Friday, November 17, 2006

Childhood memories

The other day I had an experience that flashed me to a book from my childhood. I was in the bathroom of a public building and a very important meeting was about to happen. As I stood in the bathroom, I began to wonder if I could hide out in there and if anybody would notice. I wondered what I could get away with if I wasn't discovered by anyone. And I knew, as an adult, that people would notice that I'd not emerged and come looking to kick me out.

As I went to regail my stealthy behavior to friends standing outside, I called it my FROM THE MIXED-UP FILES OF MRS. BASIL E. FRANKWEILER by E.L. Konigsburg (Aladdin Books, c1967, ISBN 0-689-71181-6)moment and I remembered reading that book as a child, which prompted me to check it out again and reread it, if only for nostalgia sake.
The book, the 1968 Newbury award winner, is about Claudia and Jamie Kincaid who run away to New York City and live in the Metropolitan Museum of Art by hiding out in the bathroom until the museum is shut up for the night. While there, they learn about Angel, a statue that may or may not have been a work of Michelangelo. They strive to learn all about the statue and decide they must meet Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler, the donor, to learn the secret about Angel--who has some secrets of her own.

The first sentence of the book is from a letter written by Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler:

"To my lawyer, Saxonberg:

I can't say that I enjoyed your last visit.

On a local note and to read about our own artist, Paco Rosic, who created Michelangelo's Sistine Chapel with spray paint on the ceiling of a downtown business here in Waterloo, click here and here. His work is astounding and growing in popularity across the country.

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