Torea Frey

Editor, writer, photographer, observer on the street.

How to rebuff a suitor

Simply shout, "Unhand me, greybeard loon!" This was Beverly Cleary's course of action when her first boyfriend got a little aggressive. She explains, "He obeyed, but he must have been mystified by the words from The Rime of the Ancient Mariner."

I just finished A Girl From Yamhill, and I don't know that I could have enjoyed it more. Cleary, who you know as the mind behind Ramona Quimby, recounts her girlhood in Depression-era Oregon; the language is simple and the stories nothing outrageous, but her high spirits and quiet intelligence shine through on every page.

(An unrelated factoid: we went to the same summer camp (Namanu!), though I swam in the Sandy River about sixty-five years after she did.)