As she turns 100, the feisty and witty author Beverly Cleary remembers the Oregon childhood that inspired the likes of characters Ramona and Beezus Quimby and Henry Huggins in the children’s books that sold millions and enthralled generations of youngsters.
“I was a well-behaved little girl, not that I wanted to be,” she said. “At the age of Ramona, in those days, children played outside. We played hopscotch and jump rope and I loved them and always had scraped knees.”
Ramona, perhaps her best-known character, made her debut in “Henry Huggins” with only a brief mention. But that changed soon.
“All the children appeared to be only children so I tossed in a little sister and she didn’t go away. She kept appearing in every book,” she said in a telephone interview from her Carmel home. Cleary herself was an only child.
Her birthday on Tuesday will be marked with a slice of carrot cake at her retirement home, where they’ll show the movie “Discovering Beverly Cleary: An Oregon Art Beat.” The documentary not only marks her 100th birthday but it also examines her Oregon roots, and the impact of her work.
She hasn’t seen the film yet, but is quick to point out, “I think I’m much better looking in my photograph.”
She’s also been known to joke that she doesn’t look a day over 80.
William, Kate tour India
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge paid their respects at one of the sites of the 2008 Mumbai terrorist attacks Sunday as they began a weeklong visit to India, their first royal tour in two years.
Prince William and his wife, the former Kate Middleton, began their first engagement in India by laying a wreath at a memorial at Mumbai’s iconic Taj Mahal Palace hotel, where 31 people were killed in the 2008 attacks. A total of 166 people were killed when 10 gunmen targeted multiple locations in the city.
Steve Miller slams rock hall
Steve Miller had just performed at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame ceremony, but he wasn’t finished.
In fact, he was just getting started. The new inductee ripped the rock hall in a backstage interview, calling the evening a “lazy” night with “a bunch of fat cats” that was tantamount to a bad reality show — only he used a stronger epithet than “bad.”
“I don’t know why I was nominated for this because I said this for 30 years,” the 72-year-old musician said in the interview. “I don’t get along with the people running it. When I found out about it, I felt like I was in a [expletive] reality TV show.”
Singer Joss Stone is 29. … Drummer Chris Gaylor of All-American Rejects is 37. … Rapper David Banner is 42. … Singer Lisa Stansfield is 50. … Actor Peter Riegart is 69. … Actor Joel Grey is 84.