Rain, Friendly History, and Pizza

Dear Liza,

Yesterday was another busy day. Auntie Bridgett and I took the #15 downtown just as the rain started, and walked up the hill to the Oregon Historical Society. This was her first time in the Research Library, and after she had signed in and our stuff was put away in a locker, we did our separate research.

I was hunting for pictures of Mrs. Pittock’s house on the corner of SW Park and Washington, and for information about a big party she had there in 1889. Bridgett was looking for information about a very funny KGW radio program called “The Hoot Owls”, which started in 1923. Librarian Scott Daniels helped me with boxes on photographs and folders full of newspaper clippings, and white glove to wear so I didn’t damage the old, delicate paper.

We were both fairly successful. I was able to see and sketch photos of Mrs. Pittock’s house and figure out what other buildings were on the property, but found absolutely nothing about the party. This puzzles me: Every story about the Rose Festival starts with a mention of Mrs. Pittock’s Rose Party…but no one seems to know when it happened, who was there, or what anything looked like. Did this party really happen? I will keep digging!

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A Burl

Bridgett found booklets of the silly songs “The Hoot Owls” sang on their radio show, and had a good time reading them. The producers of the show would publish the booklets and sell them, raising money to give to charity, like Comic Relief raises money today.

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Credit where due

By four o’clock, we were hungry for a snack and ready to head home. We walked up to catch the #20 home, walking down 6th Avenue, which was a new street for us. We saw some new statues and an old bank building with the letters F-A-R-G-O in huge letters across the top. Guess which bank built that?

We got home just in time for dinner, but didn’t want to cook, so after Grandpa Nelson had some dinner, we all walked down to Babydoll Pizza and enjoyed a slice and some cider, and a game of “Ghostbusters” pinball. A very satisfactory end to a lovely day.

Love,

Grandma Judy

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Another bit of Burls

Rose Garden and More

Dear Liza,

This week I got to spend two whole days with cousins Jasper and Kestrel. I will tell you about each day separately.

Monday, we walked from their house to Division Street, where we caught the number 4 bus to downtown, and caught the Blue line train to Washington Park. This is the same bus and train we used to go to the zoo, but once we got to the top of the elevator, we took a shuttle bus around to the other side of the mountain, past the Hoyt Arboretum, which is a huge forest,  the Vietnam Veterans Memorial, and the Holocaust Memorial. But we stayed on until the Rose Garden stop.

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The Rose Garden and forest

The International Rose Test Garden, to use its proper name, is four and a half acres of roses planted on the side of a hill overlooking the city of Portland. There are over 7,000 roses in all! Compared to my 12 rose bushes in Salinas,  this is a BIG garden.

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Cousin Kestrel and an arch

The garden is on several levels, with lovely stairs and rose-covered arches in between. There are fountains, benches, and shady trees. On a clear day, you can see Mount Hood. But it was smoky the day we were there, from wildfires in Washington to the north.

There is even an amphitheater, where there are sometimes plays or concerts. The day we were there, it was a big open space for kids to run and play in. We found a pathway behind the stage to a quiet spot where we ate lunch and built a fairy house out of sticks, flower petals, and leaves.

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Amphitheater

We were very warm after lunch, so decided to take the bus around the mountain to the Children’s Museum, a wonderful building with big rooms for playing. There is a room with a stage and costumes for pretending to be in a show. There is another room for playing with cars and building roads. The Water room is all about faucets and pipes. This museum is a big, happy playhouse! I will take you there when you come to visit.

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The Cow on the porch of the Children’s Museum

We walked back to the elevator. It felt like a long way, because we were tired and the afternoon was very warm. But the train and bus were cool, and when I left the cousins at Auntie Katie’s shop, they curled up with books and read, and I came home to rest.

Being a grandma can be hard work!

Love,

Grandma Judy