By Laura Walker
Let’s say your parents are taking you on a road trip to Bend, Oregon. School is out and the weeks of summer are yours to enjoy until September and the dreaded beginning of 4th grade. While your parents are in the front seat pouring over Lonely Planet and AAA maps, you will be sequestered in the back with a copy of Laura Walker’s, Welcome to Bend.
You will marvel at the pretty drawings and cartoonish goings on of this Oregonian township. Before arriving, you will ask your parents to do laps of the famed roundabouts and request a viewing of Oregon’s many geological wonders. You will dish on Bend lore and current events: the pregnant man; the taco shop that fronted as a meth’ lab; and the psychotic llamas roaming town. They, in turn, will marvel at your knowledge of a place you’ve never even visited.
Too young for hormones but congenitally moody, you will roll your eyes in disgust and return to your reading because you are a scion of playground cool. By 5th grade, you will be smoking French cigarettes and reading Bukowski, but for now it’s Welcome to Bend.