An Ancillary EducationMonday, September 22, 2014
|Angela Grossmann & Lauren Stewart|
There used to be the 3Rs, reading, riting and rithmetic. If you added memorization of facts this was all deemed as what you needed in a good education. My parents (and my grandmother) knew better. I received from them much more than that. I sometimes wonder why my parents would have taken me (I was 8) to a theatre in the round version of Bertolt Brecht’s Galileo. It must have left a lasting impression as I have loved the theatre since.
Since my granddaughter Rebecca (17) and Lauren (12) were born, both Rosemary and I have done our best to give these two girls as much ancillary education as we could. For some years their parents disliked our use of the term culture and how the girls need just that. Theatre, concerts and dance had to be packaged in other ways if we were to convince the parents of the viability of this out-of-school education.
Of late I have taken Lauren to town twice. I want to show her something of the city she was born in. She knows little of it. I first wrote about our last Monday outing here.
|Lauren & Len Brown|
Now I will write of the second Monday.
I took her to see Engine No. 374 which is displayed at what was originally the Drake Street Roundhouse. Not to long ago when that roundhouse was still active I photographed the Royal Hudson being repaired there for the CPR. Engine No. 374 was the first locomotive to arrive to Vancouver, May 23, 1887. But it was not the first in our area. Its sister engine, Engine No. 371 brought the first Canadian Pacific Railway train to cross Canada into Port Moody. No. 374 was built by the CPR in 1886.
Lauren was not all that excited even though Scottish Driver Len Brown gave her a personal tour of the works.
Lauren asked me what else we were going to do as she wanted to go home soon. “I am 12, and I can legally be left alone at home. I want to put Aengus (her cat) outside.” I told her our next destination was a surprise. She wanted to know what it was so I said, “If I tell you it won’t be a surprise.” I parked at a back alley (I have municipal plates) near Cordova and Richards. We walked to Brioche, a fine little eatery/coffee shop that has very good desserts. We shared a huge pear and apple torte. Lining up at the till I spotted my favourite female Vancouver artist, Angela Grossmann. With that delightful smile of hers and that warm and wonderful cockney accent she sat down. I enquired as to where here studio was. She told me it was nearby. I asked her if she would invite us to visit her. She told us she would go back to her studio and prepare some of her stuff to show Lauren. We visited and after a few minutes Grossman indicated that Lauren was getting bored and that I should take her to our next surprise.
Our next surprise, a mere three blocks (“When are we going home?”) was a place where I told her we would see a million books. The place in question is the lesser known basement of MacLeod’s Books. Don Stewart, the proprietor was not in. My guess was that he was out to buy someone’s library. Two Albanian sisters from Portland were curious about the basement so we all went down.
From MacLeod’s I took Lauren to the Paper Hound. Lauren wasn’t all that excited but owner Rod Clarke picked a charming book about a nanny in Australia who is hired to take care a large family full of naughty children. Perhaps Lauren will read it.
By the time we left Lauren was reminding me of my own nagging wife. “Are you taking me home now?” I told her we were going to one more place. This was a place where they had sword fights and displayed armour, broad swords, long swords, rapiers and foils. “It’s called Academy Duello and your father visits the place frequently.”
Academy Duello was a downer for Lauren so we walked back to the Malibu parked in the back alley. This particular back alley has lots of huge murals. One of them was behind a dumpster. Lauren refused my request to place her on it. It looked clean to me but she said it was dirty. She may have been right. I could smell the urine. So I picked her up and put her on the Malibu’s trunk for the snap.
I was informed that we would skip the next Monday in town but in the one after that I would take her to the revolving tower on top of whatever the building that was once Sears is called now.
I have not given up yet. I should know better. At 12 when I was showing as much interest as Lauren is showing now my grandmother used to say, "Alex está en la edad del pavo." (Alex is in his turkey period."
|Hilary and Rod Clarke at the Paper Hound|