I love Norman Rockwell paintings and Friday night I walked straight into a portrait of his America.
My husband and I took a stroll down Commerce Avenue that echoed a stroll I took with my daughter Briana down New Orleans, Bourbon Street.
Bands played as couples meandered by arm in arm. People ate al fresco while children skipped beside parents, and laughter trilled through the air.
Our first stop was Teague’s Interiors where the soft clear tone of a flute drifted over the balcony. In the middle of the art and fine furniture, I saw my friend Shirley sampling hors’doeurves and wearing her bike helmet. I would have looked ridiculous but she managed to look elegant while adding to the local color. She pushed her bike down the street for the free tire inspection.
We wandered past Pet Works where folks moved in time to Calypso Music played by a Pan band then drifted aimlessly across the street.
We mingled with local shop owners and managers and couldn’t resist the invitation to sample decadent chocolate at the Treasure House. I bought a quarter pound of double chocolate Skor fudge and indulged myself on the spot.
As we strolled back down the street the clock chimed and I basked in the aura of small town America and allowed my senses to be swept away by the spirits of by gone days that once mingled together in camaraderie on these same streets. It was a little slice of American Pie.
It was easy to convince Rick to pause on high stools outside under a straw canopy to share a sandwich and an Italian Strawberry Soda while we tapped our toes to the soft rock band playing down the street.
We topped off the evening with friends from the Columbia River Reader, good conversation and another live band.
If you are lucky enough to live in the area come enjoy a walk down memory lane and create a new tradition with your family; meet new friends. Make downtown Friday night the place to be. Bask in the spirit or Norman Rockwell’s downtown.
If you don’t live here, close your eyes and bask in the dream.