Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Happy 100th Birthday Beverly Cleary!

I had some outstanding friends when I was Ramona Quimby's age. Often I was invited to tag along to a concert, a play, or spend a weekend at the family cabin with a friend. I'm sure there was much coaching by Mom on how to be a worthy guest and it paid off with many varied things to do and see.

Many times I did things with my friend Lori Peterson and her mom. Usually the outings were great fun but not always. Once Lori's mother took us to see Bambi just after it was released in a downtown Seattle theater. I remember arriving home and Mrs. Peterson apologizing to my mom for possibly scaring me for life. (In the movie when Bambi's mom died in the fire I totally lost it and cried the entire movie.) But surprisingly that misadventure didn't stop Lori or her mother from inviting me on other excursions. One such trip was to the public library. We went to the West Seattle Public Library and listened to an author read from one of her recently published books. As I remember there weren't many children there, she was very soft spoken and seemed quite elegant.

Year's later as an adult while going through some childhood possessions I found a scrapbook, most items in it were worthless, a piece of wood, ticket stubs, those sort of things. But also tucked in there was a scrap of paper and next to it in my childish handwriting I had written: "An author's autograph" on closer look it was Beverly Cleary's autograph. I'd totally forgotten!
I loved reading her books growing up, loved reading them to my girls, and later to my students. What a great legacy Beverly Cleary has provided generations of young people.

I hope you have had a wonderful 100th birthday Ms. Cleary.

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