The new park in Old Town (aka the Siuslaw River Bridge Interpretive Center) opened last year on June 28, but it really wasn’t finished until a couple of weeks ago. The viewing deck, pathways, and planted areas as well as benches and tables were all in place, but the interpretive signs were missing. Well, I’m happy to report that the interpretive part of the interpretive center is finally in place.
Now with the eight new interpretive signs, it’s easy to see how the park commemorates the bridge and its designer Conde B. McCullough, provides a little history of Old Town and the ferry service before the bridge, explains the importance of wetlands and estuaries, and more.
I stopped by to see the new signs and take a few photos this week. On one of the two signs under the bridge, I noticed a big splat from a gull right in the middle of it. I first thought, “Of all the nerve!” before whipping out a tissue from my purse. I dampened it with moisture from the previous night’s rain shower and wiped the sign clean.
I heard folks approaching from behind and then a female voice saying, “What a nice lady.” She was part of a couple and commenting on my cleaning the sign.
She must have thought I was a finicky nutcase. I explained that these interp signs were newly installed, that I’d written the words for both of them, and just didn’t like seeing them messed up so soon. And I went on to say that it was the first time for me to see them when it wasn’t raining, and I just wanted a decent photo. By now, I was sure she thought me a total nutcase, but she politely asked how I came to write the text. And that led to me telling about my bridge books.
After she and her husband had toured the whole park, they asked me where they could see my books. I pointed across the street at Books ‘N’ Bears. They headed in that direction and in a few minutes returned with a copy of The Crossings Guide. They wanted me to personalize it, which I did.
If I hadn’t been wiping off bird poop, there probably wouldn’t have been any conversation and no interest in my books. You just never know!
Also this week, I met with Karen Nichols regarding doing illustrations for my animals book. I gave her the manuscript with photocopies of all photos I plan to use and a few photocopies to specifically help with illustrations. There’s also a note in the text in each place I want an illustration and of what it is to be.
Here’s an example of what I want for one of the illustrations. Picture this. It is of Asa, my black Standard Poodle following a porcupine with the poodle’s nose absolutely glued to the prickly critter’s tail. As soon as I saw what was happening, I made it a parade of three by trying to get Asa’s attention without alarming the porcupine. On and on we went, and I became more alarmed by the moment. I just knew that porcupine would run out of patience and let that big black dog following so close have it in the face. As it turned out, I succeeded in getting Asa’s attention and got his leash on. And in a flash, we were out of range. I consider that porcupine one of the world’s most tolerant. Not many people can claim a benign encounter between a dog and porcupine.
Karen will take the next few weeks to read the stories and go over everything to get a feel for the animals. After that, she’ll be able to make some decisions about the best way to portray each illustration. Then she’ll do a trial one before we meet again.
Working with someone on illustrations is new for me. I’m excited about it and so is Karen. She will have several months to work on them, because it will be about November at the earliest before this book will be ready to format.
My goal was to work really hard on Colorful Animals I Have Known between mid-January and mid-April to get my part completed, and I’ve done that. So far, so good! I’ll keep you posted.
Note: I’m heading to California for a few weeks to see family and friends. So for the next three weeks, I won’t add any posts. Expect the next one May 9 or 10. Meanwhile, enjoy spring!