Visiting Ramona

Dear Liza,

We had a few days between rain storms, so Grandpa Nelson and I went for a nice long walk.

Not far from our house is this pair of wonderfully carved trees. The trees grew in this parkway on Glisan Street for many years. When the trees died, instead of taking them out, someone carved them into birds on pedestals. They just make me smile.

We headed northeast over the Banfield freeway and into the Hollywood neighborhood.

This freeway runs through Sullivan’s Gulch, a low spot that divides the east side of town. Since the Gulch isn’t very pretty and is no good for buildings, it also holds passenger rail lines of Trimet and freight train lines. Crossing the freeway when the trains are also running by is extremely noisy!

We got out of the cold with a stop at the Bitter Rose coffee shop and enjoyed coffee, tea and fabulous cardamom brioche bun. A few blocks along, we found this amazing display of hand-turned music boxes, mounted so passers-by can turn the tiny cranks and enjoy them. Again, I smiled.

Finally we arrived at our destination, Grant Park. This park sits between Grant High School and Beverly Cleary Elementary school.

It also is home to these delightful bronze statues of Ramona Quimby, Henry Huggins, and Henry’s dog Ribsy. These characters were creations of our local famous author, Beverly Cleary.

Beverly grew up here in Portland from the 1930s through the 1950s. She used street names, businesses and local landmarks in her stories, which have been beloved by many generations. She passed away last year in Carmel, California, at the age of 104.

The statues were created in 1995 by Portland artist Lee Hunt.

We headed home through the sunny cold afternoon, finishing up our five mile walk just in time to make dinner. Boy, were we ready!

Love,

Grandma Judy

Author: Judy

I am a new transplant to Portland from Salinas, a small city in Central California. This is a blog about my new city.

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