPT FOR THE OCCASIONAL PRIVATE FUNCTION, IT HAS NOT OPENED SINCE. BUT A HONG KONG DEVELOPER BELIEVES THERE IS LIFE IN THE OLD GIRL YET, AND IS SLOWLY RESTORING THE DAVENPORT BACK TO WHAT SHE USED TO BE. SKYLIGHTS TARRED OVER DURING WORLD WAR TWO, AGAIN INVITE THE SUNS RAYS TO DANCE AROUND THE MARBLE FOUNTAIN IN THE LOBBY. MARBLE FLOORS, ONCE NAILED OVER WITH CARPET, ECHO AGAIN FROM EACH VISITORS’ FOOTSTEPS; CARVINGS, ONCE PAINTED AND PAPERED OVER, SMILE BACK AGAIN AS IF TO APPROVE; AND THE SYNCHRONIZED CLOCKS ARE BACK ON TIME. OFFERS TO BUY THE CHANDELIERS OUT OF THE MARIE ANTOINETTE ROOM ARE TURNED DOWN. THEY WILL STAY IN THE DAVENPORT SO THAT SOMEDAY COUPLES MAY DANCE BENEATH THEM ONCE AGAIN. SPEEDY SPOKANE! CROWDS GATHER AT THE DEER PARK DRAG STRIP TO SEE CARS RACE BY AT MORE THAN 100-MILES-PER-HOUR. THE FAIRGROUNDS, TOO, ATTRACT RACE FANS TO THIS HIGH-OCTANE EXCITEMENT. THOSE TOO YOUNG TO DRIVE CAN STILL ENJOY THE SENSATION OF SPEED WHILE COMING DOWN THE NEW SLIDE AT SHADLE CENTER-IT’S 165 FEET LONG. AND THAT’S THE WAY IT WAS. WE WERE DRUG STORE COWBOYS. WE’D GO IN THERE AND WE’D PAY 5-CENTS FOR A COKE, 1O-CENTS FOR A MILK-SHAKE, 15-CENTS FOR MALT, AND ABOUT 20-CENTS FOR A BANANA SPLIT. BUT WE HAD DRINKS, LIKE CARL PEARSON, HE USED TO HAVE A DRINK WE CALLED THE PEARS-A-SLIME. HE’D HAVE PHOSPHATE, COKE, AND OTHER THINGS. WE HAD ANOTHER CALLED A MUD SLING, WHICH WOULD HAVE COKE AND CHOCOLATE AND I DON’T KNOW. WE’D HAVE DIFFERENT KIND OF DRINKS. PERHAPS OUR FONDEST MEMORIES OF HOW THINGS USED TO BE IN SPOKANE ARE THE PERSONAL SNAPSHOTS WE HOLD OF OUR OWN LIVES. THEY MAY NOT MEAN MUCH TO OTHER FOLKS, BUT THEY SURE MEAN A LOT TO US. SIMPLE THINGS, LIKE A VISIT TO THE LOCAL SODA FOUNTAIN. THE FERN IS A POPULAR ONE DOWNTOWN. IN BROWN’S ADDITION THE ELK DRUG STORE. ON THE WAY TO NAT PARK, IT’S DOYLE’S ICE CREAM. DOYLE’S WAS THE SPOT. IT WAS GREAT ICE CREAM. AND THE THING I REMEMBER MOST WAS THE GRAVEYARD, WHICH WAS A DRINK THAT THEY HAD ALL THE FLAVORS … IT WAS THE WORKS YOU KNOW, THE COLA, AND THE ROOT BEER AND THE CHERRY, AND THIS AND THAT AND THEN FILL IT WITH SODA WATER. AND THE GRAVEYARD WAS JUST THE BEST. SO YOU’D GET A BIG GRAVEYARD FOR 10–CENTS, AND 10-CENTS WORTH OF PENNY CANDY AND YOU WERE READY TO GO. FAMILY TIMES ARE SPECIAL TOO. SUNDAY DRIVES AND PICNICS BY THE LAKE ARE COMMON WAYS SPOKANE FAMILIES SPEND TIME TOGETHER IN THE 1920S, AS THEY WILL LIKELY BE IN THE 2-THOUSAND-20S, WHEN TODAY’S CHILDREN WILL BE PARENTS. ANOTHER WAY MANY FAMILIES ENJOY TIME TOGETHER IS SUNDAY DINNER, WHICH