Friday, December 23, 2016

Facebook Discussion With Other Arthur Ransome Childhood Readers

"Laura had read in Arthur Ransome you had to tack to sail upwind,  you tacked from one side of the lake to the other to sail against the wind."  In an essay about childhood reading published at Salt River Review, I remembered Arthur Ransome. 

On Facebook a couple of days ago:  "I can attach a crop from The Summer Reading Club in 5th Grade - I was re-reading Arthur Ransome books to make reports the summer I was ten..."and
"I recall how terribly interested I was to discover a biography of Arthur Ransome in the 1980s. I think it must have been The Life of Arthur Ransome by Hugh Brogan, shown on the internet. I read the biography with a lot of enjoyment. I discovered many things I did not know about the author."  I shared an earlier blog entry about The Summer Reading Club.

This year I watched the 1970s Swallows and Amazons movie in episodes on the library internet computer.  At some point I expect I will be able to view the new 2016 movie, Swallows and Amazons.  To read some of the older titles, in older formats, was to enjoy other illustrators than Arthur Ransome, especially Helene Carter.  I re-read parts of The Picts and the Martyrs during the year and realize how beautifully written the story is – although Helene Carter is not present in the version I read, the book is a wonderful read without those illustrations.  So it was the writing that was wonderful for me at the time.

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Read This Poem at the December Open Mike at King's Books

Christmas Angels 1960s

White Christmas 
A Poem From The 1990s 

My list of birds I saw in the winter.  Robin,
Spotted Towhee, American Widgeon, Surf-Scoter -

Herring Gull, Woodpecker, Oregon Junco -
who appears here in the bushes, inside
the flowering camelia at the door.  Once
I wanted to see White Christmas.  No one else

wanted to go.   But my mother let me off
in the dark above the Rialto; the neon, but
only the street, dark, and other cars.
Canada Goose, Wood Duck, Buffle-Head -

Hooded Merganser, Heron, Hawk, Wren -
White Christmas was fine.  Only the worn
gummy carpet, the curtain that slowly flung
open and the Technicolor.  I was in junior high,

but there was nothing wrong in being alone
at the movies.  We never ascended the levels
at the Roxy to the stained glass.
Western Grebe, Cormorant, Sparrow, Crow -

Goose, small tit inside the many blossoms
of the flowering quince.They restored the Roxy,
the old Pantages.  In the dark we never noticed
that the curtain was magnificent.
Now during the vigor of arms at violins
we glance up at a sculpted muse with sheaves
of grain.  And the Rialto, too, is restoration.
And on the street of stores a chickadee

might try the new branches of the saplings.
Today was tree day.  Blocks I walked from school
are anchored by them, eight each way, small pears
and they are flowering.  And a sparrow,

the sparrow who would greet you kindly
at the bus stop, who would stop and stand
and look from concrete that I thought went
to the center of the earth, but that was not,

perhaps, that deep, but ony a thin shell
over top soil.  The mallard, the pigeon,
the others I could not recall.  Or could not name.
The Varied Thrush, the Flicker, the Golden-Eye.

And the Eared Grebe, and the Sparrow
with the stripe, the dark one. 

Saturday, November 26, 2016

Saturday, Thanksgving Weekend

Needed to pick up some groceries.  A pink sky lighted everything, and from the bus a rainbow.  After the store saw Eyes Of The Totem at the ten a.m. Saturday Holiday Matinee at the Blue Mouse at Proctor, they will follow with a twelve-thirty matinee.  The Eyes Of The Totem was great.

Friday, November 25, 2016

Rain On Thanksgiving 2016

Inflated Race Gateway
and Washington Grade School
Nine o'clock.  Twenty minutes into my hour three crows and a seagull flew over in my park pond count space.   I got a bus in my poncho to transfer at Proctor for Point Defiance, "Here we go on to a detour" the driver said...From 30th Street we turned toward the Turkey Trot.  At the store I could get the Point Defiance bus, on detour.  At the park: cormorants dove in rain, surf scoters (photos),  three or four kingfishers.  A seal nose at the surface for awhile, seagulls gathered near the seal.  It was possibly a seal, maybe a sea lion.  It went away, possibly beneath the old boathouse, where Iwould not see it.  
Male and Female Surf Scoters

Saturday, November 12, 2016

Plans For Monday's Transit Hearing

Transit Interior
At King's books Friday Evening I read the comments I plan for the Pierce Transit Hearing at the Transit Headquarters at 4 pm on Monday.  I oppose removal of service through Old Town.

Last November also found some of us at a Pierce Transit bus hearing.  The “We have been here before” pattern this time reinforced for me thoughts from much earlier Pierce Transit conversations. 

A route along Tacoma Avenue from Stadium to the County-City Building was considered, and I remembered that.   

Right now Routes 13, 14, and 16 on Tacoma Avenue at Norton Memorial Park verr downhill to the left from Tacoma Avnue to go downtown on St. Helens.  The route I remember would hav verred uphill to the right to pass Norton Memorial Park to continue along Tacoma Avenue to the County-City Building. 

