Monday, May 15, 2017

Revisit Avonlea with Victoria, Sam and Hilde

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Netflix has a new version of Anne of Green Gables called Anne With an E. From what I  read in Vanity Fair it's more Dickens than L.M. Montgomery.  Other reviewers agree.  Some reviewers like it's darker side. You decide for yourselves what you think.
For those of us who are devoted to Anne, Pen and Ink is republishing Hilde Garcia and Victoria and Sam Kroll's 2014 account to their journey to Avonlea.

Our Journey to Avonlea.

by Sam and Victoria Krol

with some thoughts from our mom, Hilde Garcia

I always knew that Avonlea was a fictions name that L. M. Montgomery gave to the setting that served as a backdrop for her novels.  She grew up in Cavendish, the prettiest spot on the north shore, as many have commented, and in her enchanting novels, she had us all fall in love with a place called Avonlea.

Then on Canada Day, while in line for Cow's Creamery ice cream, the best ice cream we have ever tasted, a lovely family told us that we had to go to Avonlea. I, of course, said, that was not the real name of the town, but they said, "No, you have to go to Avonlea.  It's an actual place."  Well, we attempted to find it on our phone and the woman says, "You can't miss it.  It's on the way to Montgomery's Cavendish home."  Imagine my delight when I thought about really traveling there. No journey to P. E. I. could be complete without a visit to Avonlea.

SO we put our phone away. No one else had theirs out and we trusted we'd find it in the morning. I stayed up late that night and read all about it on the internet though, and couldn't sleep for the anticipation of being able to walk through time.

I wondered if it would be captivating for the rest of my crew.  From what I could tell, we were going to go back in time and "play" as if we were in the novel.  It sounded like fun to me, but you know how kids are today, so I wasn't sure what to expect.

SO here are their takes on visiting Avonlea.
VICTORIA KROL
It was fun pretending to live in 1901.  Josie Pye asked me what air conditioning was when I mentioned it to her.  So I explained it during flag making time.  We also did wool dying with Ms. Rachel Lynde.  We had to fetch water from the water pump because there wasn't a sink.  And then we brought the bucket back to the tub where we were going to place the wool.  We all took turns.
"Today, we are going to dye wool," Mrs. Rachel Lynde said.  Then she pulled out some samples in different stages of the dye process.  The she said, "We're going to use this new fangled thing called Kool-aid."  Some adults chuckled.  Then she let us smell it.  It smelled like beets.  She poured the grape kool-aid into the bucket full of water.  Then she stirred it, then she dumped in the yarn and said "Let's soak the yarn in the bucket until 4 o'clock.  I ended up coming back two days later and I bought the yarn I helped die and made a scarf for me and one for my doll.
Then we did a whole bunch of other stuff.
For example, step dancing, square dancing, (not the same thing), pie eating contest, and more.
Okay readers, here's a little news flash.  The whole time we were on Prince Edward Island, we saw no one on a CELL PHONE!!  And in Avonlea, everyone was having wholesome fun!!!  The second day in Avonlea, I went to and played around with Josie Pye who was glad we had returned.  We had this shannanigan going on that started when she wrote Anne's name incorrectly on the chalk board.  My middle name is Anne, with an e, so I had to let her know.
It all started when Josie Pye told a falsehood on the first day of school.  She said that Anne broke her tablet over Gilbert's head 117 times. We knew that couldn't be true, because we saw it, it was only once.  I of course, defended Anne and told Josie my middle name was Anne, with an e.
Josie said, "It should be Victoria Josie."  And preceded to call me that the rest of the day.  During knitting with Mrs. Lynde, she announced it to everyone in the store.  I went, "Uggh!"  My dad asked why I was annoyed and I said, "Because she dislikes that my name is Anne and is calling me Victoria Josie." (But I secretly love it.)
During this whole time, Josie was waiting for me so we could go and play, but I told her I would catch up with her.  My dad and I decide to have some fun and we ran back to the school house and wrote on the chalk board Josie's name wrong five different ways.  We wrote Josey Pye, Josee Pie, Josie with the Pi symbol, and even José Torta which is Josie Pye in Spanish.
Then she came and read it and left me a note, "Dear Viktoreeeah Josie, You should focus on your spelling more. Love JOSIE PYE."  What I loved was how much she played along and she was all grown up and loved pretending.
It was hard to say goodbye.  She hugged me and told me to have a safe journey out West.  I could have stayed in Avonlea forever.
SAM KROL
When I went to Avonlea in Prince Edward Island, which is in Canada, I played a game called Crokinole with three of the townspeople who were named Tommy, Gilbert, and Moody.  Crokinole is a game where you shoot discs across the circular game board trying to land in the higher scoring regions of the board, while also attempting to knock away opposing discs.  We played about ten games together on one of the games I shot the disc so hard that it bounced off of the board and landed in Moody's shirt pocket.  Since there were four people, we made teams of two.  Every few games, we switched teams so we got to play with everybody.  Crokinole is a game that's hard, but fun.
There was also a fair and in the fair they had a pie eating contest.  The contestants that were in the pie eating contest were my mom, known as Hilde, a town boy, and two other visitors.  The winner of the pie eating contest was one of the two visitors.  My mom didn't win because the crust was stuck to the plate and she couldn't get it up off of the plate!  The contest was very funny because you could only eat with your mouth. What I mean is you couldn't use your hands.  At the end of the pie contest, my sister and I, started to dip our fingers in the pie. A few dips later, my mom told us to stop.  All the contestants had a pie mustache and by the way, the pie was chocolate!
We also participated in a sack race.  Well, it was actually four sack races. One for the small and young ones, one for the the big and older kids and two for the adults- ladies and gentlemen.  My sister got placed in the little kid race because she is short and she WON first place, and was given an
"I love Gilbert!" tattoo.  In the older kid race, I WON that race and I got the same tattoo.  My mom yelled, "Those are my twins."  My mom asked if I could have the tattoo so I gave it to her.
The adult race was very funny.  My dad came in last place because he fell down.  My mom got 3rd place because two taller girls beat her by one jump and they tied.  I think it was too close, but there wasn't any kind of replay camera.
I also played a kick ball game and threw balls into a wooden board that had holes in it and every time you made it in, you had to back up and throw from a farther distance. I did really well in that game.
  
