WHO MAKES NEXT BICYCLES. NEXT BICYCLES
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Who Makes Next Bicycles
Oregon Sesquicentennial Ride 6.26.2009
Karen of Bumpstart, trades in her scooter for a bicycle for the day.
Oregon is celebrating its 150 Birthday all year long! About twenty cyclists met up to celebrate in style. We had two Beavers, some Oregon themed shirts, and many of us dressed up in Oregon’s state colors Blue & Yellow (Gold and Navy if you are picky). At the start we had a little Birthday Cake, lit the candles and Sang “Happy Birthday Oregon”. Four people won best costume and got a fabulous Oregon-Beaver drink coaster set (thanks SCRAP!) and four Natives of Oregon won special arm-band garters with a picture of Oregon. Everyone got buttons to wear! Also each person put something about Oregon on a name tag. One person had eaten cherries off 10 + trees in Woodlawn neighborhood that week. Another admitted she loved rain. One person proudly proclaimed CAR-FREE in Oregon, and I said, I’d been to the Slug-Queen festival in Eugene – which is fabulous beyond words by the way.
Our first stop was the Woody Guthrie Circle at the Bonneville Power Administration Building in the Lloyd. Dan Miller brought his little guitar and we sang “Roll, on Columbia.” Dan even wrote up one of his own verses to sing! The great folk singer Woody was hired by the government to make folks songs about the new dams being built up the Columbia in the 1940s as a campaign to appease the public. After three rounds of singing, ‘homeland security” showed up and told us to stop taking pictures! But didn’t say to stop singing.. but we were on our way to our next stop anyway. Strange!
Next up was the Portland State Building. Inside there are two incredible glass murals, one of Multnomah Falls and one of Bridge of the Gods. Also in the center of the lobby is a gold ring hanging from the ceiling with Oregon’s State motto: She flies with her own wings! As we were looking at the murals…. A BIG SURPRISE happened. SESKI THE SASQUATCH came out between the two murals! Seski is Oregon’s State Mascot for the Sesquicentennial celebrations all year! I had been leaving notes for him in Forest Park (his local accommodation) inviting him to ride with us, and well, He came! It was a media frenzy, everyone had their cameras out. No one could believe they were meeting a real Big Foot! When I announced that Seski would be riding with us, there were squeals of delight!
Around the corner from the Portland State Building at NE 7th & Lloyd Blvd is a display of Oregon’s State Symbols from Beaver to Douglas Fir, from Western Meadow Lark to the Oregon Grape. But something was missing! Oregon’s Mascot. So I did the honors and added Seski to the Hall of Fame of State symbols!
Our group cycled on with Seski in a Pedicab generously donated by Portland Pedicabs and we paraded down to the Waterfront and rode lower Steel Bridge to Salmon Fountain. People on the waterfront were so excited to see Seski! When we arrived at Salmon Fountain there were some youth group activities and the kids went nuts when they saw Seski. One boy ran over. I love you!!!! He screamed.
We pedaled into Chapman Square where there is a Pioneer Oregon Trail family sculpture that was erected in 1993 for the 150th anniversary of the Oregon Trail. Here we took many Seski photos, and bid him adieu.
The rest of us went up to the Oregon Historical Society to see the Oregon my Oregon exhibit. We also looked at the tromp de l'oeil mural outside showing Lewis & Clark & others. I didn’t know how many folks would show up so I told the museum 30 to 60 people. So they had three docents ready for us. But with twenty we could have easily stayed as a group, but each docent really wanted to give a tour. I first showed everyone my favorite item at OHS, the Portland Penny that decided Portland’s name. We split up our group with the three volunteer docents and each group started in different parts of the exhibit. I wasn’t so keen on this, and many of us missed a lot of the exhibit this way since we had an hour to see everything. And I really like to go in chronological order. Oh well, they docents were really sweet and loved telling us about the exhibit.
We lost a few here I think to visit the rest of the museum, and about 10 of us went to the carts to get some food and then went down to the waterfront for the last part of the tour. A visit to the Founder’s Stone! (which is curiously hidden off Naito Parkway just south of Morrison Bridge. There are no paths to it, and it was dedicated in the 1940s.) So we had a dramatic play to reenact the famous Naming of Portland story with Dan Miller as the Bostonian Asa Lovejoy and Allan Folz as William Pettygrove who hailed from Portland, Maine. At first the two pioneers wanted to have a pistol duel in the naming, but the audience said, We have an idea: how about a coin toss, and luckily we had a giant Portland Penny! Of course this play kept getting interrupted by random sprinklers turning on us, and then we’d scream and find a new area of the park, and then it happened again. But finally the city
Vittorio de Sica
Italian postcard by Aser, Roma (Rome), nr. 333. Photo: Vaselli.
