Thursday, December 28, 2017

Boxing Day - And Time Before New Years

Tuesday on a walk at Point Defiance Park

Remarkable difference in the number of blog entries since March when The New Computer Room at the building where I live got three computers.  My resolutions from 2018 include make sure you can enter your blog from the New Computer Room.  So often my internet situation is not prepared for my entry from difference Computer Centers at Different Libraries. 

Friday, December 15, 2017

Electronovision and 1964 Church Choir Participation


1964-1965 I was in the choir at First Lutheran Church.   My father was working evenings at the drug store.  He bought me an Olivetti Underwood portable typewriter to use for typing practice.   Everyone at the high school summer school typing class was a stranger to me, and the building was only five years old.   All the afternoons I could walk home,  not much more than a mile.  In my first year, my sophomore year at high school, a lot of things were different.  Once school began, my mother wanted me to get tickets and take the bus.  My mother wanted me to go to choir practice with her Thursday nights, and to sing in the choir from the choir loft on Sunday mornings.  So Autumn 1964 through Spring 1965 I was in the choir at First Lutheran Church.  

My view of why this happened was always that my mother wanted me to be around other people when my sister had individuated to University.  Possibly  she really did not want me to spend time alone at the house.  My mother also wanted me to ride with her when she needed to drive to Lakewood to see my grandmother at the rest home.  She did not want to ride all that way alone in the car.  She sometimes wanted me to just wait for her and do homework.  Sometimes she wanted me to go in with her and see my grandmother.

Auditions were just singing a little beside the piano for Mrs. Weiss, the choir director.  The only anthem I remember was Oh, Holy Night.  We sang that with the other Christmas music on the Christmas Program.  In the spring.  There was an outreach performance at Western State Hospital.  I can remember that we were given a short tour of the grounds and performed for inmates in a large room, lit with daylight from a wall with many windows.

This was not a clean break from the friends I had at the junior high school.  The ticket I had from the September 1964 Electronovision production of Hamlet, with Richard Burton, was for the evening, so it was not a field trip, and very likely it was time spent with the friends who always were focused on drama.  Electronovision never became popular.  I watched You Tube clips from the copy that survived and I have retained a remembrance of seeing Richard Burton perform in this simple dark costume.  I looked up the advertisements for this on microfilm and found an article the Sunday before about a Thursday dinner celebrating the 80th anniversary of the Swedish Order of Valhalla.  Their organization was older than their 1905 hall.  My grandfather's brother was to be honored.

I had to reflect that the honor for my grandfather's brother was from a letter he wrote them.  He went back to Sweden in 1957.  And wrote letters to everyone. 

So it was a week in 1964 in which I can find myself, at the Temple Theater in Tacoma and starting the year of choir rehearsals and anthem performances. 

Thursday, October 26, 2017

An Earlier Time - Paint Samples at the Scottish Rites Cathedral

The Scottish Rites Cathedral is now during the tear down.  During these last years the paint has been a lovely positive element of the scene in the Stadium District. Their paint choices had worked so well with the view from near the grocery. 

An old photo shows paint samples during the decorating project. 

Hunger, by Roxane Gay, Tacoma Reads Together

This morning on the way to the volunteer job I attended the coffee shop office hours of one of my elected officials, Laurie Jinkins.  She co-moderated with Mayor Marilyn Strickland the book discussion last week at Wheelock Library; the large circle at the meeting room in the old McCormick Library section filled the whole floor area.  Many participants spoke about Hunger by Roxane Gay, the choice for Tacoma Reads Together by Marilyn Strickland.  

Office hours, relocated from an ice cream place to Connie's Donuts.  After a little walk I got in line and spoke to Laurie Jinkins.  I mentioned my comment at the book discussion, that I had read A Moveable Feast by Ernest Hemingway when I was a page at McCormick Library so long ago, and from some characteristics of the writing in Hunger, I wondered if Roxane Gay was influenced by the work of Gertrude Stein.  

Ann Dasch, Leg. Assistant, Laurie Jinkins
Laurie Jinkins had not remembered my comment, and said she wished she had been able to ask
about influences at the reading last night at Lincoln High School. I had not been able to register until the seats had all been taken.  Laurie Jinkins said the event went very well, all the seats had been taken, only a few were left.  The response to the author and her perfomance was wonderful, and it was a good event.  

Another citizen awaited at the small round tables, and across the street my bus arrived almost as soon as I reached the stop.  On to the volunteer job at PLU Archives.

Saturday, October 21, 2017

This Year And Last Year's Art Show At the Building

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 await 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...  That was my blog entry for the First Annual Art Show at the building where I live, held last year on the Fourth of July. 

