On Sunday Grandpa Nelson and I went downtown for the Gay Pride Parade and celebration. The streets full of happy people!
We didn’t see the beginning of the parade, but got there in time to see the women’s rugby team, some proud parents, and support groups for kids and trans people, and lots of rainbows.
The weather was drippy, but spirits were light.
There was a long, long line to get into the part of the Fair where the booths were, but we got to chat with some nice folks and watch the parade go by.
The downside of all the drippy weather was the muddy ground . Two solid weeks of carnival events (first the Rose Festival, then Pride) on the same patch of grassy ground had lead to mud, mud, and more mud. It was epic. It was deep. And I managed, somehow, to not land on my face.
Finally, we found what we were looking for: Auntie Katie’s Books with Pictures booth! She was doing an absolute ton of business and only had time for a quick Father’s Day hug, but it was worth it.
As we left, I caught this accidental shot of perfectly dressed folks passing the street sign at the corner of 1st Avenue and Harvey Milk Street. Harvey Milk was the first out, gay person elected to office in California and was shot in 1978, along with San Francisco Mayor George Moscone, by a fellow City Supervisor who didn’t like gay people. To help remember his sacrifice, a 13 block stretch of SW Stark here in Portland has been re-named for him.
The work has continued on the garden behind auntie Katie’s bookstore, Books with Pictures. I showed you before how the planting areas were filled with rich topsoil to create low berms and beds.
On a recent Saturday, eight women and girls aged 14 to 66 (and one helpful male teenager) worked for three hours creating the surfaces of the new garden just behind Books with Pictures. There were two tampers, which are heavy tools for flattening and compacting soil, and they were in constant use. First, the original soil was raked and tamped to make it solid and even. Plastic edging was laid in and staked down.
Then interlocking gravel was wheelbarrowed in to place, raked flat, and tamped down (twice) to make sure it was perfect.
Auntie Katie, who is injured and cannot work, was in charge of quality control and keeping us all fed. She did a fine job!
Finally, pea gravel, which will be pleasant to walk on, was wheeled and raked and tamped in place.
The walkway in the garden was extended beyond the space to the parkway, which makes for a nice entry from the street through the big wonky gateway.
Auntie Katie’s bookshop, Books with Pictures, is getting a new garden! This triangular patch of land just behind the store has been overgrown for years and is now planned as a space for meetings, music, or just sitting.
Last summer, some designers came and built a wonderfully wonky and stout gateway for the space.
A few weeks ago, a friend with a backhoe came and tore all the overgrown plants out. He came back and scraped six inches of rocky topsoil off.
And Sunday, the new topsoil got put into place. This isn’t the sort of work for a backhoe, however. This is delicate, manual labor. Fortunately, Auntie Katie has a lot of strong friends.
Grandpa Nelson, Auntie Bridgett and I walked down and met up with Douglas, Marion and Moss, Ken and Hillary, Chelsea and Katie to put the soil where it belongs. It was exhausting and took a lot of shovels, but working together is always fun, and the garden-to-be is one step closer to being fabulous.
Auntie Katie has injured her shoulder and wisely supervised rather than shoveled. She and Hillary are great bosses!
The plants will be delivered in a few weeks and there will be another work party! Hooray!
Your Auntie Katie, my baby and your daddy’s little sister, turned 40 this past Friday.
It was a fun evening! Friends from all over ( even your Daddy in Denmark) got together on ZOOM, and three even traveled from Canada, California and Eugene, Oregon to come visit in person. We called Katie’s sweetie, Marion, mid-party and she came by to join the fun.
Grandpa Nelson, Auntie Bridgett and I brought good food from Pastini to feed everyone. Andrea, Auntie Katie’s business partner, brought a yummy cake and candles from MarketofChoice.
There was lots of horsing around and silliness. Auntie Katie brought out her photo albums and we got to visit with long-gone friends and family.
And there were presents! Auntie Bridgett and I had picked out an embroidered pillow at GiftyKitty weeks ago, and now the two snuggling kitties look like Katie and Marion! It is so cute I almost exploded.
When it was time to get Cousins Kestrel and Jasper to bed, we dropped Jasper at his best friend’s house and brought Kes to sleep here so the Party Ladies could continue. I am so glad we got to be together.