USUALLY MEANS DRESSING UP AND SITTING AT THE BIG TABLE. IT’S HARD TO KEEP A WHITE SHIRT OR BLOUSE CLEAN WHEN YOU’RE A KID BUT IF YOU’RE A KID, YOU DON’T REALLY HAVE TO YOU KNOW, WHAT WE CALL DRESSING UP, TODAY, IS NORMAL DRESS YEARS AGO. WOMEN USUALLY WEAR… A HAT. MEN WORE SUITS. THEY DIDN’T GO OUT IN JACKETS LIKE THEY DO NOW, AND JEANS, AND STUFF LIKE THAT. THEY’D GO DOWNTOWN. IF YOU WENT DOWNTOWN, YOU WORE NICE CLOTHES. MY MOTHER, WHENEVER WE WOULD GO DOWNTOWN WE’D HAVE TO WEAR A DRESS OR SOMETHING LIKE THAT. OF COURSE, WE DIDN’T DRESS IN PANTS THAT MUCH ANYWAY THEN IT JUST WASN’T THE STYLE. BUT WE’D PUT ON LITTLE HATS, AND ESPECIALLY AT CHURCH ON SUNDAY. YOU DIDN’T GO JUST, WITH JUST YOUR CLOTHES THAT YOU’D WEAR AT HOME. YOU DRESSED UP WHEN YOU WENT TO CHURCH. THAT WAS THE STYLE. AND EVERYBODY CAME THAT WAY. A GENERATION OR TWO AGO, BOYS AND YOUNG MEN OFTEN WEAR PANTS CALLED KNICKERBOCKERS, OR KNICKERS. THEY ARE PANTS THAT YOU TIE BELOW THE KNEE, AND WEAR OVER LONG SOCKS. WEAR KNICKERS TO SCHOOL TODAY, AND YOU’RE PROBABLY THE EXCEPTION. THERE IS A TIME, IN SPOKANE HOWEVER, WHEN KNICKERS ARE THE RULE. AND I GOT SENT HOME OR EXPELLED WHATEVER YOU WANT TO CALL IT FOR WEARING LONG PANTS. KNICKERS WERE THE THING IN THOSE DAYS AND I THOUGHT IT’D BE FUN TO WEAR LONG PANTS TO SCHOOL. THAT DOES WHEN THINGS WERE CHANGING YOU KNOW. THEY SENT US HOME. WE HAD TO CHANGE PANTS BEFORE WE COULD COME BACK. ABOUT THE TIME KNICKERS ARE REQUIRED IN THE CLASSROOM, IT BECOMES POSSIBLE TO PULL VOICES FROM THE AIR. BELIEVE IT OR NOT, THE RADIO VACUUM TUBE IS ONCE CALLED A WORTHLESS DEVICE. NOW, SOME OF OUR MEMORIES FROM IT ARE PRICELESS. IN THE EARLY DAYS WE WOULD SIT AND WATCH THE RADIO. AND LISTEN TO WHAT WAS COMING OUT. SOMETIMES YOU WOULD WONDER IF IT WAS GOING TO STOP. THERE WAS ONLY ONE RADIO STATION, BACK THEN, THAT YOU’D LISTEN TO AS A KID, AND IT WAS KNEW, CHANNEL 79. AND I HAD BUILT A CRYSTAL SET IN BOY SCOUTS, AND SO THAT’S HOW I FIRST LISTENED TO THE RADIO. I SOUND LIKE A REALLY OLD GUY, BUT I HAD A CRYSTAL SET THAT I COULD TUNE IN AND HAVE MY EARPIECE, AND I USED TO KNOW ALL THE DISC-JOCKEYS AT KNEW, AND LISTENED TO THEM AT NIGHT WHEN I WAS SUPPOSED TO BE SLEEPING, AND LISTENING TO THEM WHEN I WAS SUPPOSED TO BE DOING MY HOMEWORK. (YOU CAN BE A KID AGAIN, IF ONLY FOR AN AFTERNOON. STOP IN AT DOYLE’S ICE CREAM, IT’S RIGHT WHERE IT’S ALWAYS BEEN, AND ORDER A GRAVEYARD, NEVER MIND THE WHITE SHIRT AND KNICKERS, YOU MIGHT SPILL. DINING OUT IN SPOKANE IS ALWAYS AN ADVENTURE. ORDER BY TELEPHONE FROM YOUR CAR AT