At the Main Library in a Northwest room file an article describes a Shuttle Service suggested for downtown in 1994, twenty-two years ago.  This article might have been about the plan I remember. 

On our current map of change plans there are gray lines that guie me to connect Route 3 and Route 13.  Rought 3 is to be changed and Route 13 is to go. A plan could continue Route 13 uphill to the right to pass Norton Memorial Park and continue to be Route 3 along Tacoma Avenue to the County-City Building. 

Who would this help?   ----------     This would help senior citizens who use walkers and live in three large buildings on G Street.  G Street is a block from Tacoma Avenue.  Seniors who use walkers find downhill is a barrier.  It is downhill from Tacoma Avenue to St. Helens. 

Three large buildings in those blocks are for seniors.  Other seniors live in other buildings on these blocks.  Any who use walkers could then use bus stops on Tacoma Avenue.

The bus on Tacoms Avenue would keep service to old town.  I oppose removal of service through old town.

Thursday, October 20, 2016

Squirrels 2016 and 1993

One of Three Baby Squirrels
In this summer at the tree
Leaf shapes, sun shapes
from above and below.

In the park gutter a brown scrap,
an animal.  Check to see,
I said to no one, check to see,
I said to how its breath rose and fell.

Together five or six gathered,
messaged a photo and called.
Almost four hours. then it regained
consciousness, a baby squirrel.

its back legs could not move.

Bank statements and some drafts
I have shredded.
I found the squirrel I remembered
in a binder of lists of expenses.

And in an appointment book.
And in a diary entry, in 1993:
Two girls in a car called at me that there was an injured animal in the street back at Union.  I went back when I saw their car just went on.

The squirrel was trying to get up.  I got off my bike in the middle of Union but cars went by, over above its head.  It was trying to get up.  I was screaming.  I made a guy help me get the cars to go another way. 

A man from a house brought a rake and tipped the squirrel onto the rake and brought him to the parking.

After it hubbubed down I sat and crouched near while it lay on the grass  & by some evergreen shrub.  Breathing.  I pushed a fly away.

At the vet they said his back was not broken and neither were its legs.  Maybe it had internal injuries or maybe brain damage.

I brought him to my apartment on the bus.  I waited for the bus at the bike shop. I got them to pick up my bike at the vet, and it is there getting a check over and having the brake fixed.

The vet had fed him thin gruel from a dropper, a syringe without a needle.  I found I could not. Olympic Wildlife Rescue phoned.  They said someone would be by.  And I should not try to feed him more. 

I waited.  In the box the squirrel lay breathing.  Now & then he moved some.  A coupld of hours passed. When Olympic Animal Rescue came, he was sitting up in the box.  But it was hard for me to see in there.

To wait for Animal Rescue,
as I waited in 1993 in May
In my apartment on the third floor,
the day was warm,
the apartment was warm and quiet,

and the squirrel sat up in the box.

Near the park gutter in 2016
A United Way worker
another younger fellow
his sister, one arm in a cast

with her boyfriend
all of us gathered
where we waited, lifted
the baby squirrel

over to the tree trunk
nearly four hours
it regained consciousness.
They brought the squirrel

inside my shoebox
to her mother's house.

Look for the mother.
In this summer at the tree.
Leaf shapes, sun shapes
from above and below,

At the scrap there were people
who made cars turn away.
always home all late summer
the squirrel who was
the mother, her way down,
her way up, leaf shapes,
shapes of sun.   All late summer.
All that done, the four had

to go together through
the shapes of leaves,
along the gutter one scrap lay,
her heart that felt.

She and the two then had to descend.

Friday, September 23, 2016

Posted A Cormorants Video at Facebook Today

Is this the second day of autumn 2016?  How only once or twice I managed to take a walk along the waterfront, once from downtown to old town, once out at point defiance.  Today I wish to post a photo changed with effects, of Cormorants - and today I posted a video at Facebook called Cormorants At The Waterfront. 

Cormorants August 2016


Thursday, September 15, 2016

Visits to Neighborhood Council Meetings - North End, New Tacoma

People's Center Room with Mirror
Friends of Tacoma Public Library are clarifying beliefs we have about the priority that should be shown for the library in the city budget.  The city manager visits Neighborhood Councils now, Monday and Wednesday evenings I attended Neighborhood Council Meetings for the North End and the New Tacoma Neighborhood Councils. 

The City Manager, Mr. Broadnax, said libraries would be funded without cuts, and at the North End meeting one of the Friends of Tacoma Public Library did bring up the earlier cuts that have had an effect on library open times and on staff.  At the New Tacoma meeting I mentioned a concern for the Valhalla Hall and the MLK Subarea, where the light rail will arrive in the near future. 

The North End meeting was at Trimble Hall, rather new at University of Puget Sound, the New Tacoma meeting was at People’s Center.  My trip to Trimble Hall began from the Puyallup Station on the 400 Pierce Transit, to the Dome Station, where I transferred to a 13 Pierce Transit and continued to transfer after a supper break in Old Town at the Spar Café.  The water in the sunshine at the dock looked cold at high tide, and a little choppy.  Such a beautiful time to be at the very old café.  The 13 became the 14 at Proctor and continued to UPS. 