This year half a dozen people participated in the Second Annual Art Show.  I brought photographs again.  This year there were quilts, paintings, wood craft, painted ceramics and more.    

Thursday, October 12, 2017

Cascadia Poetry Festival This Weekend

Yesterday, Wednesday the 11th, after I had a flu shot at my building, I walked for about an hour, I think it is wise to have the flu shot distributed everywhere in your system, and the best way would be to exercise to get circulating.  At a Little Free Library I saw a book I noticed on the supermarket book sales stands:  the new Lisabet Salander novel written by a different author from the original series.  I looked inside and read just a little, in places.  And it was quite interesting.  I have a reserve on the book at the Tacoma Public Library.  But I decided to just leave the brand new book inside the sidewalk book library because I will attend the Cascadia Poetry Festival this weekend and cannot expect to be free to read any of the Salander story.  Someone else probably has found the book by now. 

Thursday, September 28, 2017

Plan To Share An Audio

Linnea Jensen (1911-1986) was a talented piano player all her life.  On my blog, Spice Drawer Mouse,  I  include diary entries with photos she took as Linnea Gord, a nineteen-year-old piano accompanist with the Order of Runeberg Choir in Finland in 1930.  She became choir director for the Order of Runeberg Choir in 1934.  In 1978 The Trebleaires made a cassette tape, Linnea Jensen as accompanist,  the Audio Slideshow I want to include features a short selection from the tape.  She continued with the Order of Runeberg all her life.

Linnea Jensen was also a life-long member of First Lutheran Church in Tacoma and sang with their choir.  Today in Celebration of the 500th anniversary of the Reformation, Pacific Lutheran University has scheduled a Choir Conference.  So I want to share this sampling which features Linnea Jensen, who was my mother, as choir accompanist.  I plan to share the Audio Slideshow on Facebook.

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Betty Fukuyama Was in a Project at Camp Minidoka

Visited the Fair Museum Monday on a rainy day.  Found the name of Betty Fukuyama's husband at the exhibit for the 75th Anniversary of Japanese Internment at Camp Harmony.  So I signed the guest book in memory of Betty Fukuyama, who died in 1992.  She met her husband, I believe, as a ministering participant in a project at Camp Minidoka.  I once met Betty Fukuyama's husband Tom.  Betty Fukuyama was very active with the Washington Poets Association, and published a booklet of 25 poems. 

Add caption
Name lists arranged in the room

Friday, August 4, 2017

The Peninsula Park at Point Defiance which is looking for a name could feature one of the metal sculptures like the Top of the Ocean Memorial, but the new sculpture could show the whole Ruston Way Old Town Industrial Complex. My first home was above the Dickman Mill in Old Town. The size and level of destruction of the harvesting of natural resources in this area is hardly apparent to people who see it today. It cries out for an explanation that is true and factual. The name I submitted is: Old Town / Ruston Way Industrial History Park - 

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

And another poem from 1993:  A 25-year Reunion Directory, when the catering groups for reunions were only starting up,  was mailed over three months after the event...



The arrival of the reunion directory

was supposed to culminate a series of four events.

I bought wool on sale

and sewed an A-line skirt,

gray plaid with a line of brown.

I biked in my black jeans for the Sunday

smelter smokestack demolition.


I stood two hours in cold on Sunday

in a clear view on a lot with many others,

until they set off charges in the stack

and a puff crawled up the base

and it began to tip, then collapsed

all in a shimmer, down, and that

was how it vanished.  Then I pedaled back.


I wore the skirt on Monday for the march

when they changed the name of K-Street

to Martin Luther King, Jr. Way.  It means

the area is African-American, now,

despite the Valhalla Temple.  Strange,

yet not at all, to walk below the temple

windows behind some Indians.


My mother would not have winked an eye.

And would have played piano,

my father filled prescriptions

where it is now Browne's Star Grill.


When the storm woke me

on Inauguration Day

I dressed in the skirt and a pink sweater.

In the cold and dark of the wind

a panel of fresh tar paper

blew off the roof past my window,

but my radio batteries were good.


Later, when I phoned about the directory, 

they explained rather riskily, already

over three months, they had been

out of power, like so many all weekend long.

This poem from 1993...

UNIVERSAL GRIND   October 21, 1993


Can opener wedged into

slit and slit only a dent

across the several gallon firmament.


Folger's Universal Grind

holds the larger plant up

to the kitchen light,


the Eastern Magician

carries the stars in a row.

