Thursday, August 18, 2016

Some Large Signs Above Sidewalks Now Not Permitted - Proctor District and Valhalla Hall in the MLK

On Proctor, 1995


Yesterday I attended a History Walk around the Proctor District that began at the Blue Mouse Theater.  Later in the month, on August 27,  I hope to attend a History Walk around the MLK District that begins at the People's Park at about nine in the morning.  (The August 27th History Walk coincides with the Hilltop Street Fair.)



On MLK, 1995
One point I think is interesting - the sign regulation brought out of use the large overhanging signs above the sidewalks.  In 1995 I took a photo that included the large Dutch Boy Paint sign at Proctor Hardware.  My visits as a child to the Valhalla Hall happened in evenings, so often we saw the sign alit with neon, Valhalla Temple. 

Others have felt concerned about the future of the Valhalla Hall as the light rail is to arrive along King Boulevard.  The presence of historic buildings is possible along the street.  To preserve a building which will exist near other old buildings is a wished-for preservation ideal.  The MLK area contains old buildings that can lend a realization of how a place appeared in earlier years.  A history walk presents some of these buildings to a group in the context of narrating representatives. 

Friday, August 12, 2016

Recently Read A Book I Had Not Wanted To Read In Junior High School

Reading Accelerator
Before all the cell phones on the bus, I carried three by five notecards with a thick rubber band.  Right now I have used cards I made during the inventory of books from my parents' house in the late 1980s, the list included children's books that were mine. The Jack and Jill Round the Year Book, I entered onto the internet, and found the illustrator also did the Gone-Away Lake books by Elizabeth Enright, the Borrowers, and Miracles on Maple Hill.

Junior High School resources of my own brought books into the house.  Downtown was Rhodes' book department on the other side of the escalator wall.  I still have A Tale of Two Cities, and others with a similar cloth hardback format.  Downtown also was the Tacoma Art Museum, at an historic building near the Fawcett monument, where I visited once or twice, and i visited Fox Books.  I still have Memoires D'un Lapin Blanc, in its gold and red old-fashioned hardback.  We took French, the language of visual art. 

I got books in the mail from a book club.  I think I ordered The Jack and Jill Round the Year Book from the club.   Miracles on Maple Hill, is a book with its history with me, that I believed it sounded boring.  Miracles on Maple Hill would have beamed out associations I would find painful and a grave misunderstanding of what went on for me while the teachers of our class called Developmental Reading kept pushing it hard.   Developmental Reading included a gadget for each student.  It was somehow  easy to turn the pages, even though a metal bar descended slowly or quickly, calibrated to measure, direct, and increase our reading per second.  None of us  could ever have thought of books that way before.    

So it was only very recently that I read through Miracles on Maple Hill  - quickly – the gadget alive in my recollection.  The author remade the gentle model that the family moves out to the country; the children and mom, who drives, commute, father recuperates, a returned Missing in Action prisoner from the war in Korea.  So in its realism, it also develops maple sugaring in Pennsylvania by an elderly neighbor who sometimes forgets.  It certainly deserved the Newbery Award. 

What made me avoid Miracles on Maple Hill?  Maybe subconsciously I knew maples were really all wrong.  I knew a hill of my own, alders and some evergreens, with lots of ferns and horsetails. (Now that woods is gone.)

At that age, two years since the school had wanted me to skip fifth grade and had to bring a sixth grade desk in to the fifth grade schoolroom because I was too fat to fit the smaller desks, visits to my grandmother every Wednesday and every Sunday afternoon had never varied.  The house had entered its elderly affliction gradually.  The house was not a house, but a home fitted up in inexpensive ways for the elderly.   A lot of the time my mother had to choose.

One Christmas my mother gave me The Shirley Temple series, the entire set of the classic stories that were adapted for the Shirley Temple movies. I was a little old for these and accepted them with a slight stoicism, for I had never been a child star like beautiful Shirley Temple.  Some visits, when the weather was bad or it was dark, a Shirley Temple movie had appeared on my grandmother's tv set. We watched our way through the many commercials, but had never seen these as they had appeared on the big screen.  My mother gave these not exactly to me, she had an opportunity to buy them, and it was not possible for her not to want them.  Even as my acceptance was stoic, it was not possible for me not to associate the gift with the many visits to my grandma.

Having all the books at once was not like our family.  But I was too old for the books to be given to me year by year. 
 
(The source of the illustration that shows a reading accelerator is listed as The Blackwell History of Education Museum at Northern Illinois University.)