RUTHERFORD’S TRIPLE-X. OR DRIVE IN TO THE PANDA, WHERE BURGERS ARE ONLY 19-CENTS EACH, BY THE BAGFUL. RATHER EAT AT HOME? STOP IN AT SPOKANE’S FIRST SUPERMARKET, ROSAUERS RED AND WHITE STORE. AND FOR DESSERT, TRY SOME NEWPORT’S SPECIAL QUALITY ICE CREAM FRESHLY MADE AT THE BENEWAH CREAMERY. YOU CAN’T MISS IT, JUST LOOK FOR THE GIANT MILK BOTTLE. AND THAT’S THE WAY IT WAS. EXCEPT FOR THE BIG FIRE OF 1889, NOTHING HAS CHANGED SPOKANE MORE THAN EXPO-74. THE THEME OF THE WORLD’S FAIR, THAT YEAR, WAS “CELEBRATING TOMORROW’S FRESH, NEW ENVIRONMENT.” BUT SPOKANE COULDN’T TELL THE WORLD TO CLEAN UP ITS ACT, BEFORE FIRST DOING SOME CLEANING UP OF ITS OWN. THE DECADE OF THE SEVENTIES IS REMEMBERED MOSTLY FOR THREE THINGS: THE END OF THE VIET NAM WAR, THE ONLY RESIGNATION OF A U.S. PRESIDENT, AND REALLY BAD CLOTHES. IF YOU’RE FROM SPOKANE, YOU ALSO REMEMBER THE SEVENTIES FOR EXPO-74. ♪ ♪ ANNOUNCER: THE GREAT PACIFIC NORTHWEST BEGINS RIGHT HERE! ♪ WORLD’S FAIR ’74, SPOKANE WASHINGTON SITE OF THE WORLD ENVIRONMENTAL FAIR, CELEBRATING THE BIRTH OF TOMORROW’S FRESH NEW ENVIRONMENT. ♪COME SHARE THE WORLD OF EXCITEMENT – TAKE A RIDE OVER THE FALLS – SOME MUCH TO SEE AND TO DO – COME JOIN THE FUN MAGIC AND MUSIC – A WHOLE NEW WORLD WAITING FOR YOU…♪ EXPO-74 IS THE EVENT FEW PEOPLE BELIEVE WILL EVER HAPPEN, IN A TOWN FEW PEOPLE KNOW EXISTS. TO THIS DAY, MANY PEOPLE WONDER HOW WE EVER PULLED IT OFF, AS SPOKANE REMAINS THE SMALLEST CITY EVER TO HOST A WORLD’S FAIR. EXPO-74 IS BORN OF AN IDEA TO CHANGE THE WORST PART OF SPOKANE INTO THE BEST PART OF SPOKANE. FOR THE BETTER PART OF A CENTURY, EVERYTHING AND EVERYONE THAT COMES TO OR LEAVES THIS HUB OF THE INLAND EMPIRE DOES SO BY TRAIN. UNION PACIFIC AND GREAT NORTHERN RAILROAD TRACKS CRISS-CROSS THE HEART OF THE CITY, MEETING IN A HUGE INDUSTRIAL EYESORE RIGHT DOWNTOWN. A HANDFUL OF VISIONARIES SEE BEYOND THE CONCRETE AND STEEL TO A BEAUTIFUL CENTERPIECE FOR THE LILAC CITY. BUT FIRST, THEY HAVE TO GET RID OF THE CONCRETE AND STEEL. I REMEMBER THE OLD UNION STATION. BOY THAT WAS GORGEOUS. IT REMINDED ME OF BIG-CITY STUFF. YOU WENT IN THE GROUND FLOOR AND THEN YOU WENT UP TO THE SECOND FLOOR WHICH WAS THE WAITING ROOM. ALL MARBLE FLOORS OR TERRAZZO I’M NOT SURE WHICH. THEN YOU WENT OUT THROUGH A TUNNEL AND UP TO THE TRACKS WHERE THE TRAINS WERE. THEY WERE UP ON THAT ELEVATED THING. IT WAS TO ME BIG-TIME BOY. THE UNION STATION FALLS TO PROGRESS, AS DO OTHER STRUCTURES ON THE EXPO SITE. SOME, LIKE CRYSTAL LAUNDRY, SURRENDER A DECADES-OLD CLAIM TO THEIR SITE BY THE RIVER, FOR