But the sense within it


of the useless opener

thwarted and outsmarted

tinctures the idea of it.


Deaths falls out of the glass

like snow -  it fell and fell,

that box of candles


all the listed glass unwraps

tissue papers, all are crowds

of tears all balled


tear-filled hankies

on the floor.  Ice crackles

in the glass,  ice water


down again on the mat.

I want my pieces I've salvaged.

I dreamed last night


that a man carried off

my revere ware pots, I cried

those belonged to my mother.


And after it all, all pieces,

the sorrow chases me

without a brain, undoes


my strenuous agony,

the ministry, from its carport,

cries for charity.


My mind walks

to the cemetery again

to clear a leaf off our name.

Friday, July 7, 2017

Revision - Slideshow Audio

A day or two after I posted Vart skall jag köra hästar och vagn?   I revised.  Information had appeared on Facebook that pointed out changes necessary to improve the translation.  Also, I had seen the gap - between the two times the song was played - was too wide.  I had seen I wanted to enlarge the crops from the photo.  So I made a new copy from the song recording and made new slides with the improved translation.  So far I like the new version.

Friday, June 30, 2017

A Reeves Soundcraft Recording Disc contains two songs by the Order of Runeberg Choir:  Slumrande Toner and Vart skall jag köra hästar och vagn?  I did a slideshow audio for Slumrande Toner and posted it at Facebook earlier, yesterday I posted a slideshow audio for Vart skall jag köra hästar och vagn?  


Vart skall jag köra hästar och vagn?   was on the program at the April 30, 1955 Runeberg Songfest in Seattle.   This event was held at a Masonic Temple.


The song is not in the collected songbooks at the Scandinavian Immigrant Experience Archives and not on the internet.  Hasse Nygard shared a link to the three verses and the music through "Malax Bygden Forr och Nu" on Facebook.


It is possible that Order of Runeberg Choir Directors avoided the song  because of content.  A story had to be innocent of any wrong-doing, according to the principles of the Motion Picture Code established in the early 1930s.  Vart skall jag köra hästar och vagn?   is a song about a buggy ride. "The Surrey With The Fringe on Top" met the standard.  In Autumn, 1955, "Love and Marriage…" in a musical of Our Town, by Thornton Wilder, remained met the standard:  "...goes together like a horse and carriage.  Dad was told by mother, You can't have one without the other."


The buggy ride in Vart skall jag köra hästar och vagn?, is a duet about sexuality, and the couple portrayed is clearly not married.  It is possible that Order of Runeberg Choir directors avoided a song like this because of this content.


Much of the translation in the slideshow audio I did is from PLU Archives Director Kerstin Ringdahl.

Thursday, June 15, 2017

Novels and Amber Alert and MILK CARTONS – Thirty and more years, since the 1980s milk cartons have spoken in kitchens of children's misfortunes.  The internet now provides Amber Alert.   

The novel I am reading right now is a re-read of a third volume in a mystery series, The Ruth Galloway series.  By Elly Griffiths.  The House At Sea's End, in its scope, also speaks out about children's misfortunes as it continues an exploration of an ancient history of archeological finds in Norfolk, England. 

The books' mild, forgiving approach, an approach of moderation in appeal, shape a character study of the earliest realities of a single mother and her child.  As a reader, I am made aware (The trap is set.) as the father initiates a rendezvous, near the time of the child's first birthday.  The single mother is a forensic archaeologist.

The series includes organic literary references; at one point, in a rowboat, Arthur Ransome's name rises.  Or the characters' goings about feel like Shakespeare's characters lost in a forest.   A new volume in the series is out and before I read it I wanted to re-read to remind myself of this story.  I think the Norfolk, England archaeology setting, the kind approach to the characters, and the stresses of our times make the mystery series important. 

Sunday, June 4, 2017

The New Park Footbridge Project Seems to Connect to A Previous Pedestrian Path From Point Defiance Park to Ruston Way


Other moments return to my mind at Point Defiance Park and at Ruston.  Among these: my father briefly worked at the smelter, and a member of my mother's First Lutheran Church confirmation class in 1927 ?, a Stanley Nelson, not the only Stanley Nelson, wrote poems of his work at the slag heap of the smelter, he was championed by his daughter Mary Ann Nelson and by Historian Tom Stenger.  My visits are seldom now, but an autumn or two ago as I walked toward the park entry an idea of Stanley Nelson's daughter became a spiritual guide:  I imagined that she, who became a college professor of children's literature, got off the bus where I just had, in a darkening Saturday afternoon, a child with a load of books that included some favorites of mine, the Dean Marshall series.


