I’ve had the pleasure of meeting with Dan Sadowsky, of Oregon Public Broadcasting. Dan read The Ninth Day in record time, spent half a morning with me at Tea Zone, and showed his humor and patience while photographing me in the North Park Blocks. Here’s the resulting Q&A. Why Calvin Coolidge? Dan knows. Read the interview, and you’ll know, too. I’ll be reading from The Ninth Day at the Oregon Jewish Museum on Nov. 12 at 7:30 and Powell’s-Cedar Hills on Nov. 15 at 7pm. And that’s no lie. […]Continue reading
It’s been over a century (101 years to be exact) since Miriam Josefsohn of Blue Thread fame attended her last class at St. Mary’s Academy in Portland. A lot has changed at the school since then, especially the extra-curricular activities. I’m sure that Miriam would have liked to join the Politics without Borders Club, and the SciFi/Fantasy Club, and the Human Rights Club. I suppose if her friend Florrie Steinbacher were still enrolled with her, the two might have considered SMA Cruisers. Here’s a photo of the 2011 team. Can you imagine them racing along the Willamette River in dragon boats?
In 1912, dragon boats were as unheard of as an SMA activity as the Harry Potter Club. But humans have been racing long-boat canoes for at least 2,000 years. Dragon boat racing gained international attention in the 1970s, and may one day have a place of its own at the Olympics. […]Continue reading
I don’t think that there’s a definitive answer about the origins of the maypole, although the tradition of dancing around a maypole seems to have been with us since forever. I wouldn’t be surprised to learn that Miriam Josefsohn and her friends danced around a maypole in 1912, although the earliest photograph I’ve seen from Portland comes from a few years later. It shows children dancing around a maypole in front of the Kennedy School in 1916.
The celebration continues, thanks to the Maypole Dancers from the Laurelhurst School. Here’s a recent snapshot of them performing in front of the Kennedy school (now a McMenamin’s hotel and restaurant). See them dance today!
May Day has been around for 2,250 years. At least. Way back when, the Romans celebrated the coming of spring with a festival honoring Flora, the goddess of flowers. In northern Europe some people celebrated April 30-May 1 with bonfires, and treated the time as a gathering of witches six months after All Hallows’ Eve. […]Continue reading