EXPO. AN EFFORT TO SAVE OUR STATION SAVES ONLY THE CLOCK-TOWER OF THE GREAT NORTHERN DEPOT WHICH NOW CHIMES ACROSS RIVERFRONT PARK. TO ME IT WAS LIKE OPENING UP A NEW WORLD YOU KNOW, WE COULD GO DOWN THERE AND IT WAS SO PEACEFUL AND YOU COULD WALK AROUND AND YOU COULD SEE EVERYTHING SEE THINGS THAT YOU HADN’T SEEN BEFORE. EXPO WAS WONDERFUL. I’M SO GLAD THEY LEFT THE PARK DOWN THERE BECAUSE IT’S STILL NICE TO GO DOWN THERE AND WALK AROUND. ♪ ♪ SPOKANE’S FIRST BROADCASTING STATION IS RADIO K-F-D-Y. IT SIGNS ON THE AIR IN 1922 BROADCASTING FROM THE DOWNTOWN SYMONS BLOCK. IN 1930, THE CALL LETTERS CHANGE TO K-F-P-Y, AND THE STATION BROADCASTS SPOKANE’S FIRST LIVE REMOTE FROM THE LIBERTY THEATER WITH THE MELODY BOYS, FEATURING BING CROSBY. THE CALL LETTERS CHANGE AGAIN IN 1943 TO K-X-L-Y, WHICH IS STILL ON THE AIR TODAY. AND THAT’S THE WAY IT WAS. “LIVE FROM TELEVISION CITY IN HOLLYWOOD” ANYONE WHO SAYS NO ONE FAMOUS EVER COMES FROM SPOKANE DOESN’T KNOW ABOUT THIS MAN. THROUGH THE THIRTIES, FORTIES AND FIFTIES, HE IS THE BIGGEST ENTERTAINER IN THE WORLD. HIS FRIENDS AND NEIGHBORS KNOW HIM AS HARRY LILLIS CROSBY, BUT THE WORLD COMES TO KNOW HIM SIMPLY AS BING. ♪ WELL YOU TAKE SOME SKIN, JAZZ BIGINS, TAKE A BASS ♪ NOW WE’RE GETTIN SOME PLACE. ♪ TAKE A BOX ONE THAT ROCKS ♪ TAKE A BLUE HORN NEW ORLEANS BORN.♪ IN HIS HALF-CENTURY AT THE TOP OF THE ENTERTAINMENT WORLD, BING CROSBY CROONS ON 16 HUNDRED RECORDS, TALKS ON 4-THOUSAND RADIO SHOWS, STARS IN 100-MOVIES AND APPEARS ON 3 -HUNDRED TELEVISION PROGRAMS. NOT BAD FOR A SPOKANE KID WHO DROPS OUT OF GONZAGA LAW SCHOOL BECAUSE HE’D RATHER SING. ♪ WHILE I GIVE TO YOU AND YOU GIVE TO ME ♪ TRUE LOVE, TRUE LOVE. ♪ AND ON AND ON IT WILL ALWAYS BE, TRUE LOVE ♪ TRUE LOVE “YOU’LL DO…” IN THE ERA OF “LIVE” SHOWS, CROSBY FAVORS RECORDING HIS. HE EXPERIMENTS WITH MICROPHONE PLACEMENT, AND INVESTS IN THE NEW TECHNOLOGY OF MAGNETIC TAPE. THAT AUDIO AND VIDEO RECORDING EXIST TODAY, SUCH AS THE ONE YOU’RE WATCHING NOW, WE CAN THANK THE PIONEERING SPIRIT OF BING CROSBY. ♪ SEEMS TO ME THERE’S EASIER WAYS TO GET A LAUGH, ♪ WE’RE OFF ON THE ROAD TO MOROCCO IN 1957, BING GATHERS A FEW OF HIS FRIENDS FOR ONE OF HIS MANY T-V SPECIALS. THE FORD MOTOR COMPANY SIGNS UP AS SPONSOR TO SELL ITS NEWEST CAR. ” THIS IS THE EDSEL, UNLIKE ANY OTHER CAR YOU’VE EVER SEEN. SEE, DRIVE AND BE SURE TO PRICE THE NEW MEMBER OF FORD FINE CARS, THE EDSEL AT YOUR EDSEL DEALER. CROSBY NAMES GONZAGA UNIVERSITY AS PRODUCER OF THE EDSEL SHOW, AND ARRANGES FOR ALL PROCEEDS FROM IT TO GO TO HIS ALMA