Occupying the curb in front of Ed Ricketts’ lab on Saturday will be a turn-of-the-century Federal Cannery truck, it’s tailgate down, with an individual reading the works of John Steinbeck aloud.
The scene will be reminiscent of life on the row before it became the tourist attraction people know today. Saturday’s Cannery Row Day will encourage visitors to imagine the Monterey waterfront as the stomping grounds of Steinbeck and his friend, the biologist Ed Ricketts, all those years ago.
The event will start at 8:30 a.m. with a public reading of Steinbeck’s 1945 novella “Cannery Row,” which gave the street its name. The story describes a set of rowdy Cannery Row denizens trying to throw a party for their friend Doc, a character based on Ricketts.
The Steinbeck Institute was recently awarded $181,977 by the National Endowment for the Humanities to bring middle and high school teachers from across the country to Monterey for an intellectually rigorous program exploring the intersection of science and the humanities. The Institute is lead by Shillinglaw and her husband William Gilly, a biology professor at Stanford University.