Just heading back to Montana after finishing up a traveling bookstore gig in Portland, OR. Everything went so well there – from the set up at Cathedral Coffee, to gracious help from Jennifer who brought among other things a typewriter with green ribbon, and then all the individuals who stopped by. There was a family who home schools who appreciated the books available for young people, a man from Hawaii visiting Portland for the first time, a librarian who had curated the Faux Museum in Portland, and a couple who happened to be in town from Arizona. Some Portland traveling bookstore fans dropped books off and we talked about life in Oregon and Montana. A bookseller from Green Bean Books stopped by and we mutually enthused about our favorite bookstores around the US. Miraculously it didn’t rain during the entire time the traveling bookstore was open, and Cathedral Coffee just happened to have sweet potato quiche on the menu that day which was a delight.
After heading out of town to start the trek back to Montana, I stopped off in The Dalles, OR. When looking for a place to easily park the bookstore, ended up near that town’s City Hall. The alley there had a mural of Eleanor Borg, a remarkable individual who was originally from the east coast, had polio as a child, later learned to dance and became a New York City Music Hall Rockette. After getting married, she relocated to The Dalles where she taught dancing and horseback riding to young people for many years. Obviously the community appreciates what she gave by commemorating her with this lovely mural.
Seeing the mural immediately brought to mind Bernice Ende. For those of you who aren’t familiar with this woman, she wrote a book, “Lady Long Rider: Alone Across America on Horseback,” which is available through independent bookstores. Driving the bookstore on from The Dalles, without a passenger or sound system, gave me plenty of time to remember Bernice and lessons I learned from her. Bernice taught ballet to young people, and then became a long rider, riding horseback across country and throughout the west. Her death came too soon. Perhaps that is one of the lessons, to appreciate those in our life while we have them, to accept and appreciate them for who they are, and what they have to give.