Monday, April 20, 2009

Alcatraz Part 2 of 2

New to me, it wasn’t only stereotypical bad guys like Capone and Machine Gun Kelly who were incarcerated in Alcatraz. Political prisoners and people of consciousness went as well. On a brief ranger-intern led walk we learned that Hopi parents who refused to send there children to culture-negating boarding schools were also taken there. Though I knew that those schools attempted to change native children into different people, I never heard before that there was a fifty percent mortality rate. That’s something to read up on.


In January I virtuously purged the house of maybe a fifth of our books and managed to eliminate and repurpose several book shelves. We have a small house and the sheer mass of stuff is overwhelming. I forced myself to donate even books I might, just maybe read again reminding myself continuously that if I really wanted to read it again, I would very likely be able to find another copy to check out from our marvelous vast county library system. I purged the house and piled box after box into the back of the car. I know I made at least five trips over to the donation zone during the week. Since then I’ve been awfully good about not buying every exciting book that I hear about on a talk show or in a podcast. And I have found all but one in the library system.


But did I follow through on the Alcatraz trip? Oh no… I brought home two new books from the Alcatraz gift store. However when we’re done with them, I’ll give them a year and then send them off to the book sale unless they’ve been reread or dipped into. OK maybe two years.


For the trip I wore the new Passover fleece vest I created. I used my tried and true jacket pattern, the bodice of which I always double. Here I cut it longer but left vents at the sides and I like the way that fits. The swallow design I put over my front pockets, and on the back, was the same one I had created on a fleece blanket I recently made for someone I love. (See April 1 in this blog). The swallows flying free and safe up above feels right for the celebration of the festival. I didn’t make a pocket bag on the inside under the two front swallows, just an opening into the lining. That way I can drop in camera, sunglasses, and my cell phone. I sometimes have to dig around a little to find what I need but it works pretty gosh darned well. I also made a little chapstick and cell phone pocket  high up on the inside which seems to work for the way I live. My main challenge was the closure on the pockets. At this point, I just put on Velcro. After wearing it for a week of unusually cold weather I sewed in some hardware store magnets. They are better than the velcro. I think if I do the same kind of appliqué/flap another time I will line the inside of the appliqué and weight the hanging-down part so that I can just flip it up, grab my camera, and then let it drop. 

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