This morning I woke up wondering is Beverly Cleary, esteemed American author of countless beloved classics such as Ramona Forever and The Mouse and the Motorcycle--is Beverly Cleary still alive?
The possibility of her death somehow making me extraordinarily anxious and I thought maybe in the J.D. Salinger/Kurt Vonnegut/Bea Arthur/Walter Cronkite/Bob Hope/Estelle Getty/Ronald Reagan/other super old people deaths occurring over the last approximate half-decade that Ms. Cleary had been forgotten, or that I'd neglected to notice her eulogy in Reminisce Magazine, which I obviously read every morning over lightly-sugared oatmeal with a sprinkling of dried cherries.*
Although dazed with motivation-annihilating dehydration from my insufferable radiator, I just HAD to know, so: wikipedia! And holy fucking crusty menstrual Virgin Mary she is still alive and well--or as well as you can be if you were born in 1916, which means she's either stark raving ridiculously crazyface or atrophying in a wheelchair somewhere in Oregon, I presume, because that's where she's from, and I read her biography in third grade and dressed like her for some inane elementary school contest, so, basically, I should know. I remember thinking of Oregon as one of the most exotic places I'd ever heard of, decidedly un-American because of its VOLCANOES (wtf), but yet Cleary is such an "all-American-what-a-pointless-term" person.
*I actually was obsessed with this magazine in junior high school. I especially loved the "Stirring Up Memories" segment, always involving life before proper refrigerators, and pot-bellied stoves, and waiting for a boy to ask you on a date while your dad (whom you call Pop) brines pickles in a hefty barrell. I'm probably the only person born after 1933 ever to read about this, and the only person born after 1933 to buy into the Golden Age of Perfection and Family Values so touted by the elderly. I was always like "why do I eat microwavable popcorn when people in the incredible early 1940's popped theirs on a white enamel STOVE while hand in hand with their multiple sisters singing Greensleeves and maybe listening to a radio broadcast on patriotism? Like, I don't even HAVE a sister and my dad is GAY?"
I still haven't been to Oregon.
People worth doing, soon to appear on my People Worth Doing Other Blog: Beverly Herself, and possibly the Rodarte sisters. Let's see!