Italian director Vittorio De Sica (1901-1974) was a leading figure in the neorealist movement. De Sica directed 34 feature films, for which he won numerous international prizes including four Oscars. As an actor he made more than 150 films and is best known for his bright and charming roles in earthy comedies opposite sex goddesses Gina Lollobrigida and Sophia Loren.
Vittorio Domenico Stanislao Gaetano Sorano De Sica was born into in Sora, Italy in 1901 (or 1902 - sources are divided). He grew up in Naples. His father, Umberto De Sica, a bank clerk with a penchant for show business, encouraged his good-looking son to pursue a stage career. Vittrorio made his screen debut at 16 in the film Il processo Clemenceau/The Clemenceau Affair (1917, Alfredo De Antoni) starring the legendary diva Francesca Bertini. He began his career as a theatre actor in the early 1920’s and joined Tatiana Pavlova's theatre company in 1923. By the late 1920’s he was a successful matinee idol of the Italian theatre, and also appeared in such silent films as La bellezza del mondo/Beauty of the World (1927, Mario Almirante) starring another silent film diva, Italia Almirante-Manzini. In 1933 De Sica founded his own theatre company with his wife, actress Giuditta Rissone and Sergio Tofano. The company performed mostly light comedies, but they also staged plays by Beaumarchais, and worked with directors like Luchino Visconti. His good looks and breezy manner made him an overnight matinee idol of the Italian cinema with the release of his first sound picture, La Vecchia Signora/The Old Lady (1932, Amleto Palermi). Light comedies as Gli uomini che mascalzoni!/What Scoundrels Men Are! (1932, Mario Camerini) and Il signor Max/ Mister Max (1937, Mario Camerini) made him immensely popular with female audiences. During World War II Vittorio De Sica turned to directing with Rose Scarlatte/Red Roses (1940, Vittorio de Sica, Giuseppe Amato), and Maddelena, Zero in Condotta/Maddelena, Zero For Conduct (1940, Vittorio de Sica). Both films were attempts to bring theater pieces to the screen with suitable roles for himself. In the comedy of errors Teresa Venerdi (1941, Vittorio de Sica) his girlfriend was played by a young Anna Magnani.
A turning point in Vittorio De Sica’s career was his meeting with the writer Cesare Zavattini. They worked together on De Sica’s fifth film, I bambini ci guardano/The Children Are Watching Us (1943, Vittorio De Sica). In this film the director began to use non-professional actors and socially conscious subject matter. He revealed hitherto unsuspected depths and an extraordinarily sensitive touch with actors, especially children. It is a mature, perceptive, and deeply human work about the impact of adult folly on a child's innocent mind. Zavattini became as a scenarist his major collaborator for the next three decades. Together they created two of the most significant films of the Italian neorealism movement: Sciuscia/Shoeshine (1946, Vittorio de Sica) and Ladri di biciclette/Bicycle Thieves (1948, Vittorio de Sica). Sciuscia/Shoeshine is the story of how the lasting friendship of two homeless boys, who make their living shining shoes for the American G.I.'s, is betrayed by their contact with adults. At the end of the film one boy inadvertently causes the other's death. Workman Ricci's desperate search for his bicycle in Ladri di biciclette/Bicycle Thieves is an odyssey that enables us to witness a varied collection of characters and situations among the poor and working class of Rome. At Sony Pictures Classics an anonymous critic writes: “With no money available to produce his films, De Sica initiated the use of real locations and non-professional actors. Using available light and documentary effects, he explored the relationship between working and lower-class characters in an indifferent, and often hostile social and political environment. The result was gritty and searing storytelling that not only bared the truth about the harsh conditions inflicted on Italy's poor, but also represented a radical break from filmmaking conventions.” Both films are heartbreaking studies of poverty in postwar Italy and both won special Oscars before the foreign film category was officially established. De Sica's next collaboration with Zavattini was the satirical fantasy, Miracolo a Milano/Miracle in Milan (1951, Vittorio de Sica), which wavered between optimism and despair in its allegorical treatment of the plight of the poor in an industrial society. Their next film, Umberto D. (1952, Vittorio de Sica), was a relentlessly bleak study of the problems of old age and loneliness, but it was a box-office disaster. Continually wooed by Hollywood, De Sica finally acquiesced to make Stazioni Termini (1952, Vittorio de Sica), clumsily renamed Indiscretion of an American Wife in the U.S. It was produced by David O. Selznick and filmed in Rome with Selznick's wife,
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