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Pepper With Rice-a-roni for Lunch

Lentils measuring cap and saucepan
Lentils substituted for tomatoes in the Rice A Roni Spanish Rice Mix, I added cheese substitute and made a stuffed pepper for today's lunch. 
Pepper Corning Ware Spoon Rest

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Activities With Childhood Art

One Sunday last month after church the sun was bright.  I cleaned off paintings I did mostly in junior high and high school and dried them in the sun.  Remarks from kind residents about this were what motivated me to call for an art studio in the residents' activity room.  Last Friday, after another hardware store effort to solve the mystery of how to hang some of the paintings, I came across some on-sale open frames at an outdoor tent clearance sale at a craft shop.  I had to take the bus back to where I lived for a list of the paintings and their dimensions.  However, back at the craft shop three of the frames did match paintings I had cleaned.  Today I put three paintings up, in open frames that were 5, 4, and 1 dollar at the clearance sale. 

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Some Awkward Objects - Read At Open Mike in July

Open Art Studio
At Friday’s King’s Books Poetry reading I read:  Some Awkward Objects 

Some Awkward Objects – Diary In A Jar, Relief Map, Art Tittled “Scenes From A Remodel” 

My video about a jar with a partly reuined diary insdie it featured the University of Washington Tyee from 1968 and books of poems I had from my first year at the U of Washington.

In 1968 I impulsively set the diary on fire, perhaps to recreate the burning of a torn on a junior high school relief map.  The town had a river, a castle on a promontory, trees, and more.  The fire was a solution to its decay on top of the ping pong table in our garage. 

I saw I did not want to do this to the diary, so I put the fire out and saved the pages in a mason jar.  My idea about old papers, old letters, is to save them.  When they dried, some of the entries could be partly read, mostly about 1961 to 1963 in Junior High School.  (My oild paint set was a birthday gift not a Chirstmas present.) 

I had brought the diary out again to write about a May, 1966 trip to Ellensburg with history classmates for the Model United Nations.  The Model United Nations trip by bus with classmates was in 1966, fifty years ago in May. 

During many months at the building I live in, residents have become more portable tenants to prepare for remodel plans, everyone has boxed things up.  As July came near, I found the building’s gathering area cleared of things, only to await redecoration.  Others joined in with me to also seize the day and use the space as an art studio.  However their other plans took priority.  The Fourth of July Art Show that materialized was small.  It included “Ruth and Pat Save the Plants”: which were stills from a video, “Blue House on G Street” 35-millimeter print scanned and printed on a computer, and of course, “Scenes From A Remodel.” 

By the fifth of July, work had begun near the art wall, although the maintainance man said it might not be possible to take that wall out because of the inside wiring.  The manager took the art down and put it on the table. The 4th of July Art Show was over.  I saved the photos from “Scenes From A Remodel” and put the cardboard box with holes in it into the dumpster on the alley.  

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Fourth of July Art Show

Hall lights were out this noontime, although the maintainance man said it might not be possible to take that wall out because of the inside wiring, the manager took the art down and put it on the table. The 4th of July Art Show might be over.  But yesterday, it was:



During many months at the building I live in, residents have become more portable tenants to prepare for building remodel plans, and everyone has boxed things up.  As July came near, I found the building’s gathering area cleared of things, only to awsait redecoration for a time.  Others joined in with me to also seize the day and use the space as an art studio.  Although their other plans took priority, the small Fourth of July Art Show materialized.  So, yesterday I set up the Art Show ahead of the festivity of its opening morning today.  

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Ginni and the Doll Museum Remodel - A Sad Day

Ginni costumed quickly on the upper floor of the doll museum.   The building felt quiet that morning, but Ginni only wondered if she was not on time.  But in the main hallway the Sailor Doll from the Lancastria and a Mary Ann Storybook Doll waited outside the closed entrance doors to their section of the Displays.  “Ginni, this announcement notice says the huge renovation as started,” said the Sailor Doll.

Over so many months the residents of the doll museum apartments, mostly employees of the doll museum, had forayed into packed closets, looked to the farthest hard to reach back areas of high cupboard shelves, swept dust from tops of tall bookcases.  Ginni had boxed and unboxed, packed and unpacked.  The previous week she had remembered another remote closet she had not put on her list.  The three of them, Sailor Doll, Mary Ann Storybook Doll, and herself, Ginni, Princess Summer Fall Winter Spring, gazed at the announcement notice.   

“It has been twenty-one months,”  the Sailor Boy commented.  Ginni gasped.  “It says, today they will cut down the trees.  Shadow!  Shadow! He was just with me, up in costuming.”   Shadow came ambling down the stairs at the end of the hall.

Across the lawn of the doll museum hurried Ginni, Shadow hurried beside. She had not stopped responsibly to change back into her everyday clothes.  At the apartments they saw it was true.  The trees at the doll museum apartments had been cut.  Before Ginni the Christmas Tree she usually decorated with a few popcorn chains for the birds was cut down and on its side on the ground. 

The vast remodeling project had truly begun.  It was a sad day at the doll museum, the day the trees were cut for the project.  Although the doll museum workers could look ahead to more aspects of the project, that there would be a new weather vane upon the higher point of the old stable, that there would be new flower beds for the garden gnomes,  the old trees were now cut and gone, and so they were sad.