A perspective from Oregon’s mid-Willamette Valley

On a warm day: Bike, lemonade and books

Written June 29th, 2023 by Hasso Hering

Nothing like a cup of cool lemonade on a warm day like today, June 29, 2023, in Albany.

What was I doing in Albany’s Hackleman Park this afternoon? Taking a break on a bike ride, sitting on a bench in the shade and sipping a lemonade, as you can see in the photo above.

And in the video below:

Let me correct two mistakes I made while talking into the camera on my phone.

The Pacific Perk kiosk where I got the lemonade is on Pacific Boulevard at Pine Street, not Pacific and Seventh Avenue. I had taken Seventh to get to that part of town, and I guess Seventh stuck in my mind.

I got the lemonade after coming out of Browsers’, the bookstore that shares its parking lot with the coffee kiosk.

At the store I bought two used paperbacks, novels by Lawrence Block. I’m sorry that in the video the author’s name came out as “Black.”

What made me say that? Must have been the heat.

You’ve probably heard of Lawrence Block, who turned 85 on June 24 and, according to his website has written more than 100 books over the last 50 years.

Many of the books are crime novels. All of them are entertaining. All the ones I’ve read, anyway.

One of his main characters is a professional thief, another a professional killer. Even though they are criminals, both of these characters are basically decent men that readers come to like.

How does Block pull this off? Well, pick up his books and find out for yourself. (hh)

4 responses to “On a warm day: Bike, lemonade and books”

  1. thomas earl cordier says:

    Today under the shade of our big maple tree, I read the first 110 pages of Area 51 by Anne Jacobsen, a paperback gift from our 60yo son. Written in May 2011, it exposes the activities of the top secret base from UFO’s, U 2’s, to nuclear bomb detonations too……
    don’t know where yet

  2. Patricia Eich says:

    Hasso, in your video you talked about the Lion’s Lumberjack breakfasts that used to be held at Eleanor Hackleman park. We attended many of those in years past with my husband’s late mother and our young children. Always fun to see friends there. We continued attending the breakfasts out at Timber Linn park and found them to still be enjoyable, with more kitchen space for food prep and easier parking. We plan to go out there for breakfast Saturday morning. Thanks for the memories.

  3. tinker says:

    Thank you again for showing a few of the civilized sides of Albany and it’s potential to be a positive place to live if it were encouraged to do so. You bought your lemonade and books from local vendors and at the same time highlighted reading actual books, riding your bike and drinking a simple yet refreshing no-frills beverage. Then paid homage to a city activity that the community annually enjoys, and acknowledge that Hackleman park was the perfect place for it. Showing that all the parks in Albany are and still should be considered relevant. Albany has a lot to offer that is being overlooked and shoved to the side. Simple pleasures are the easiest to maintain and the most consistent joys. Please continue your “ode” to Albany that praises its better qualities.

  4. Dave Smith says:

    As a sidebar to your piece, thank you for your challenge to try out a novel by Lawrence Block. My next trip to the APL, I picked up several of his novels featuring Matthew Scudder, his ex-NYPD detective/struggling alcoholic PI and am enjoying reading the book. Scudder isn’t a criminal, at least so far, and is a decent person that I can relate to. I had not read any of Block’s novels previously (If I have I don’t recall) and likely he will join my list of favorite mystery/crime authors, including Michael Connelly (my favorite), John Sandford, Craig Johnson, Ed McBain, Donald E. Westlake, etc. More author recommendations, Hasso?


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