Wednesday evening at the People's Center we met in the Board Room, which contains a large mirror.  It is interesting to watch, soon one does realize how important this is to dancers.  I took my bike to People’s Center.  The ride back as it became dusk required a back light, which I had with me.

Friday, September 9, 2016

Family History Object from the Past

Bingo Set 1938
I wish to approach an opportunity for other family members to consider a fact:  we shared family history events:  at a music event we returned to specific music that was important to the family, and at another event we brought high school yearbooks: school always was important. 
We each believe differently about these connections.  We viewed old photos.  I wish to share a view of items we perhaps had not the time to view.  Today I wish to share of glimpse of the Bingo set they brought with them to Finland and Sweden in 1938, a chance to spend time with others while they visited in a pastime.

Hilltop Walking Tour Wednesday - Downtown On The Go

Wednesday I attended the Downtown on the Go Walking Tour of Hilltop in late afternoon weather.  The rain let up after we had walked awhile.  While the walkers gathered I did a 30-second video which included KOMO news people whose report appeared Thursday morning.  I shared my video on Facebook. 

At the Catholic Community Center we could glimpse the new building named for Father William Bichsel.  Father Bichsel had been long a treasure in the community. 

Our stops were People’s Park, the State Armory, Catholic Community Services, The Valhalla Hall (next door to the Clinic), and the People’s Center, where we had a glimpse of the new pool which opens later this month.  The snack at the Center was from the Red Elm Café, which is staged to open this autumn at the Kellogg-Sicker Building at the site the Economy Drug and later Browne’s Star Grill (moved from a downtown location after Urban Renewal). 

Council Member Keith Blocker, who also guided the August 27th tour, guided the tour on September 7, along with Downtown On The Go Tour Guides. The History Guide for the Hilltop Neighborhood Walking Tour, Gerald Eysaman, who was the guide who led the tour in 1995 (or 1996) was not the guide for the Downtown On The Go Hilltop History Walk.  It had been great to hear his presentation on August 27, 2016, and to go along with a History Walk with the city again. 

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

There Were A Lot Of Students In Our School

Tacoma had a good school system when I went there.  So when I put together realities that surround the fact that the school wanted me to skip fifth grade I have to include the fact that I was an early boomer.  Maybe they wanted to lighten the numbers in the fifth grade classroom.  My parents did not allow it.

I thought I must be smart for them to want me to skip.  But I knew they thought I was too large for the fifth grade desks.  They did have to bring a sixth grade desk into the fifth grade classroom for me.  In fifth grade I visited the eye doctor in the K Street District, the teachers and staff never noticed that in Fourth Grade I could not see the blackboard the way I was able to see the blackboard in Third Grade.  My grades were the same, because I did the work at my desk and could listen.  But I squinted my eyes together to try to see.  I did not find the courage to tell my mother I thought I needed glasses until Fifth Grade.

I know they saw I was too large but did not see that I had trouble seeing.  That happened to the boomers – there were probably a lot of lapsed applied effort that should have been made on our behalf, but there were so many that they did not have people to do this.  The school did a lot of things for us. 

Friday, September 2, 2016

Commented At The Budget Event

Once someone who was in Tacoma, where her forebears lived, visited First Lutheran Church and hoped to find leads about the past.  It was an honor to be able to help, I was able to connect her to appropriate heritage group people and to show her materials that were at the Northwest Room at the Main Library.  She also could go on the internet there.

Snake Lake Nature Center

Friends of Tacoma Public Library are clarifying beliefs we have about the priority that should be shown for the library in the city budget.  The city manager visits Neighborhood Councils now, yesterday evening I mentioned a few short points at the Central Neighborhood Council at Snake Lake Nature Center.


Saturday, August 27, 2016

Hilltop Neighborhood History Walking Tour

Leafleting for Red Elm Cafe
Today I attended the Hilltop Neighborhood History Walking Tour in cool morning weather that began to warm as we finished.  It was nearly eleven o'clock, and Council Member Keith Blocker, one of the guides, was to appear at the start of the Hilltop Street Fair.  During the walk we saw the Street Fair begin to set up, a perfect plan for a Walking Tour - we could walk in the street.

At the Allen AME we visited the foyer art that memorializes the deaths in Charleston.  From the foyer we could view the AME Stage as it set up,  across the street is the Valhalla Hall.

1995 or 1996 Grill
Plans at the building (The Kellogg-Sicker Building) that had been the Economy Drug, where my father worked as a pharmacist, and had been the Browne's Star Grill, appear to be steadily moving forward.  A representative of a cafe that will open there in the autumn handed out leaflets for the Red Elm Cafe.  At an earlier (1995 or 1996) History Walk I took a picture of the Star Grill.
Kellogg-Sicker Building

The History Guide for the Walk was the guide who led the tour in 1995 (or 1996).  It was great to hear his presentation and to go along with a History Walk with the city again.

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.