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by MICHAEL BOWEN & r & & r & A Spokane Writer Passes & r & & r & & lt;span class= "dropcap " & W & lt;/span & e remember poet and author Diane Middlebrook -- who grew up in Spokane and who died recently at the age of 68. Middlebrook started her career as a poet and teacher, but later turned to biographies, writing about Billy Tipton, the female Spokane jazz musician who disguised herself as a man, and about poets Sylvia Plath and Anne Sexton -- the latter work was a finalist for the National Book Award. After leaving Spokane, Middlebrook received degrees from the University of Washington and Yale, before settling into teaching -- and writing -- at Stanford for 35 years.





The Big Draw in Cody, Wyo.


Last week, we joked that Bruce Eldredge had resigned as CEO of the MAC because he felt drawn to the world-class collection of Western belt buckles at the Buffalo Bill Historical Center (his next employer). But the actual story has emerged. One of the most precious objects in the collections of the BBHC (seven acres under one roof!) is a piece of wedding cake from Buffalo Bill's daughter's wedding in 1885.


One staffer describes the delicacy as "just totally desiccated." Is it kept in a temperature- and humidity-controlled vault? "No, it's just up on a shelf."


Somehow, in 122 years, no one has yet taken up the museum on its challenge to sample just a teensy bite of Arta Cody's wedding confection.





Brinksmanship


There are grade-school kids in Pullman whose "reading buddy" can throw a perfect spiral. While the stats may prove that Alex Brink is one of WSU's greatest-ever quarterbacks, he won the third annual national ARA Sportsmanship Award because he studies hard and volunteers. Congratulations, Alex! And as for the last two guys who won this award? They're playing in the NFL.

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