When I realized that #PLA2022 was happening in person, in Portland, I knew the one thing I had to do. Visit Beverly Cleary’s stomping ground! I had to pay homage to the dearly departed author of the enduring characters Ramona and Beezus Quimby and Henry Huggins. After the preconference I attended I took the tram to the Grant Park-Hollywood neighborhoods. The Multnomah County Library has a ”Walking with Ramona” walking tour map of landmarks featured in Cleary’s books and from her own childhood.
I started with lunch at the Fleur de Lis Cafe, which is in the building that was the original Hollywood Library where Cleary and Ramona visited. I sat outside next to the ”book drop”. The new Hollywood Library is nearby but I didn’t go in, which I regret. I had planned to hit it on the loop back but it had been a long day by then.
I did stop at Grant Park where Henry dug worms. There are some charming statues by artist Lee Hunt of Ramona, Henry, and Ribsy. No Beezus! There are also plaques on the ground with some of Cleary’s book titles. I was delighted to see a couple of little girls playing among the statues, with Ribsy at the center of their pretend. The park is adjacent to where Cleary went to high school. It was the first day of spring and the charming neigborhood gardens were blooming. There were daffodils, cherry blossoms, and clematis, which I could smell before I saw. I walked up to Klickitat Street so I could take a selfie with the street sign. Because who doesn’t want to live on the famous Klickitat Street, it’s so fun to say!
The walk was a lovely way to debrief from the preconference, connect with an author I’ve loved since childhood, and to prepare for the fast pace of the conference to come.
(All pictures by blog post author)
Please note that as a guest post, the views expressed here do not represent the official position of ALA or ALSC.
Guest conference blogger Tanya DiMaggio (she/her) is the Assistant Director at St. Tammany Parish Library in Louisiana. She is attending the PLA Conference in-person and is excited to be with people and to learn new things. Her favorite snack is Endangered Species Espresso Beans and Dark Chocolate bars; she loves all animals equally but maybe felines the most.