Monday, September 30, 2013

Eff-Stop Local

A blog added to my list today, Eff Stop Local.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Cliques and Cheney Field

I noticed a newspaper article about the 50th anniversary of the September 27, 1963 visit to Tacoma and Cheney Field by President John F. Kennedy, and I wanted to include on my blog this excerpt from some short essays I have worked on.  I was at the Cheney Field event that day.


In science class in the older building, brick with the same windows in frames from the elementary school, the science teacher read an announcement that cliques had developed in their junior high school. Friendships with all the children mattered.   

It occurred to Laura that cliques were not like herself and others from accelerated block, but that cliques involved initiations and mean language. There was no block class anymore, only a High Achievement English class and a High Achievement Northwest History class with the same girls in it from their High Achievement Block Class. Everyone wore nylon stockings with sweaters and skirts or jumpers, and steep ratted bouffant hairstyles combed out from the rollers they slept on every night, stiffened with the can of hairspray each girl carried in her purse. Whenever they had a chance to look into the wall mirror in the Girl’s Room, they took the small hand mirrors out of their purses, checked their hair in the back, and sprayed on more of the hair spray.

Laura had attended parties with some of the girls from accelerated block, dinner parties.  One evening three of the girls had new dresses of the same raspberry mohair.  That was the evening Laura became aware that her own dress was a woven plaid that her sister had used a few years before.   

In the gym locker room, a windowless and low-ceilinged cement bunker with shower stalls with canvas shower curtains at one end of it, they changed out of the panty girdles with front and back garters on each leg, which attached to nylon stockings. Their mothers bought them nylon stockings.  They saved all the single stockings and hand washed them in the basin in the bathroom.   Laura was not chosen for teams in gym. 

But one day in the gym locker room, they did not change.  They sat in their autumn skirts and heard their names counted from the roster aloud. Then they walked out to the field to board a school bus.  The day was not the same because the President was speaking at Cheney Field on the campaign for re-election.  And all the students of the city were to be at Cheney Field to hear him speak.   

They were required to leave their purses in the locker room, their purses all along the locker room benches.  The room would be locked all the time they were gone. 

At the field Laura stood in her large gray coat beside the same girl who had walked beside her in the rain from the school yard the day in first grade when she had sprained her ankle.  Somewhere in the crowd were her other friends from accelerated block, Laura and her friend were close to the stage.   

Then, ahead of them an opening appeared.  It seemed they could walk even closer to the front of the crowd, so they walked along in the opening.  At the front of the crowd, at the foot of the lectern, stood a man in a gray suit.  He wore a face that was very misshapen with disapproval, with stern serious doubt.  It was the most serious and tough face Laura had ever seen.  He gestured Laura and her classmate to walk along around the crowd, very far to the back. 

Laura saw that they had needed to arrange the crowd more loosely.  When they thought they were going forward, Laura had wanted to walk forward, to the front of the crowd.  But she had not wanted to walk along around the crowd, far to the back.  Laura and her friend were happy they had gone where the man in the gray suit directed them to go.  They at least had done what they were supposed to do, even though they had not wanted to.

At the back, Laura rose up on her toes in her flats.   They stood and watched the stage over the heads of students in front of them.  At last they heard a helicopter.  Everyone made happy sounds because the president was coming in the helicopter. 

And it landed, the whirling helicopter blades made louder and louder noises. Then the president was here or there between the heads of the crowd.  He was an auburn headed man. He walked toward the stage and the band was playing Hail to the Chief. 

He was a bright red-colored man with bright red-auburn colored hair.  The men who introduced him were gray like the clouds and like the water.  But the president was a different color.  He made a joke about himself and his brother, that they were like the man who introduced him, brothers who were all in politics like him and his brother. 

At the back of the crowd, standing on the tips of her shoes, Laura did not really think the joke was funny.  She listened to the speech and watched the president.  Then the helicopter flew away again and it was over.   

They walked back to the school bus.

High up on the top of a very high Cheney Field bleacher was a man with a rifle.  Laura was frightened for a moment.  Then she realized the secret service must be watching the president and protecting him.

Friday, September 20, 2013

At the Fair - Fun For the Family

At the fair I watched a group of evaluations of 4-H horses, I went to look at the draft horses in the barn - three were having a lying-down rest in the morning.  I had a scone and popcorn I brought along, as well as some peanuts warmed up in the shell.  The draft horse demo was beautiful, at the end the far exit could be taken from the farther side of the arena, at the far end it was possible to watch the draft horses led into the barn.  I got my hand stamped:


Thursday, September 12, 2013

Dean Marshall, author, information on the internet

I located a place on the internet with information about Dean Marshall, author of The Silver Robin, The Invisible Island, and other books.

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

A Rainy Day on Friday Has Turned to Sun

September weather is beautiful in Puget Sound, even the fog and the rain are good.  I brought canned corn, green beans, and garbanzo beans to the fairgrounds in the rain on Friday and got in Free, I saw a few things quickly and was back early.  I wanted to see a Free movie at the nearby Junior High School, quite worth seeing.  I want to share a computer enhanced earlier drawing from the Fair, Topiary Chicken.
Topiary Chicken