Thursdays in the Park with Johnny

Dear Liza,

One of the great joys of living in a big city is that interesting things are happening all the time. Since living in Portland, we have stumbled onto fabulous food trucks, Shakespeare in the Lone Fir cemetery, and neon-lit naked bike rides.

And a few evenings ago, we found Johnny Franco! This talented musician/performer from San Paolo, Brazil, and his group were playing Beatles-esque music near Firwood Lake in Laurelhurst Park.

In the glowing light of early evening, a hundred or so folks sat on the grassy slopes around the lake. People enjoyed picnics, drinks, dogs and kids as bicycles and skateboards whizzed by.

The music inspired a few young ladies to dance along, adding to the festivities.

And judging from the chalkboard posted near the stage, this is a regular, free, Thursday night performance! Maybe we should make it part of our Thursdays. After all, summer doesn’t last forever.


Grandma Judy

Full Speed Into Summer

Dear Liza,

This week, summer will hit full blast. Our weather will be in the 90s, with the sun coming up at 5 a.m. and not going down until almost 10 p.m.

Tiny baby carrots!!

Everyone’s gardens are beginning to bear fruits and vegetables. We have been eating our own lettuce for a few days, and even had some teeny tiny carrots with dinner.

Strawberries and cherries are growing, often right onto (or over) the sidewalk! The world is so full of sweetness it just can’t be contained.

And after a long silence, Laurelhurst Park is filling up with music again. I went walking last evening and got a free concert by a group called Johnny Franco, who was making music in two trumpets, a saxophone, drums, four different guitars and a vocalist.

It was a delightful blend of rock and reggae, and a crowd of about a hundred people was scattered around, enjoying the music and the weather. There were picnics, and kids and dogs ran all around. People danced, frisbees flew. It felt like LAST summer had finally come, fifteen months late.

Have a good weekend! Stay well, stay cool, and find ways to share your joy.


Grandma Judy