Tuesday, January 27, 2009

The Cleary Necklace

The multicoloured beads in the Cleary Necklace were lovingly hand-made from the Puffin paperback "Fifteen" (by Beverly Cleary), first published 1956, reprinted 16 times (this edition 1979).

The jeweller who brought this jewelled masterpiece to life claims that any fifteen year old girl who wears the necklace will immediately be blessed with a sweet, naive and innocent belief in the power of love.

Today I'm going to meet a boy, Jane Purdy told herself, as she walked up Blossom Street toward her baby-sitting job. Today I'm going to meet a boy.

Why, I know lots of things about him, Jane thought suddenly. The boy was at least sixteen because he had a driver's license. He had a nice smile and merry eyes - greenish-grey eyes. He had brown hair with a dip in it. He was not really tall, but he was tall enough so a medium-sized girl could wear heels and not feel she had to scrooch down when she walked beside him.

By a quarter to six on Saturday Jane, who had been too excited to eat lunch, was ready. She sat on the edge of the sofa in her carefully pressed suit, pulled on her white gloves, and after a few minutes pulled them off. Then she put them on again, decided they made her feel as if her hands belonged to Minnie Mouse, and peeled them off a second time....Never had Jane seen Stan look so attractive. He had a fresh, scrubbed appearance and was wearing a grey flannel suit, a white shirt that set off his tan, and a green tie, just the right colour for his greenish eyes.

She was seeing everything in a new light. This was the reason Stan had not called! An appendix, of all things! He must have been pale under his tan that morning, not because he was angry, not because he was hurt, but because he had a pain in his appendix!

When Jane reached Stan's block, a stocky little girl about eight years old, who had been roller-skating aimlessly up and down the sidewalk, darted up to Jane. 'What are you carrying that for?' she demanded.
'Because,' answered Jane.
'Because why?' persisted the girl.
'I'm taking them to a sick friend,' Jane told the child.
'My brother had his appendix out. He just came home from the hospital today,' the girl informed Jane.
Jane lowered her bouquet for a better look at this child, who had brown pigtails, a dirty face, and Stan's grey-green eyes.

Jane felt Stan's hand brush hers, but when she looked up at him in the flickering light he was staring straight ahead. She was surprised to feel his hand on her arm and still more surprised - almost unbelieving - to see his fingers unclasp his identification bracelet and remove it from his arm. Silently he fumbled with the bracelet and slipped it around her right wrist....The silver links on her wrist were still warm from his arm.
Stan leaned toward Jane. 'O.K.?' he whispered.
'Yes,' she whispered back and smiled radiantly.


Blue Mountains Mary said...

One of the prettiest phrases in the English language is "merry eyes."

Duyvken said...

Yay for Beverly Cleary books!

Tuli said...

Beverly Cleary! W00t!

eurolush said...

That's it.

You must tell me where this jeweller is located, so I can buy my plane ticket now and come this instant to Australia. The Cleary Necklace is mine. I don't care if I'm not 15.

Besides having read (and loved)all of Beverly Cleary's books, I have also recently read her memoirs.

Did you know she wrote two memoirs, which are also fantastic?

They are "A Girl From Yamhill" and "My Own Two Feet."

If you love Beverly Cleary, you must read them!

PS-I have a necklace I'm making from "Elizabeth and Her German Garden" only--it's getting too long and heavy. There are too many pearls. I don't think I'll be able to stand-up and walk in it. I'll have to wear it only when I'm sitting down.

Anna said...

This is so strange. But very entertaining. No idea who beverly Cleary is but I get the feeling.

Jen said...

Wait--is this the book where she has Chinese food and can't make heads or tails of it, and does Stan work drving a horse meat delivery truck? If it is, then I totally know this book.

laura said...

I read this book so often the pages fell out. Oh how I adored all of Beverly Cleary's books. Still do. And now thanks to Eurolush I know she has 2 memoirs to devour. Today is a good day indeed!

The Coffee Lady said...

I've never heard of the woman. Who is she?

BabelBabe said...

i LOVED this book...altho Jean and Johnny was my absolute favorite.

trashalou said...

I am late to the pearl display but oh! how I am loving the combinations you have on display.

Frogdancer said...

I used to adore this book.
I still have a copy.