We’re in Portland . Just finished dinner at Gustav’s . It stopped raining . Rain came for a couple of hours , just to let us know where we were . You’re not in Kansas anymore , or you’re not in Arcadia anymore , Dorothy . Dorothy wasn’t with us , though . Neither was Judy . Just Joe and Susan and Ada and I . I was there with us . I were there ?
I had a beer earlier at a British pub with three teachers . They discussed curriculum and syllabi and the follies of naming the beginning English classes Composition and other teacher stuff . I’ve had thirty-five years of that school-related shop-talk stuff . Enough . The four of us couldn’t name the parts of speech . Are there seven ? Are there eight ? Is interrogative one ? No wonder the schools are in trouble ! No wonder kids these days don’t know nothing . Meanwhile , how is that Belgian dry pale ale ? Want another ?
We were in Coos Bay yesterday . Coos Bay , on the Oregon coast , is not on the way to anywhere . That’s what my sister , who lives there , says . ” Bandon ! Bandon is the place to be .” Bandon is a few miles south of Coos Bay . It , apparently , is an international golfing hot spot . According to my sis . Tiger Woods knows Bandon like the back of his hand . Bandon’s going places and Coos Bay is sitting still , waiting in vain for the lumber and shipping trade to come back , hat -in-hand . I only know what my sister tells me . She lives there .
Ada and I drove north along the coast highway passing bridge after bridge . Beautiful ! A little wet this time of year . Beach towns . We passed the Sea Lion Caves again this time . We fell for it once and paid to climb down some steps to see a sea lion . One measly lonely over -worked sea lion . But there is an extensive knick-knack shop there . You can buy lots of local Oregon coast stuff , all made in China of course , to bring home to prove you were here . Souvenirs . As much as we were tempted to go in (not) we rolled on along the highway toward Lincoln City . North of Lincoln City we turned to go east toward Salem , then north on the 5 to Portland .
Last time we got to Portland after dark . We had gone farther north along the coast past Astoria and had come down into the city , tired and confused . Which bridge do we cross over on ? We called our Portland friends Joe and Susan . They gave us directions . We crossed the Burnside Bridge three or four times and managed to get lost on some small downtown Portland streets .
This time I made sure that I had a handle on how to get to Mount Tabor , to Joe and Sue’s house . No frantic phone calls this time . No bridge crossing this time at all . My sister in Coos Bay reviewed the Portland map with me . Twice . She made me a gift of her map . It worked . Joe called us on the mobile phone to give us last minute directions . We all held our creeping frantic panic under control . Stay calm . Stay calm . And we didn’t even realize at the time that I didn’t even know the parts of speech . But we made it .
We all went out in the rain this afternoon to the downtown art galleries for their first Thursday of the month open houses . Everyone was very cool . It’s Portland . I had my eye on one oil and grease pencil on acrylic board for $ 5,800 .
” Dan , what word did I use ? Was it interrogative ? “
” Yeah . ”
” No , that’s not right . It’s interjection .”
The artist was hovering around her art pieces in the first gallery . ” We love your work ! ” I heard people say to her . I didn’t see anyone forking over any cash , though . I think the art world works behind the scenes , artists connecting with monied patrons in private and not so much on open house nights . But , what do I know ! I’ve even forgotten the parts of speech .
When we got back to the house the cat growled at me for no apparent reason . The rain had stopped . Joe was researching parts-of speech , I think , on Google .
Did the people who built those Oregon coast bridges, I wondered , know the parts of speech ? Did they have expensive artwork on their walls ? Did they go to Bandon to golf ? Sitting indoors this morning in Portland fog , I have time to think about such things .