Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Grand old forts

"Grand Old Fort"
Mel Kadel
As a kid, my favorite pastime involved building forts.  Forts in my room, forts in boxes, forts in snow, forts in the woods, forts in trees, forts in piles of rocks...forts were where it was at.  Perhaps this is why I'm totally, completely in love with the above drawing by Mel Kadel.  The piled blankets all comfortingly colored, the nostalgic tone to the paper-like canvas, and the little running girl in a meadow that's far, far bigger than the inside of a fort -- sort of like a child's imagination when they're in one of those very forts.  My forts housed empires.  Worlds.

A fond memory of mine is simply laying on my back on the top deck of my treehouse (built about 90% by me by myself -- I was quite proud) on a summer afternoon in Pennsylvania, staring up at the leaves above me, legs swinging off the end in the air.  It was gloriously, sweetly, perfectly lazy.

It shouldn't be surprising, given all that, that the book I think I checked out the most from the little Perkasie library branch was A Kids' Guide to Building Forts.

To say I checked this book out religiously would be an understatement.  I'm pretty sure I was the only patron to ever check this book out because I never let it be out of my hands for long.  That fort on the cover?  Built it.  

And yes, all the various incarnations of forts DID make our backyard wooded area look like a homeless encampment.  But thank goodness my parents must have figured of all the things to deal with, a grubby fort encampment in the backyard wasn't too big a crime.  And thank goodness our hilltop neighborhood didn't have a snooty association.  

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