Yesterday was the unveiling of the first three sections of the “Remember Them” monument in Oakland. It was a spectacular occasion! Even though Karen and I had watched the actual installation (see my post on August 30), the monuments had been shrouded in tarps shortly after they were installed, awaiting the formal unveiling on September 6. There were hundreds of people present, with greetings and words of appreciation from Oakland dignitaries like our major Jean Quan, and Barbara Lee, our representative in Congress. In addition, of course Mario Chiodo the sculptor was there, as well as a number of others who made the monument possible either through their work on the project or their financial contributions.
But most memorable to me were the children who sang, and several entire classes from local schools. I re-connected with my neighbors Barbara and Dorothy, and took loads of photos – as much as I could from my spot behind the media platform and several very tall guys! I have added several of the photos I took to my “Remember Them” photo album.
There are a number of
Plaque installed in Section 3 of the "Remember Them" Monument
features that are not yet publicized on the web site. There are seven local Oakland humanitarians included, which Jean Quan introduced to us when she spoke. And Peter Coyote read a poem that is inscribed in a plaque installed in section 3 of the monument. The line that titles this post is from the poem .. it is a memorable and moving piece. Today when I made one of my trips downstairs to see the monument in various lights of day, a woman had paused by the poem and read it aloud as if nobody was watching or listening. Her reading Continue reading
August 29, 2011 – early in the morning we looked out our apartment window overlooking Telegraph Avenue in Oakland, and saw three parts of the new “Remember Them” sculptures on huge trucks ready to be shifted around the corner and installed in the permanent location next door to our apartment building! I blogged about this important installation a few weeks ago, and have been eagerly anticipating the scheduled “unveiling” ceremony on September 6. If you are in Oakland, plan to come — Maya Angelou is rumored to be on the schedule of honored guests! You can see the details on the Facebook “Event” page for the project.
Being one not to miss a great occasion, I raced downstairs Continue reading
Yes indeed – here in our uptown Oakland apartment, we do actually have a side yard – the mostly-empty block between our building and the amazing art-deco Fox Oakland Theater.
Fox Marquis from our window
The back part of the empty lot next door, at the corner of 19th and Rashida Muhammed, is a sweet little park, which I now know is called “Fox Square.” Until recently, the park has simply been a space for kids to play and skateboard, neighbors to sit, relax and visit, a couple of older Chinese folks to practice their daily tai chi, and a site for boot camp workouts for fitness wanna-be folks.
About a month ago, one of the sections of the park became the site of construction. At first this seemed sad, since the section they started tearing up was a corner where the kids from the Oakland School for the Arts (in the Fox building) had an occasional P.E. class. But someone told us it was going to be some kind of sculpture garden, including a tribute to Maya Angelou. This made us a bit more than excited!
Today after we watched the big concrete trucks come around and lay some sizeable foundations, I became really curious about