MATER. THE EDSEL SHOW MAY NOT SELL MANY EDSELS, BUT IT BRINGS IN ENOUGH MONEY FOR THE UNIVERSITY TO BUILD THE CROSBY LIBRARY, NOW THE CROSBY STUDENT CENTER. INSIDE, YOU CAN FIND THE LARGEST DISPLAY OF CROSBYANA IN THE WORLD, INCLUDING THE FIRST ACADEMY AWARD TO BE GIVEN TO A POPULAR SINGER FOR BEST ACTOR … BING’S 1944 OSCAR FOR “GOING MY WAY.” IN 1994, THE U-S POSTAL SERVICE ISSUES A SERIES OF STAMPS TO HONOR AMERICAN SINGERS. ONE OF THEM BEARS THE IMAGE OF BING. THIS OLD CROONER IS THE ONLY KID FROM SPOKANE EVER TO BE HONORED ON A POSTAGE STARMP. BING’S FACE ISN’T JUST APPEARING ON STAMPS THESE DAYS. HOP ON THE INTERNET, SEARCH FOR THE KEYWORDS BING AND CROSBY, AND THE OLD CROONER SMILES BACK AT YOU FROM SITES AROUND THE WORLD. THE MAN WITH, PERHAPS, THE GREATEST IMPACT ON MASS MEDIA IN THE 20-TH CENTURY COULD NEVER HAVE IMAGINED THIS. THE CROSBY FAMILY HOME, FROM WHICH BING USED TO WALK TO SCHOOL, STILL STANDS NEAR THE GONZAGA UNIVERSITY CAMPUS. IT IS NOW GONZAGA’S ALUMNI HOUSE. BRIDGING THE MIGHTY SPOKANE VEHICLES PASS OVER THE TURBULENT WATERS OF THE MIGHTY SPOKANE RIVER AT MONROE STREET FOR MORE THAN 1-HUNDRED YEARS… THE MONROE STREET STEEL BRIDGE IS OPENED TO STREET CAR AND HORSE CAR TRAFFIC IN 1892. THE BRIDGE SOON PROVES INADEQUATE TO SERVE A GROWING CITY. FAMED ARCHITECT KIRTLAND CUTTER DESIGNS A MODERN CONCRETE BRIDGE WHICH IS DEDICATED ACROSS THE RIVER AT MONROE STREET IN 1911 AS THOUSANDS LOOK ON. THE BRIDGE DECK IS COVERED WITH WOODEN PLANKS FOR YEARS. TODAY, WE CROSS THE MONROE STREET BRIDGE WHILE DRIVING SMOOTHLY ACROSS ASPHALT. AND THAT’S THE WAY IT WAS. TELEVISION CAME TO SPOKANE IN 1953. EARLY TV CAMERAS WERE CRUDE BACK THEN. THEY DIDN’T HAVE ZOOM LENSES, SO FOR A CLOSE-UP, YOU EITHER SWITCHED TO A BIGGER LENS, OR PUSHED THE CAMERA IN CLOSER. DOZENS OF SPOKANE KIDS REMEMBER LOOKING INTO THIS CAMERA ON A PROGRAM CALLED “STARLIT STAIRWAY.” “BOYLE FUEL COMPANY PRESENTS STARLIT STAIRWAY.” STARLIT STAIRWAY FIRST FLICKERS INTO SPOKANE HOMES IN 1953. FOR 20 YEARS, IT IS A SATURDAY EVENING HABIT FOR DOZENS OF FAMILIES ACROSS THE INLAND NORTHWEST. THE TELEVISED TALENT SHOW MAKES STARS OF MANY CHILDREN, BUT NONE ARE MORE FAMOUS THAN THE SYLTE TWINS WHO ARE STILL REMEMBERED TODAY FOR SINGING THE SPONSOR’S JINGLE. ♪ WHEN YOU NEED COAL OR OIL, CALL BOYLE. FAIRFAX 8-1521. ♪ ED CLARK: ♪ WHEN YOU NEED COAL OR OIL CALL BOYLE FAIRFAX 8 1521. ED CLARK REMEMBERS GROWING UP DURING THE GOLDEN YEARS OF SPOKANE TELEVISION, WHEN SHOWS LIKE MR. ENGINEER AND WALLABY & JACK ARE BIG FAVORITES. ANOTHER FAVORITE