This is one of my old works. It takes some of Beverly Cleary’s most beloved characters into adulthood.
My floating original character, Helen Barlowe Rochester, makes her first appearance here.
(See the end of the work for more notes.)
Welcome to the Helen Barlowe Rochester show. I’m Helen Barlowe Rochester, and my guest today is the renowned Oregonian sculptor and painter, Ramona Q., whose latest exhibit, Childhood Memories is on display at The Wechsler Gallery.
Ms. Q., I want to thank you for appearing today.
I’m glad to be here, but please call me Ramona. Ms Q. sounds like a mistake.
Oh! Miscue! Words can be funny sometimes.
They sure can. On my first day of kindergarten, the teacher showed me to a desk and said that I should sit there for the present. Well, you can guess how I interpreted that.
Of course. I would have thought the same thing. But there doesn’t seem to be anything in the exhibit based on that memory.
There isn’t. But there is a painting based on an even earlier event in my childhood.
The First Bite Tastes Best.
That’s one of my favorites. Oh, for those of my viewers who haven’t been to the exhibit yet, the painting shows a number of apples on the floor, each with just one bite taken out.
We had a barrel of apples, and I took one bite out of each one, because, as the title of the painting says,
the first bite tastes best. But my sister, Beatrice, found me before I got through the whole barrel.
You must have been an interesting kid to have around.
That was Beatrice’s nickname when we were kids. When I was a baby, I couldn’t say Beatrice, and the name Beezus
just stuck. Anyway, she says that I could be pretty exasperating at times.
One of your sculptures shows a doll standing with her hand on a car.
Chevrolet and Chevrolet? Yes, I had a doll I’d named Chevrolet after my aunt’s car.
Do all of the works in this exhibit come from your own memories?
No. I got the idea for the sculpture called Bull Costume from an incident in brother-in-law Otis Spofford’s childhood. He and Beatrice met at a high school football game between Glenwood and Rosemont.
Can you tell me about the sculpture, Two Owls?
You want to know why one of the owls is scrunched, don’t you? Well, it’s because I scrunched one of the original, paper-bag owls.
There must be quite a story behind that.
Yes, and I’m sorry I can’t share it, but someone else was involved.
And that person might not want it told?
I notice that you did both a painting and a sculpture of Picky-Picky and Ribsy. They must have been very special to
warrant being done in both mediums.
They were. Picky-Picky was our cat, and Ribsy was my husband’s dog.
The paper bag owl incident occurs in “Ramona The Brave”.