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  • By Jerry Ann Fenter

October's Great Start

Morning...acrylic on canvas by Jerry Fenter

Morning...acrylic on canvas by Jerry Ann Fenter

Wow...what a day I had on Monday! Also, one of the most inspiring evenings of my life. So much to talk about.

The day started with a long drive down Interstate 84 into Portland. Some of it was one lane. The damage from the fire is hard to look at but nature will overcome this injury to the land and in time bring back the area to its natural state.

Got into town and headed for my favorite place...The Lloyd Center.

Lots of people from where I live now think (from various news stories) that Lloyd Center is a scary, gang ridden violent, dark space that no one should ever go to. Not me! Since I grew up in North East Portland this was my first place to go to really shop when I was a little girl. My Grandma lived on 11th street just a few blocks away from the "new shopping center. She babysat me and my cousins for many years. When she and I were alone she'd always ask me if I wanted to go down to "The Center" and walk around...maybe do some shopping. I LOVED IT! We'd seldom buy anything but we'd watch the skaters and marvel at all the stores and the great mixture of people there. Some of my best memories come from those times.

I parked right in front of Barnes and Noble...I mean RIGHT in front. Ron calls me "the parking angel" because I can always find a close parking spot!! Did you know that B&N now has a "greeter"? I think he's just looking for shoplifters but he reminds me of someone who might greet you in a big hotel or at a fancy party. (The bartender from The Shining comes to mind because it's Halloween month!) I met my artist friend Leah Bunch in the Starbucks there. We talked and talked and shared the art from a huge sketchbook that she and I share. One of us takes it for a month and then the other takes it back etc. etc. We put all sorts of secret things and great art and tiny drawings and poems in there. We drank coffee and marveled over our work!!! Both of us thought it would be a great idea to tour the mall since it had been awhile since we'd been there. So off we went.

Our first big find was "light up tennis shoes" for ADULTS in a small store window. Of course we both have always wanted some of these. We went inside, checked them out and picked out our favorites. My choice was a pair the lit up with 5 different changing colors as you walk. Leah picked an all gold pair that had equally nice lighting. The were ONLY 25 dollars ON SALE. had to recharge them like a phone after every use. Both shoes! Hard to pass them up but felt we needed to move on.

Right outside the shoe store was a half mannequin wearing the tights you'd never want your children to wear to school...never thought I'd see pot tights in my lifetime! Cool! Not for us. But right near the tights was an old timey photo booth. Used to cost 25 cents for 4 photos. Well, we got out OUR Five dollars for two strips of black and white photos of the two of us. Inside everything was computerized...pick background...pick special effects...too many decisions and we almost ran out of time making a choice. We just sat there and did dumb stuff in black and white. Great pictures...they will make it into our secret sketchbook!

Wandering, wandering and finally found a store with "things from Asia" on signs outside. I bought Leah this pink waving good luck kitty. Then we were off to the food court for some orange chicken, rice and a two hour talk. Great day. I said goodbye to Leah and headed downtown.

I'd gotten tickets for a Literary Arts event with Francis Ford Coppola in conversation with Melena Ryzik of the New York Times. Found a parking spot right near the Art Museum and then was off to the Schnitzer. I had a great aisle seat in the orchestra area. Amazing.

Coppola was inspiring, funny, exciting, informative and I'm in love with his enthusiasm. The man is 78 years old and is so caught up in plans for the future, more movies, art, his book just out titled Live Cinema and Its Techniques, his vineyard and his amazing family. (Did you know that Nicolas cage is his Nephew)?...remember Snakes on a Plane? Don't tell anyone but I LOVED that movie.

He also admitted that when he isn't actively creative he gets depressed. He says he's always been a depressive but feels like the depression helps him move forward and to makes him get engrossed in projects that take his mind off aging, bad times and unimportant musings. I loved his quote "Mother made the magic in my family."

His movies have always fascinated me. I remember after all three Godfather movies had come out I found a movie theater that was showing all of them in a row. I guess I've always been a little crazy but I sat through all three of them!! "Apocalypse Now" is a work of pure genius. He seems always ready for a new project.

I knew I was truly in love when he said "The Thief of Bagdad" was one of his favorite movies. I watch that movie on Turner Classics every time I can! Yep...he is a great man.

So happy October to all of you. Check out my paintings while you're here. October is a great month for creativity.

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