United States
Stanton Park

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    • Day 24

      Bocce, Aquatic Gardens, & Burning Man

      August 15, 2018 in the United States ⋅ ☀️ 29 °C

      Bob’s bocce ball team, Joanie Loves Bocce, won their match on Tuesday night. I tried my hand at the game. It was kinda fun.

      We took the bus up to U Street. Crazy dude on the bus called Bob and I and the other white folks “crackers” and was quoting old tv shows. Very bizarre. One of the many reasons I never took the bus in DC when I lived here. Too much adventure for me.

      Today we went to one of my favorite hidden DC spots, the Aquatic Gardens, located on the other side of the Anacostia river. The lily pads and flowers were beautiful. Such a special treat.

      The Renwick Gallery had an amazing Burning Man exhibit. The interactive installations were great. We did a virtual reality tour on Black Rock City (Burning Man City). Cool.

      We walked tons making our way by the White House, Trump Hotel at the Old Post Office, sculpture garden, botanical garden, and lots of other sights. We found the statue of Mayor Marion Barry under wraps. Bob was able to get a good shot under the plywood.

      Dinner at the house. More fun for the whole week!
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    • Day 25

      Walking, Portraits, & the Wizard of Oz

      August 16, 2018 in the United States ⋅ ☀️ 30 °C

      It was a 24,000 steps day. We walked all over SW DC that was non-existent when I lived here. Whole neighborhoods have been created that were rather unsavory and where I would dance the night away at the gay clubs. Incredible transformation.

      Bob suggested the Portrait Gallery. Saw all the Presidents, Michelle, and the women Supremes. They spotlighted 1968 - a consequential year. The whole gallery was great.

      We capped off the night with an outdoor showing of Wizard of Oz. It is better on the big screen.
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    • Day 26

      Library of Congress and ERA Friends

      August 17, 2018 in the United States ⋅ ☀️ 30 °C

      I got a personal behind-the-scenes tour of the Library of Congress by Bob (a former staffer). This amazing book-lovers dream is a glorious architectural and art-filled wonder. I saw the stacks, the actual card catalogs, and the reading room. Not usually on the tourist list. But go.

      We stopped in at Representative Blumenauer’s and Senators Wyden and Merkley’s offices to lobby and say hello. They have PDX carpet! Non-Oregonian’s don’t get it.

      I had dinner with people I worked with from as early as1979! Barbara Helmick started the first canvassing operations in the country. I canvassed for Women’s Resources for Action to elect ERA-supporting women candidates. Today she works for DC statehood. Wyden is not a co-sponsor. Why? Two Democratic Senators, people!

      Mary Jean Collins ran the Illinois campaigns in 1980 and 1982 to try to pass the ERA. She has been one of the most influential women in my life. She taught me how to fight, be strategic, and enjoy the journey. And keep going. At 78 she is still as vital and fun as ever.

      Chris Riddiough, Judy Nedrow and I helped integrate the Gertrude Stein Democratic Club that was all white gay men back in the early 80’s. I met them both in Chicago in 1982 working and volunteering for NOW.

      It was a delightful evening sharing old stories and hearing about who was doing what now. Earlier in the day Bob and I went to the Belmont-Paul Women’s Equality National Monument. I got to see original banners and displays about the brutal fight for women’s suffrage. The British and American women were beaten, force-fed, and tortured in their quest for the vote - and still they persisted.
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    • Day 27

      Touring around by Bike

      August 18, 2018 in the United States ⋅ ⛅ 25 °C

      Started the day on the terrace for breakfast with Bob and his building neighbors. Weather is sticky even at 10am. I still just sweat it out and took a BikeShare ride to the MLK Jr Memorial. It was, frankly, boring. Monotone color stone, several carved quotes, it just seemed unimaginative. I guess I expected something that would show the brilliance of the man.

      I biked back to the mall and had lunch at the National Art museum. Afterwards, I wandered over to the American Indian Museum. Great exhibition.

      I biked back to Bob’s for dinner and out again to stroll around the neighborhood. Gelato was involved.

      Tomorrow we have more fun, fun planned.
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    • Day 29

      African Amer. Museum & More Old Friends

      August 20, 2018 in the United States ⋅ ☁️ 23 °C

      It has been too long since I have spent time with three old friends: Mary Gill, Judy Nedrow and Chris Riddiough. Mary and I were co-workers at NARAL and good friends. She has battled breast cancer and then a brain tumor. She has been cancer-free for 9 years on an initial 3 years survival expectation for her diagnosis. She is mighty if a bit wobbly. It was good to hear about her progress on writing and publishing her book about her ordeal(s).

      Dinner with Chris and Judy was a fun romp. Swapping travel stories and kitchen remodeling woes. I am finding that having been the youngest in my circle of DC friends, everyone is still older. Yes, that is the way it works, but in my head, they’re all the age they were 25 years ago when I left DC.

      The National Museum of African American History and Culture was so well done and so terribly sad. First because of the brutality and dehumanizing of a whole people so that whites in America specifically could become wealthy and comfortable. Secondly because the issues continue with police brutality, white supremacy, and white Americans living off the cheap/free labor people of color are still doing. These are so alive and relevant today. It’s not nuanced or micro.

      It was wonderful to see so many intergenerational African American families in the museum. As should be expected, but I have gone to a dozen museums on this trip and people of color were always in the minority. It was fun to hear parents explaining things to their children.

      It was odd that the museum made an announcement about once an hour to remind folks not to run around and engage in horseplay in the museum. I’ve never been to a museum that did that. And everyone was behaving, well, like they were in a museum. Concerning.

      I went through most of the floors but wanted more time to absorb and read and process. I will need to return.
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