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