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Today in My History

2000: Baubles, Bangles and Bigots
2001: Busy About Many Things
2002: The Massacre of the English Language
2003: Good Old Days
2004: Steinbeck and Me
2005:  Obscenity

2006:  Rogue's Gallery
2007: On Her Own Two Feet
2008: Come up and Skype Me Sometime
Stubborn Mothers
2010:  Here's Yer Ears
2011:  China and Pancakes
2012: Bucket List Stuff

Bitter Hack
: 4/3
"'Master Harold'...and the Boys"

Books Read in 2013
 Updated: 3/31

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Monterey Weekend

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mail to Walt


5 April 2013

Well, after I don't know how many years I have finally been able to cross this off my bucket list:

After getting the house ready for Ashley and David, who are taking care of the dogs during our brief absence, we got on the road around 11 a.m. and headed for Salinas, the first stop on our two-day drive to Santa Barbara.

It was a beautiful drive down, with deep green hills, dramatic clouds, and carpets of mustard lining the road.

We arrived at the Steinbeck Center around 1 p.m.  I have been a huge Steinbeck fan ever since the 1980s when my friend Phil re-introduced me to his works and I went on a Steinbeck-reading spree and read most of what he had written.  But it has been that long since I'd read him.

This is the perfect museum for someone like me.  It's small, but quite complete.  Many of Steinbeck's books were made into movies, some 2, 3, or 4 times.  So there are sections devoted to each of the most famous books:  East of Eden, The Red Pony, Grapes of Wrath, Cannery Row, and some others.  Each section had lots of written material, a narration, and, best of all, padded benches where you could sit and watch excerpts from movies, stage reenactments, and live readings.  I didn't have to pretend to find a reason to sit down--a huge part of the experience is...sitting down!

I became surprisingly emotional when I saw this...

This is the replica of the wooden box that Steinbeck sent the completed manuscript of "East of Eden" to his publisher Pascal Covici.  I read the book along with the book. "Journal of a Novel," the book of letters Steinbeck wrote to Covici every morning about his progress on the story.  Fascinating way to read the book!

This was also a special part of the tour:

This is a replica of the big pipe that some of the residents of Cannery Row, who were otherwise homeless, lived in.  What made it special is that I am currently reading "Cannery Row" (Lynn bought a copy in Monterey and we are reading it together) and I had read that very part of the book an hour or two before we got to the museum!

Steinbeck was a man who hated being famous:

He probably would have hated this museum, but I loved it.  And I am all now re-enthused about reading Steinbeck again.  I actually bought two books I had not read before, both essay collections, one while he was a war correspondent and one about this area of the Salinas Valley, which he loved so much.

It was a GREAT day!!!




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