The nearby park from her childhood might have connected her to the meanings of nature in childrens' favorites.  And also returns to my mind a visit at Tom Stenger's house with her for snacks after the Memorial service for Stanley Nelson at the church after Stanley Nelson' s death.  Ruston had been home, I thought on June 3, 2017,  and looked up a steep newer street.  I left the new Number 15 Pierce Transit Line where above a Northwest Corridor passenger train vanished into the tunnel entry, at Yacht Club Road.


Among my mother's mementos is a 1930s photo on a newspaper magazine supplement front cover where she indicates where her father's fishing boat was moored, just off the edge.  One brother would drive her younger brother out to bring the fishing boat to the Old Town Dock, where everyone could get on so they could cross the bay to visit my grandmother's brothers-in-law, Birger and Eric, on Rosehilla Beach.  My mother's father died in 1931.


There is to be a pedestrian bridge from the park to Ruston Way.  I found one side of the bridge not far from the statue of the man who protected the peninsula of trees and established it as a city park.  I thought I could figure out where the other side of the bridge might be.  So walked down Yacht Club Road and took some pictures. 


The park has been separated from Ruston Way by the Smelter.  I found some three-year-old pictures from an October 2013 Walk and Bike along the waterfront in which I took my bicycle on the bus to the entrance to a hillside path just beyond the portables of the Science and Math Institute of Tacoma Public Schools.  Then a path traversed along the hillside to land at  the wide generous horizons of a spacious Waterfront.  Now the project removes a lot – path fences, trees, and portables and more. 


In my photo a pointy place recently advanced in the new bridge project can be viewed from both sides, Point Defiance, and Ruston Way.  Yes, the bridge seems to connect what had been the traversing pathway to the park.


A photo from 2013, October, shows a fence:  stories of my father say the fence style is a often-used fence style of the early settlers in Whatcom County, where he was born on the shores of Lake Whatcom.  (His family came there and bought a home from people retiring to town in Bellingham.  That was how my father happened to be born in a log cabin in 1902.)

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Open Books Will Present a Memorial Reading for Joan Swift

This morning I visited Open Books in Seattle and left a broadside from the 1995 poetry reading Joan Swift gave for the Distinguished Poet Series.  A reading in memory of Joan Swift is planned at Open Books Tuesday, May 16th in the evening. 

Saturday, May 6, 2017

Song Translation Events - 2002 and Now

In my previous post, April 26, 2017, in which I considered events of August, 2002, I discussed a picnic with relatives and the time separately in which I played two 1960 records loud on the turntable and made a recording of them on the tape recorder.  The music also was a part of the yearly Swedish hymn translation of pieces familiar to the original Swedish people at the early version of First Lutheran Church.

At that time the church planned ahead to a 125th anniversary celebration and there was a yearly hymn performed by the choir in Swedish.  The first hymn was Hela världen frödes Herran – my name was credited as translator (see photo).  I had worked on Song Translations since 1989 and to be able to participate in the church anniversary, even though I attend only part-time, was heartening.  
A video in March celebrated the tenth anniversary of my blog, Spice Drawer Mouse.  This video is posted at Facebook.
Another video slideshow presented two songs from one of the two 1960 records that I played loud on the turntable to record back in 2002.

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Some of the events of August 2017

I saw a car pass over a raccoon.  This was among some diary entries in August 2002, fifteen years ago,  it was dark, or not dark but still early morning.   I had delivered papers every morning since spring of 1999 so  raccoons were out when I was.  The raccoon was on the road, lying down and trying to raise up. 

The Raccoon had the car pass right over him, then he got up and went to the other side from me, without a limp, and headed to a yard between houses where he could recuperate and then go home, probably to the gulch.

It was on a Thursday.  Relatives arrived from California at the weekend, there was a picnic on Vashon Island at Dockton County Park, there is a photograph with two or three tiers of relatives lined up with some trees behind. 

Two weekends later, on a Saturday and Sunday I locate the sessions I found time for with the stereo and the tape recorder, to play the 1960 records by the Tacoma Runeberg Chorus really loud and make a recording of them.

Then I began a yearly Swedish hymn translation of pieces I am convinced were familiar to the original Swedish people at the early versions of First Lutheran Church.  At the end of August 2017, I brought in a first hymn. 

And it was years later that a tape got transferred to the computer.  And recently I located a site on the internet that would turn it into the version that the slideshow app could use as audio.

So the 1962 Runeberg Lodge record become shared has had a slow background.  I was able to share one of the songs on a slideshow on Earth Day 2017.