Seattle's Child

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Perfect summer day Carmen Bendixen

Carmen Bendixen, president of the Seattle Public Library Board of Trustees, loves a good book and a summer day. Photo by Joshua Huston

A perfect summer day: A ferry ride, a dip and a load of books

Library champion Carmen Bendixen shares a summer memory

Ever wondered what a perfect summer day is for a highly intelligent and curious 8-year-old? For my niece Isabella, many years ago, it was a day exploring in the big city. She lived with her parents over on the Kitsap Peninsula, and by that time, we had the weekend pick-up down to a science. 

We would ride the ferry over to Seattle from Bremerton (kids younger than 18 ride free!), where both the people- and wildlife-watching were more entertaining than anything on a screen. Then we would make our way to my apartment in North Seattle, where we would change into our swimsuits and walk a couple of blocks to the wading pool at Green Lake. There were at least a few other kids to splash around with. Isabella would easily make friends, chatting with other kids about how well they could swim, which books they brought to the park, and did they have any dogs. 

When we’d had enough sun or had run out of books to read at the park, we would head to the Green Lake Branch of The Seattle Public Library. Isabella would look for books in the children’s section that she hadn’t read yet, and I would scan the New Fiction shelves to see if there was something I absolutely needed to read that day. We would each choose our books and then debate whether we should also venture to the Greenwood Branch to see what they had on their shelves. 

On this particular day, in my memory, we were very excited to dive into our new books and made our way to a shady spot. Once home, we might have raided the freezer for some ice cream. 

That day, and many others like it, is the way I like to remember summers with Isabella when she was younger. Now 19, Isabella is soon coming over to visit for a long weekend, and the activity she’s most looking forward to? Taking a stack of books down to Green Lake, dipping our toes in the water, and reading in the sunshine. Some things never change! 

Carmen Bendixen works in transportation and was appointed to the Seattle Public Library Board by Mayor Jenny Durkan in April 2020, and became the president of the Board of Trustees in 2022. She was a member of the Friends of The Seattle Public Library board of trustees and helped lead advocacy efforts during the 2012 and 2019 Library Levy campaigns. Her favorite book from 5th grade was the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler by E.L. Konigsburg, she says that still holds up today,

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About the Author

Carmen Bendixen, Seattle Public Library Board of Trustees President