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Okay. That's that, then.

Since I had to put a couple of Saturday hours in at the office, I made a full afternoon of it and took a little detour on my way home. Bike shop, a couple of grocery stores, a route I've never used.

My aim was to see the Beverly Cleary Sculpture Garden in Grant Park, a tribute to the author of a series of children's books that little kids have loved since before I was born.

Cleary (who is 96 years old and still writing), grew up in Portland and set most of her stories in my neighborhood. Klickitat Street, where Beezus and Ramona live, is four blocks from my house.

So you'd think I'd have seen the sculpture garden, but I'd never even heard of it until today. I decided to go in search of it.

That's Ramona. I love her happy face and her too-big raincoat. Kids playing in the rain: very Portland.

And here's Henry and Ribsy. I love how Ribsy's back and ears have been petted shiny. While I was sitting there, a little girl came up and petted him and squealed with laughter.

I rode home on Klickitat Street (which is a bike boulevard nowadays), and spotted the tamale guy who sells six delicious fresh hot home-made tamales for five bucks out of a cooler he wheels around the neighborhood on Saturdays, so now I have dinner.

I arrived home to a subpoena, but that's a story for another day.


( 11 comments — Leave a comment )
Jun. 20th, 2010 02:45 am (UTC)
OMG. I have ALWAYS wanted to visit the sculpture garden since before we even moved here (Ramona's adventures are what first started my affinity for Portland lo, many years ago)! I must get there some day very soon -- love your pictures! Love them!

Blech to working on Saturday, though at least it wasn't for too long. Love that you made the best of it, though, and used it as an opportunity for an outing.

Had to laugh at your last little breezily tossed of "came home to a subpoena".... Not that the matter is a laughing one, I'm sure, but it reminded me of the doctor from Arrested Development who was infamous for such things. (WHICH YOU WOULD KNOW IF YOU HAD SEEN THE SHOW ALREADY BUT I DIGRESS.)
Jun. 20th, 2010 02:49 am (UTC)
The sculpture garden is on 33rd and US Grant Place, a ten-minute bike ride from my house. It's in the middle of Grant Park, one of Portland Parks and Rec's nicest, and has a couple of benches where you can sit and enjoy it. It was so worth the detour just for the smiles.

I'm called as a witness in the burglary last summer that forced me to buy a new computer and camera. Not quite sure what they want of me, but I guess it would be dumb not to show up, huh?
Jun. 20th, 2010 02:51 am (UTC)

Here is my strongest memory of Ramona. In one of the books, Ramona is reading and she makes this comment about how stupid it is that none of the kids in her books ever have to go to the bathroom.

I must've read that when I was like, 8, and I was like, "Whoa! She's right!!" That really made an impression on me. Of all things.

Not sure I've ever written a story where one of the characters didn't have to go whiz somewhere within it.

What a legacy. *lol* :DD
Jun. 20th, 2010 02:56 am (UTC)
Hah! I remember that! I don't know how old you are, but those books and I are in the same generation, and let me tell you, that was pretty startling in 1957 or whenever.

A little girl who speaks the truth and is self-motivated and fearless: it's no wonder Ramona lives on, sixty years later.
Jun. 20th, 2010 04:34 am (UTC)
fun statues! now i kinda want to read the stories!
Jun. 20th, 2010 04:41 am (UTC)
They're fun. They're for young kids, around age 6-9, I think, who are just getting into reading longer books that are mostly all text.

You can see by Ramona's clothes that she's from a couple of generations ago--she's wearing a dress--but there's something timeless about her. And the books celebrate her as a fearless, enterprising girl who speaks her mind and is the hero of her own story.

I haven't read them in close to 50 years, so they may be a little dated, but they've held up well enough to be still in print and widely read.
Jun. 20th, 2010 01:39 pm (UTC)
Oh, those statues are awesome! It has been years since I read anything in that series. I remember my 5th grade teacher *adored* Henry and Risbsy and would read the stories to us (I know, 5th grade, but he did). I need to go and revisit them.

How do you pronounce Klickitat? Just sort of the way it is spelled? Or is there a local variant?

Jun. 20th, 2010 04:40 pm (UTC)
This little adventure has made me want to go back and look at the books again myself.

Klickitat is pronounced pretty much the way it's spelled, with the emphasis on the first syllable. I don't know how close that is, though, to the real name of the Indian tribe it's borrowed from.
Jun. 20th, 2010 03:25 pm (UTC)
Klickitat Street! Ribsy!!
Jun. 20th, 2010 04:41 pm (UTC)
Jun. 23rd, 2010 02:59 pm (UTC)
Aww, I had no idea it was set in Portland!! Those sculptures are great. Ramona the Brave was my absolute favorite book as a kid.
( 11 comments — Leave a comment )



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