Monday, July 29, 2013

Summer Reading Club - Everything I Need to Know I Learned from a Children"s Book: Life Lessons from Notable People from All Walks of Life, Edited by Anita Silvey

Everything I Need to Know I Learned from a Children"s Book: Life Lessons from Notable People from All Walks of Life, Edited by Anita Silvey, is a special book because it is large, opens to 11 by 17. With the exerpts from the chosen books are many beautiful illustrations. An exerpt from a book centers on a pastel ground at the left hand page, the pastel continues as a 1/3 column of the right hand page, and in that 1/3 column is a book synopsis and a thumbnail of the book's cover. The rest of the right hand page has the comment by the Notable Person who read the book. First is Leonard Marcus, who read Profiles In Courage, and last is Jerry J. Mallett, who read The 21 Balloons. Notes on Contributors follow, arranged alphabetically with other indexes and booklists. Bert Vogelstein, a professor of oncology at Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, wrote he learned from Miss Pickerel Goes to Mars  "to keep my brain free for the important stuff." Under Laura Ingalls Wilder I see "It is clear that Wilder collaborated with her daughter Rose Wilder Lane, a ghostwriter by trade, to achieve a finished manuscript." Over many years I have read about this collaboration, I did not know of this when I first read the books. Everything I Need to Know I Learned from a Children's Book is a beautiful volume.

Summer Reading Club: The Mirrors of Castle Doone, by Elisabeth Kyle

A book can strike a chord with an event in life.  In past weeks the Washington Grade School’s restoration project entered the phase in which the 1948-49 kitchen-lunchroom-auditorium is torn down.  At the end of The Mirrors of Castle Doone, by Elisabeth Kyle (Agnes R.M. Dunlop, The Riverside Press, 1947), Mollie and Sandy see workmen shatter glass as they tear down Castle Doone.  In this third of a series, we meet Mollie and other characters from Holly Hotel, there is a reference to the second story, and the theme again of long-ago Scotland at war with England and the English Dragoons.  Boys camp on the moor and discover a mystery to solve.  It is well-told, scary to read and as it ends the reader knows the workmen are about to discover the story’s secret passageways.  The reader also knows Sandy and Mollie will leave the Whistleblow village school for the high school in Doone in the autumn and perhaps for another volume of the Holly Hotel books.

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Nice Weather As The Week Goes On

Today as I passed the School Restoration Site the two walls of the kitchen-auditorium at the corner of 26th and Adams had been removed. 

Monday, July 22, 2013

Lots of Cloud Glare

Lots of Cloud Glare - from the bus window I saw construction equipment taking up the old playground surface at the grade school.  Tacoma Public Libraries are closed on Mondays, so I went to Pierce County Library.  From the bus window otherwise, a fire truck, autos, lots of signs and foliage.  And Cloud Glare.

Friday, July 19, 2013

Washington Grade School and the Restoration Project Begins

2002 door, kitchen to left
The trees  Late Wednesday afternoon I got off the bus across from Wheelock Library and noticed that the trees on the parking, and other trees on the grade school block, had been cut.   I had not known the construction business for the restoration project was going to take down so many of the trees.  Wednesday afternoon I looked up the project on the internet and found the tree study information.  A few of the trees were reported as being in Good Condition.  On Thursday Morning, when I took snapshots, I noticed three small Gingko Trees  were still present.  On a Facebook page, Building For Achievement, are photos of the project so far. 

The school interior  After some unhappy wondering I realized the cut-down school trees might express the torn-out school interior, because the old school interior will be torn out..   Each person, from so many years, has recollections of the school. 

2002 Tree near lunchroom
Much of what we learned there, we have forgotten.  It was the lament of the teachers, that the students forget what they learned over summer vacation and need to relearn it.  Maybe that was the meaning of the series of spelling books, each with a number on the front along with the same large pencil.  Do we remember any spelling lessons?  Many of us learned to spell many words.  And we retain many recollections of our time at Washington Grade School.  

The Lunchroom I think I understand that, with their regrets, the architects and the school officials decided to reestablish the lunch area on another side of the building.  This afternoon the construction people are shattering out the windows of the lunchroom.   We stand on the lunchroom stairs in the nineteen fifties in many of my school class pictures. 

2002 - 100-year-old classroom

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Red White and Blue Star for the fourteenth of july

Red White and Blue Star - Le Moines Star American quilt piece for fourteenth of July.

Wednesday at the Traffic Forum

Wednesday afternoon at the Traffic Forum at the Municipal Building I read a letter and told about a park experience twenty years ago.  As City Planning discusses North Downtown Subarea, the letter to the editor the paper accepted might once again pertain.  My topic was cars, and my letter appeared in The Morning News Tribune, June 4, 1993 page A-13:
“Cars don't belong at Wright Park”, they titled it. 

As I walked to church during Car-Less Commute Week I was provoked to see a signboard on a nearby church, "Parking available at Wright Park Community Center."  There is no space at that park for a parking lot.  People who walk there are aware that it is landscaped to create a sense of space. Those who park there misunderstand what they see. 

The precedent set by cars in the arboretum endangers an asset as lovely as Wright Park, and it is especially wrong to endanger the park when we should instead enlarge, protect and improve it. 

Cars at the lovely park are wrong; there is no space at Wright Park for cars.  LAURA JENSEN Tacoma

 The discussion continued.  A year later, in the July 31, 1994 issue of the Morning News Tribune, the columnist C.R. Roberts was headlined:  "Despite compelling argument, park should not be a parking lot."   Participants at the park community center had received a notice from the park police supervisor and the director of maintenance and operations, that according to Roberts, warned offenders that they risked receiving citations if they continued driving or parking where they should not.   "We were getting up to 35 cars, on the grass, on tree roots."  the officials said.  According to Roberts, “We live in the age of the car, and now we're running out of space...Thirty new parking spaces would not destroy the park, but they would turn part of the park into a parking lot.  And that's the problem...Wright Park must not fall victim to the automobile." 

The News Tribune published another letter by me – within this letter I wrote, "C.R. Roberts July 31 column about the seniors' cars at Wright Park, which disapproves of their illegal parking, is correct." 

“Parks Will Need More Space, Not Less” - was the way the letter was headlined. 

Apart from my letter most of the discussion Wednesday was about crosswalk danger.  Urban forest does compete with cars for space.  Wrights Park is in the North Downtown Subarea.  The park’s blocked pond and aging trees were motivators when the park was restored about six years ago.  Also within the restoration plan was an effort that the park not “fall victim to the automobile.”