And the pig races were awesome! It was fun and I didn't want to go.
Today's kids have a world of electronic gadgets at their fingertips. Many children today do not look up when they speak to you, have trouble reading facial expressions, and simply cannot pretend, converse, or make believe.  It's a travesty.

Avonlea to all the visitors that came and to me was a haven, hope that we haven't lost all the kids of today just yet. So many kids loved the story and loved that it was brought to life.  My kids reveled in it and suspended their reality for not one day, but two, as we simply couldn't get enough of the first day there.

The second day, feeling like we had come home, I simply let the kids run amuck doing whatever they wanted while I wandered around and shopped. They shadowed the town "children" and played with them and even skipped down the side walk.


Happier times. Simpler times.  I cannot wait to return.

Monday, May 8, 2017

Dispatch #64: Not My Story II

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A Musical
by Lupe Fernandez

Last time on Not My Story,  I wrote about Ms. N_, Vietnamese hair stylist, harrowing escape from Viet Nam at age 14 on a raft. The story was hers to tell. Not mine to embellish.

But my job is to tell stories. What if Ms. N_'s story was a screenplay in Hollywood studio development hell? What would they do?

NOT MY STORY - THE MOTION PICTURE
Based on a True Story

Change the Title
  • Raft
  • Escape from Terror
  • South China Sea Travel Tips

Add Love Interest
  • Ms. N_ falls in love with a pirate, but her loyalties are divided between running away with her dream-boat or staying with ailing grandmother and face hardship in a refugee camp.
  • Ms. N_ meets a cute boy on on the raft, but he has an ailing grandmother who disapproves of refugee romance. Will the they consummate their forbidden love?
  • Ms. N_, after her boyfriend is killed by pirates, becomes a pirate and ravages the South China Sea in search of her beloved's murderers. Will she find love again? (Grandmother is written out.)
South China Sea. Caribbean. What's the difference?

Action, Action, Action
  • Ms. N_ is caught in the middle of an international naval incident, bringing the superpowers to the brink of World War III.
  • Ms. N_ fights off aquatic monsters to save her ailing grandmother and fellow refuges.
  • Ms. N_ versus Zombies.

You get the idea.
Tasteless Elements
  • Ms. N_ is played by a Caucasian actress.
  • Ms. N_ makes soft-focus, orchestra music love on the raft.
  • Ms. N_ stays glamorous. Everybody knows exposure to sun, starvation and salt sea spray is good for the skin.

Based on True Story.

Item:
Ms. N_'s father served in the South Vietnamese Army, killed in 1972. Commenting on the disposal of her father's remains, Ms. N_ said, “They dig a hole where you die and dump you in."

Still not my story.
What's not your story?

Monday, May 1, 2017

Mother Goose Day and Other Story Inspirations

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Mother Goose Day



Rhymes in Full Text

The Real Mother Goose is one of the larger collections of rhymes for children. It was originally published in 1916 and has pen and watercolor illustrations. Project Gutenberg provides the complete book in HTML and plain text and access to individual rhymes by title and by first line.

Rhymes Recited on Video

MOTHER GOOSE

In 1958, Cyril Ritchard, Boris Karloff, and Celeste Holm recorded Mother Goose for Caedmon Records. The sometimes creepy voice performances (Boris Karloff played Dr. Frankenstein’s monster and voiced the Grinch in How The Grinch Stole Christmas) are accompanied by music and illustrations.

THE TRUTH ABOUT MOTHER GOOSE

In 1957, Walt Disney released The Truth About Mother Goose. Selected rhymes are recited and then a story explaining their origin follows:

MAINLY MOTHER GOOSE

In 1984 the popular children’s entertainers Sharon, Lois and Bram released an LP titled Mainly Mother Goose. The CD may be available in local libraries; a track list can be found Wikipedia. Many of these songs can be found on YouTube. Sharon, Lois & Bram's Elephant Show also aired a program devoted, in part, to Mother Goose: