We've been having lots of fun this summer, reading and playing and picnicking. Here's an album of photographs to prove it!
Vladimir Goes for the Gold! June 16th. A theater event, about the Ancient Greek Olympic Games.
Move Like a Mammoth, June 23rd. We looked at how animals lived during the Ice Age!
Pioneer Potluck Picnic June 25th at the Heritage Station Museum. We played old-fashioned games and toured the school house!
May 4, 2016
Mayor Proclaims May 4th Pendleton Friends Of the Library Day
If you were not at the Pendleton City Council meeting on May 3rd, you missed an exciting tidbit! Mayor Phillip Houk, officially set aside May 4th as Pendleton Friends Of the Library Day. I may be biased, but Pendleton Friends Of the Library is definitely deserving of this honor.
With this proclamation, the City recognizes the outstanding work the Friends’ 350 members accomplish with their wide variety of fundraising efforts which contribute approximately $15,000 to the Library each year. The annual book sale requires many hours of work throughout the year sorting and preparing donations for the sale. The Adopt-A-Magazine program raises funds to offset the high cost of magazines which are made available to patrons to read in the Library as well as to check out to read at home. The Reading Is Fundamental program raises funds, purchases books, and distributes a free book of the child’s choosing to the public elementary schools in Pendleton. Those Little Re(a)d Bookshelves you see around town are stocked with books donated to the Friends. And that is the short list!
The great bookmarks we hand out all year are the result of a contest the Friends host each spring. Children from the elementary schools plus homeschoolers are encouraged to submit a design. Choosing winners is a very difficult task. Pendleton has so many artistic children!
Memorials and gifts add to the Library’s collections and provide funding for the wide variety of children’s and adult programs the Library offers, as well as purchasing physical items needed by the Library. The Friends frequently provide funding for author visits and program presenters’ lodging in Pendleton.
I would be remiss if I did not mention the Friends greatest gift to the Library. They are our community ambassadors, getting the word out about what the Library has to offer as well as bringing suggestions to the Library staff of the community’s desires and needs.
If you are a member of the Pendleton Friends Of the Library, please accept the City’s gratitude. This proclamation honors your efforts on behalf of the Library. As they say, one can never have too many friends. The Library’s “Friends” are phenomenal and richly deserve the honor bestowed upon them. Pendleton Friends Of the Library makes Pendleton a richer place in which to live, grow and recreate.
Thank you, Friends,
Pendleton Public Library
502 SW Dorion Ave.
Pendleton OR 978001
From: Library Director, Mary Finney
To: Fans of writer, Craig Johnson, (author of the Longmire series and a whole lot more)
A tip of the hat to all of you who enjoy western stories. And, to anyone with a wry sense of humor! I receive blog posts from Mr. Johnson, whom we hosted several years back for an author talk, and wanted to share this funny story . Sounds like he still have a lot of fun wherever he travels!
I am sure the details in the story occurred just as he portrays it!
Hope you enjoy it, too,
Post-It: Let 'er Buck
"I haven't been on one of these things--ever."
The mechanical bull operator looked at me in my hat, boots, snap front shirt, and jeans, a little incongruous in Lyon, France. "Quoi?"
Points, the publisher of my mass-market paperbacks in France, had arranged a boat party on the river Rhône during Quais du Polar, the largest crime fiction event in the world with more than eighty thousand fans in attendance, most of whom, it seemed, were on the boat. It was a big boat, with lots of witnesses.
Other than a stint in Texas at a rodeo school that used fifty-five gallon drums tied to ropes, the only bovines I'd ever straddled back in my bygone, ten-feet-tall-and-bulletproof days were ones that breathed, snorted, did their part in making little bulls, and tried to kill you. I was good enough to get my card and participated in rough stock events from Mesquite, Texas to Cowtown, New Jersey but not good enough in any way to make a living out of it. One of the things I learned was that in bull riding, physical height was a disadvantage; you see, at six feet, with the whipping and bucking action of the bull, you're like a cracking whip, as opposed to the shorter, stouter version of cowboydom who can hunker down and hold on.
