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36: Sculptures

Updated: Feb 27

Dear Friend,

First of all, thank you for being here to read Tracks by the Post. If you’ve been reading this letter every week from the beginning, this is the 36th time you’ve done this same thing. That seems like an awful lot. I truly appreciate you…

2023 has 53 Sundays. How does it feel to know that there are 17 Sundays left before the New Year… 2024.

I like even numbers. I’ve always felt sorry for odd numbers.

Do you think that inanimate objects have a personality? No? Just me?

I can’t imagine what it would be like to look at something without sensing some sort of feeling or attitude exuding from the thing. I don’t make it my business to react to this attitude, that would be way too time consuming. But seriously, crayons, buttons, tables, forks, throw-rugs, tooth-brushes, key-chains pretty much all the nouns … I have always thought that they all have a personality.

It could be that I’m describing anthropomorphism or personification, either way, as I type this, I look over at my laptop, closed for the day, resting, because my big computer is here to help.

One time, in fourth grade, (you understand that I’m about to admit something quite personal), my teacher, Mrs. Summers, a tall woman who voted for Richard Nixon and cried when he made his historically riveting announcement that he’s the one that opened the gate and let out the water and that’s why our parents had to buy gas on the even and odd days…

That’s not at all what I was going to tell you.

September of fourth grade we were getting into higher math: long division. But first, we reviewed addition and subtraction. That is how, in previous grades, we learned math. We called it addition and subtraction.

So, when our new fourth grade teacher, Mrs. Summers, wrote out a couple of numbers on the chalkboard and turned around to ask one of the smartest kids in the class, “Leslie, what’s the difference between 5 and 7?”

I thought about it.

I thought about the best way to describe it. I was careful, I didn’t want to leave anything out. But I was so painfully shy! I just struggled and struggled with the words.

The seven,” I began, “is tall and has a hat on. The five kind of has a round tummy…”

Mrs. Summers looked across the room at me. Her eyes squinted and her lips pursed into a point.

She asked slowly, “Are you being serious?”

I nodded. I looked at the board trying to see it through the familiar fog, and the buzz in my head - it always showed up when I was in trouble, deafened me, added flashing lights to my confusion and made the room seem like it was turning.

I remember that it was Linda Pavan who whirled around in shock and looked at me. She raised her hand, fingers close together like royalty, while staring at me, two rows and three desks behind her.

“The difference between 5 and 7 is 2,” she said, when asked.

Linda would become one of my friends. I’m pretty sure, at first, she just felt sorry for me. Thank you, Linda P, you are a kind person.

Maybe that is why I feel bad for odd numbers… though, I guess, 5 does seem rather jolly…

In British Columbia, Canada, there is a town called, Castlegar. We visited there toward the end of July this year.

The town is beautifully maintained with colorful gardens, clean streets and a wide variety of original sculptures. 2023 is Castlegar’s 13th Sculpturewalk with 32 local and international sculptors participating. Anyone traveling through town can join the local Castlegar residents in voting for their favorite sculpture of the year. Voting goes from May (when the sculptures are set in place) until October when the votes are counted. The winning sculpture is purchased by the city and stays in place after the show, to join Castlegar’s growing collection.

On our walk through town, Frank took a lot of sculpture photos – we didn’t ask for ballots that day so we didn’t vote. It will be interesting to find out who the winner will be!

I know how busy you are these days, but when you have a moment, please write to me and let me know how things are going.

We hope that you've had a great beginning of September and we wish you a lovely week ahead!

Gently Be,

Leslie and Frank

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