Cold, Wet, and Gray Outside

Very erratic sleep schedule this weekend, which means I’m now waking up (it’s after 8 p.m.) after a four- or five-hour nap.  I thought the best thing to do would be to share some of the D.C. pictures with my faithful readership.  My actual thoughts from Friday night to Sunday morning are available in the scanned handwritten pages that I’ve already posted.  That always reads better than recapitulating the experience later.

I was in bed a little after 4 a.m., after arriving back from the One Nation Working Together rally in Washington. I took the time to scan the pages from my union diary where I wrote my thoughts as they came to me, but didn’t post them (backdated) into the blog until this afternoon.  This morning, between awakening and leaving with Susie for church, I posted my pictures to my Facebook account.

Amelia Houser and I at the Communication Workers of
America’s union hall on East Broad St., just before
boarding one of two Washington-bound chartered buses.

The above picture reminds me of something Travis McGee, the hero of 21 novels by John D. MacDonald, said in A Tan and Sandy Silence that, if he carried a placard, it would read:

UP WITH LIFE.  STAMP OUT ALL SMALL AND LARGE INDIGNITIES.  LEAVE EVERYONE ALONE TO MAKE IT WITHOUT PRESSURE.  DOWN WITH HURTING. LOWER THE STANDARD OF LIVING.  DO WITHOUT PLASTICS.  SMASH THE SERVO-MECHANISMS.  STOP GRABBING.  SNIFF THE BREEZE AND LOVE THE KIDS.  LOVE ALL LOVE.  HATE ALL HATE.

We could not have asked for better weather, especially when I was giving Amelia, who has never been to Washington before, a good workout as we walked up and down the National Mall.  One Nation Working Together was not a march per se; the publicity was a little misleading in that respect.  It was more a rally, taking place at a fixed place.

And what better fixed place?  This is how the Lincoln
Memorial looked a little after 10 a.m.  I took this just
after Amelia and I crossed the Memorial Bridge from
the Pentagon’s parking lot in Virginia.

We didn’t go inside anywhere, but I did show Amelia the significant landmarks within visual range of the Mall, such as the Washington Monument, the Capitol Building, the White House, the National World War II Memorial, some of the visible spires of the Smithsonian, etc.
The Reflecting Pool in front of the Lincoln Memorial looked sparkling, which isn’t always the case.  I remember making a trip in high school and finding that it was drained, and that had been in May.  Sometimes in the summer that is common.  During the Poor People’s Campaign in the spring and summer of 1968, when Resurrection City stood on the Mall, the pool was emptied several times because residents were using it to clean clothes and wash dishes.
Amelia was happy to touch the Washington Monument, even
though we arrived too late to go inside.

This is the scene in the early afternoon.

Happy for a brief respite from the crowd, Amelia and I
went to Tonic at Quigley’s Pharmacy on G St., NW, in
the heart of the George Washington University community.
My friend Robert Nedelkoff took us to lunch–a very good
lunch!  It’s always good to see Robert.

After the repast at Tonic.  Robert, as usual, looks like
he stepped out of the St. John’s Bay catalog, and I resemble
an outtake from America’s Most Wanted.
Bidding a reluctant farewell to the Lincoln Memorial.
I took this picture after Amelia and I walked back over
the Memorial Bridge (on the left) into Virginia, where
our charter bus awaited.

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Our Revels Are Ended…

When I was in elementary school, I knew a girl whose favorite car-trip activity was to hold a pad of paper in her lap and loosely clutch a pen in her hand, its point barely touching the paper.  She loved to make her own little seismograph chart as the car moved (rumble strips were loads of fun, I’m sure).

I played that game without meaning to while writing my “blog in the field” in the pocket diary that I packed at the last minute.  Here is my last entry, written when our bus crossed back to the Buckeye State from Wheeling.

Washington Beckons

Now I’m watching the clock waiting for 11:30 to get here, so I can be en route to the One Nation Working Together march tomorrow in Washington, D.C.  My original plan was for Susie to come with me, but another road trip, especially one this long, was too much, coming on the heels of the trip to North Olmsted last week.  Additionally, Susie is the stereotypical “Are we there yet?” kid when it comes to travelling.  If she was getting impatient for the two-hour journey to Cleveland to end, the seven-plus hours to Washington would be excruciating for her.  She told Steph on Monday that she really didn’t want to go.

I made a few phone calls, trying to fill the seat.  We have a donor who provided the bus free of charge (I’m not sure who), so I was working the phones and the email trying to find someone to go with me.  Steve was tempted, but he declined; big work week, so he was looking forward to spending the weekend staring at the ceiling.

But, I will not be travelling alone.  Amelia, Steve’s 20-year-old daughter, is coming with me.  I think it’s her first time in Washington.  The only road trip I’ve ever taken with her has been to Mineral, but I’ve been with her and her dad locally for several events, such as the Isaiah 58 rally at the State House and the Ramadan trip to the mosque.  I’m sure she’s enthusiastic about the trip.

During some idle time at the computer, I went on Google Maps and calculated how much I will have traveled between Friday night and Sunday morning, when Amelia and I return to Columbus.  The total will be 1372 miles.  There was the trip to and from North Olmsted last week, and last night Pat and I went to the Winchester Tavern in Lakewood to see Allan Holdsworth in concert–the third time I’ve seen him.  (What amazed me about that little junket was how comparatively early we were headed back to Columbus.  The concert began at 9 p.m., and there was no opening band.  The show was over by 10:30.  Pat and I stopped to get gas and pick up some burgers before we left Cleveland.  I think my clock radio said 1:15 when I came back to my bedroom/study.)

Before I promise an illustrated blog entry upon my return, I need to conduct an experiment here.  Sunday night, after coming home from North Olmsted, I tried to load some additional pictures from the Con.  Blogger.com was not cooperating, and I understand from other bloggers they were experiencing the same thing.  (The problem is not in your set!)  So, I am going to try and load a picture below:

 Susie and her friend Harriet back up their friend
Florida (at microphone) during the talent show at North
Olmsted last Saturday night.  They were insurance against
stage fright or chickening out.

Houston, all systems are go and all lights are green!  This is the picture I tried to post Sunday without any success.  Now I know that the malfunction with Blogger.com and loading pictures has been repaired, so I’m taking the Kodak EasyShare with me to document the march.
My fellow bibliophile and collector of arcane knowledge Robert Nedelkoff is meeting us for lunch at 1:45 at Tonic at Quigley’s Pharmacy, a restaurant and bar located on G St., NW in Foggy Bottom.  It’s always good to see him; this will be our third in-person meeting, and I believe I will meet his wife Rene this time.  I have never heard of this eating establishment.  The building hasn’t been a pharmacy for years, but the name is too normal for a Washington, D.C. pharmacy.  Two chains (since defunct) in Washington had names that always brought a chuckle to me.  One was Drug Fair, which was absorbed by Walgreen last year.  (Drug Fair could also have been the name for Lafayette Park after dark.)  The other was Peoples Drug, which always made me think it was a huge methadone clinic.
Right now, I just glanced at my watch.  It’s 11:08 p.m., and Steve and Amelia will be coming around to pick me up soon.  I’m packing light–camera, diary, the latest New Yorker, and a copy of On the Road (my equivalent of carrying a St. Christopher’s medal, I suppose).  Just like the New Jersey trip, I will handwrite the blog in a pocket date book (scrambling around my desk to find one), and then post backdated entries in here, assuming Blogger.com’s ability to load pictures doesn’t crash while I’m gone.