Sunday, July 28, 2013

Klickitat Street


My mom loves to read and in addition to her own books, she would spend hours and hours reading to us. 
 
 
 
My favorites were the Beverly Cleary books.  If you don’t know them, they start out with a boy, Henry Huggins, circa mid 50’s who is waiting for a bus to return home.  He finds a stray dog and calls his mom on the pay phone.  She tells him he can keep the dog if he can get him home.  So a bus, a boy, a dog, a scrounged cardboard box and whole bunch of string . . . 


The best character, Ramona Quimby, makes an impact in the series later on. (The books follow Henry then move to Henry’s neighbor and friend Beezus Quimby and they settle on Beezuz’ little sister Ramona.)



All of this happens in Portland Oregon on Klickitat Street.  We had just moved outside of Portland so not only were these fabulously written books with funny and relatable characters, I felt there was a special connection to them.
 


One night, my parents come back from a date and my mom says, “We went to see Klickitat Street.” I was astounded! My first concept that fiction didn’t mean everything was fiction and immediately jumped up my already considerable interest in reading. 



In addition, we had read a little piece in a book about Milkweed.  (I hadn’t seen any yet.) Mom had Milkweed with her!  Milkweed and Klickitat street and the Huggins family and the Quimby family.  Everything was right in the Universe!



Years later I read a few books to my kids but I was met with a semi attentive response. The irony is, my two older girls were ringers for Beezus and Ramona.

 

Reading is a very, very good thing! And I love these books so much I will exceed my self-imposed, per book, charitable limit to get them for my sister’s school charity.  I hope, some kid benefited from a Klickitat Street Christmas present.  

 

Statue of Ramona Quimby, visited by author Beverly Clearly, in Grant Park (by Klicketat Street.)  
   



There are also statues of Henry and his dog Ribsy. 


 

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