IS A FRIENDLY SEA CAPTAIN BY THE NAME OF CAP’N CY. I THINK THE THING THAT PEOPLE REMEMBER WHY THEY REMEMBER CAP’N CYI WAS BECAUSE IT WAS FOR US. IT WAS OUR SHOW. HE TALKED DIRECTLY TO US AND HE HAD A LOT OF FUN. AND THE BASIS FOR THE SHOW WAS POPEYE YOU KNOW SO WE ALL KIND OF GREW UP WITH POPEYE. I DON IT KNOW IF WE EVER ATE THE SPINACH BUT … CAP’N CY WAS A GREAT PART OF SPOKANE FOR US KIDS. CAP’N CY IS RETIRED AND LIVES IN UTAH NOW, BUT I THINK WITH THE RIGHT ADJUSTMENT WE CAN GET HIM ON THIS OLD SET. CAP’N CY, ARE YOU THERE? CAP’N CY? HI TOM AND AHOY MATEYS! BEEN A LONG TIME SINCE I SAID THAT. IT’S GOOD TO BE BACK IN SPOKANE. IT’S NICE TO BE HERE AND BACK ON TV AGAIN. IT’S A PLEASURE TO SEE YOU TOO, CAP’N CY. I KNOW YOU’VE GOT SOME GOOD STORIES TO TELL ABOUT THE SHOW, ESPECIALLY SINCE YOU DID THEM ALL LIVE. SHARE ONE WITH US PLEASE. TOM DO YOU REMEMBER THE PLANK THAT WE USED TO CALL WALK THE PLANK? WE BUILT THIS BRIDGE SO IT WOULD BE EASY FOR THE CAMERAMAN TO GET GOOD PICTURES OF THE KIDS BECAUSE THAT WAS IMPORTANT TO ME. MAKE SURE EACH OF THE CHILDREN GOT A GOOD SHOT ON TV BECAUSE PEOPLE AT HOME COULD SEE. THAT WAS IMPORTANT TO ME SO WE BUILT THIS BRIDGE WE CALLED IT THE PLANK AND THE KIDS HAD TO WALK OVER THIS PLANK SO THE CAMERAMAN DIDN’T HAVE TO JUMP ALL OVER THE PLACE TRYING TO FIND THEM. WHEN YOU’RE DOING A SHOW LIKE THAT YOU ARE LOOKING FOR UNUSUAL THINGS AND THIS LITTLE BOY WALKED ACROSS THIS BRIDGE ONE DAY, AND HE HAD FIERY RED HAIR, BEAUTIFUL RED HAIR. AND I SAID WHERE DID YOU GET THAT RED HAIR, AND HE SAID, IT CAME WITH A HEAD. THAT’S THE FIRST TIME I WAS EVER SPEECHLESS ON TV, BUT HE LEFT ME SPEECHLESS. NOW YOU WERE ON THE AIR ON KREM TV FROM 1956 TO 1969, AND MADE ALOT OF FRIENDS DURING THOSE YEARS I’M SURE, IS THERE ANYTHING YOU’D LIKE TO SAY TO YOUR FANS HERE IN SPOKANE BEFORE WE SAY GOOD NIGHT? OH YES. YEA. I’D LIKE TO TELL ‘EM HOW MUCH I LOVE ‘EM. HOW MUCH FUN THEY GAVE ME FOR 13-YEARS, THE BEST 13-YEARS OF MY LIFE. AND I THANK 30-PER DAY FOR 13-YEARS FOR THE GREAT TIMES THAT WE HAD TOGETHER, PLUS ALL OF THE OTHER ONES THAT WE SAW AT SUPERMARKETS AND THE VARIOUS FUNCTIONS WE WENT TO. THANK YOU. THANK YOU FOR 13 WONDERFUL YEARS. THANK YOU CAP’N CY. WITH THAT, WE COME TO THE END OF THIS MEMORY LANE, BUT THE PATH CONTINUES ON. THE THINGS YOU DO TODAY ARE MEMORIES FOR TOMORROW. MAY THEY BE GOOD ONES. I’M TOM MCARTHUR. THANKS FOR BEING WITH US. ♪ ♪ ♪ IF YOU’D LIKE TO SWING ON A STAR, CARRY MOON BEAMS HOME IN A JAR, AND BE BETTER OFF THAN YOU ARE, OR WOULD YOU RATHER BE A MULE… ♪ ♪ ♪