I love the full moon. Each month I get myself outside, even for just a few minutes, to bask in its quiet glow. I notice long shadows, distinct patches of darkness and bright light as the moonlight dapples the ground and trees.
In 1977 a couple of friends convinced me to open Sonora’s first children’s bookstore.* WHAT? At the time I was just resigning from my four-year job as the supervisor of Tuolumne County Library’s Children’s Services (a job I loved, BTW. But it was time for this young woman to spread her wings!).
I had a little bit of money and a whole lot of ideas! I knew the literature pretty well, and I knew the people of TuolCo. The shop was located in the historic Bradford Building at 19 West Bradford Avenue, where the Ventana Art Annex is today. Friends Liz Sewell and Jeannie Pape shared the space with their bookstore: “The Gloriosa Daisy.” “The Cabbage Moon” sold books, art stationery products and puppets! My best customers were teachers, grandparents and aunties and uncles.
Artist Gail Segerstrom shared a beer with me one day while we painted a 20 ft. Wide x 10 ft. High mural of the night sky emerging with the rising CABBAGE MOON. (It was quite colorful). My grandmother’s grand piano sat in the alcove where people could sit and play. Plus, I could practice during those slow times of day. One day a week we had Story Time in the alcove. It was a dream-time.
The shop stayed open for almost three years. Lovely, but not easy in the local slow economy of the late 1970’s.* In September 1979 my sweet partner (later my hub), Rick Thorpe, and I learned that we were going to be Daddy and Mommy. So, time came to say goodbye to “The Cabbage Moon.” I tucked those memories into a little place in my heart. The following Spring our daughter Wren Elizabeth joined us. That same heart opened up wide to welcome our new bundle of sweetness into our little family.
The name “Cabbage Moon” was inspired by a children’s picture book by Jan Wahl, published in the 1960’s. The story always made me smile and think of sweet, good things. I had even created a puppet show of the book for little people. The show involved a little dog tossing a (real) cabbage into the sky where it stayed!
Lately the story and its imagery have been on my mind again. Just maybe “The Cabbage Moon” will re-appear in some other incarnation. Please listen for those new dreamy thoughts. They are just now being incubated. xoxoxoxo