In all the years I'd played around in the sport of my youth, I'd never been on a mechanical bull, scorning them as a Drugstore Cowboy device, not worthy of my seat. Now here I was at the biggest crime fiction event in the world with a couple hundred people watching my every move as I looked the mechanical bull in it's beady, plastic, red eyes.
I'd already discussed the situation with the only other person in the room bigger than me, Deon Meyer, the South African author who had shared a different adventure when the Quais du Polar folks had provided us with Harleys and a police escort at speed through town two years ago. "I don't know Craig, my back..."
I am fifty-five years old.
I glanced down at the array of buttons and switches that operated the thing. "So, lookie here, pardner. Does this thing pretty much operate like the real deal--we go eight seconds and then twenty-three skidoo?"
He stared at me, and the response was predictable.
I pointed at the digital display that counted out to a full minute and mimicked climbing on the contraption and then holding up eight fingers.
He immediately shook his head and held up one.
"One second? That seems kind of short..."
"Non, une minute." He pointed at the control board and held up the finger again. "Personne ne fait que." He held up four fingers on one hand and five on the other.
"So usually forty-five seconds?"
Obviously a different game here.
I glanced over at Judy, my wife, who was probably considering whether or not we were going to be spending the next few days testing the marvelous French emergency medical system.
God hates a coward.
With a great deal of expectation from the crowd, I sat on the bumper of the inflatable cushion that surrounded the beastie and began taking off my boots. There was a roar from the spectators, and all I could think was that they'd probably quiet down about the time Ferdinand threw me in the river.
For the uninitiated, the things are about a little wider than a fifty-five gallon drum with the added disadvantage of a fiberglass seat that's about as slippery as a freshly polished pig. There's a little stub of a rope to hang onto, simulating the rigging used in the real sport, simulating being the operative word here.
Hopping on, I gripped the handle with one hand and yanked off my hat to emulate Steamboat, the horse and rider on the Wyoming license plate and every rodeo poster in the world. Everybody cheered, and I glanced over at the operator and yelled, "Let 'er buck!"
He stared at me, and I gestured with my hat that we should get going.
Unfrozen, he began manipulating the dials and buttons and the thing started spinning and bucking--a lot easier than the real thing, at least as well as I could remember. After about thirty seconds though he started putting a little more spin on it, finally graduating to a counter-spin, which drifted me a little to one side and caught me hanging and shaking before dropping me in one of the most ungainly dismounts in rodeo history.
Carefully picking myself up from the air-cushioned mat, I stood, dusted myself off and swept my hat in a complimentary bow as the French cheered my forty-seven second score.
The ice having been broken a few brave souls started taking their shoes off and attempted PRCA stardom including writer Jon Bassoff out of Colorado who even approached my time, albeit holding on with two hands.
As the party continued, Judy offered to get me a beer from the bar, but I turned her down as she studied me. "You're going to do it again, aren't you?"
You can judge a man by the challenges he chooses to accept, and the more stupid and meaningless those tasks are, the more similar he would be to moi. "The operator says everybody comes off at around forty-five seconds."
"Really?" She raised an eyebrow at me, fully aware that we had an early train to catch in the morning and that it was rapidly approaching midnight. "Then you beat it by two seconds."
"I think I can do better."
She crossed her arms. "I think you're simple-minded."
I tugged my hat down a little tighter. "Goes with the job, little lady."
Fifty-seven seconds and the champion of the very first Lyon France River Rodeo... And I'm considering getting a mechanical bull to put in our garage, or maybe going back out on the circuit. How hard can it be? Like riding a bicycle, it'll all come back to me, right? Right?
See you on the trail,
A fantastic, debut historical novel about a female pugilist (prize fighter) raised in a brothel and the unlikely friendship she forms with an upper-class woman. The horrifying examination of living conditions and social stratification in late 18th century England never overshadows a plot that one reviews calls "a ripping good yarn."
The point-of-view shifts between pugilist Ruth, lady Charlotte, and George, a handsome young friend of Charlotte's brother. There's quite a bit of overlap with the characters telling their own versions of events, but these repetitions are always worthwhile, and all three voices are distinct and authentic. Ruth and Charlotte are both strong female characters despite circumstances that would overwhelm a lesser woman. Ruth's scrappiness saves her from a life of a maid in her mother's brothel and she manages to find true love on her own terms. Charlotte, scarred by a pox outbreak that killed two of her siblings and eventually her parents, is limited by the societal norms she must follow, but learns to take control of her life. George is a worthless fop, even if he aspires to be more, and serves as a foil to the two heroines.
My one complaint is about the cover. The library copy I read features a lovely, but somewhat bawdy woman -- so she is neither Ruth (who describes herself as quite unattractive even before brawling takes its toll on her physically) nor Charlotte (who is scarred and wouldn't dress so slatternly). Possibly it's supposed to be Ruth's older sister, who their madam mother puts to work at a shockingly young age. At any rate, this cover is more suitable, in my opinion:
Unlike Jamie Mason's 2013 debut novel Three Graves Full, which started with a bang, her second novel starts off very slowly and doesn't hit full speed until almost the end. It requires more patience, but not the barf bag that might be a welcome accessory to its predecessor. Definitely more Hitchcock than Tarantino, most of the novel takes place inside the narrator's head, laid out in precise detail.
Dee grew up in the shadow of her mysterious, bold, somewhat glamorous mother, who apparently worked in covert ops. Her mother taught Dee and her younger brother to always be aware of their surroundings, to pick up things other people wouldn't. Dee's response to this unconventional childhood is to be as "normal" as possible. She married the most "normal" man she could find, reliable Patrick, with whom she tried to build a "normal" life, but by the time we meet Dee, nearly a decade into her marriage, things are decidedly not normal. The book blurb gives you a good idea of where the novel is headed, just how far the marriage has deteriorated, but the slow build is still gripping. Alternating between the distant past of Dee's childhood and the near past of her marriage, we discover how Dee has found herself here: on Friday, where Monday's Lie has led her.
Setting up for the Adult Beginners’ Computer Class yesterday, I found a 1978 Bantam Edition of Dragonsinger by Anne McCaffrey. It reminded me of the summer I spent all of the month of July in Middleville, NY, with my Aunt Kim and Uncle Don. It’s the richly imagined cover illustration that gets me every time.
Of course, this novel is also an important story about a young girl’s attainment of maturity and confidence in her talents. The main character escapes an impossible home life, lives by herself, and continues to compose music badly needed in her world.
Also, tiny dragons.
And that’s why I wanted to read this book, a sequel to Dragonsong, a book I didn’t ever even see until two years later. The little dragons, all colors, drawn on the cover of the book are irresistibly beautiful. I wanted to know about those little dragons flying around. The heck with Menolly’s personal fulfillment and acceptance into a male-dominated profession! She confronts jealous, petty girls her own age and triumphs, who cares! She has little dragons coming in the window! That’s what appealed to me.
I have grown older. I have read and loved many books since Dragonsinger, even many books by Anne McCaffrey, but none have ever been so perfectly timed for me. If you are, or if you know, a twelve-year-old girl who likes swords and dragons and alien worlds more than princesses and teenager drama and vampires, this would be a good book.
But speaking of swords and dragons and PRINCESSES, I want to tell you about a girl called Cimorene…
Here at the Pendleton Public Library, we like to knit and we like to crochet and we like to sew. Gertie Sews Vintage Casual, by Gretchen Hirsch is a book that helps us sew every vintage outfit a librarian could ever want. The author not only includes sewing tips and instruction, she also provides updated patterns with a vintage feel. These patterns are simple, but beautifully fitted. The author helps you draft her patterns to your personal measurements, so the fits you wish you had from ready-to-wear clothes are now available to you. Those nipped-in waists from a 1950s pattern have been made accessible for the modern clothes horse. Gretchen Hirsch has also written Gertie's New Book for Better Sewing, a guide to improving your sewing projects. The finished product will be head and shoulders above your past garments.