February 09, 2013

Homage To MLK

"I may not get there with you...."  Lawd, Lawd, did I feel just that way before the evening was over, often lagging a half-a-block behind Kaye and J. B. You see, Washington (speaking of downtown Washington, specifically) is a walking town. You can walk to any of the monuments or Federal buildings within minutes.  Some are farther away but, with fortitude, you can make it. Our fortitude was sorely tested.

Once the President passed our spot, the event was over as far as we were concerned.  I figured that we could get to the Martin Luther King Memorial, snap a photo, and still get to Phillip's to meet my son and grandson. If we could get to 18th Street (northwest, that is), then it would be an unimpeded walk over to 1964 Independence Ave., home to the memorial.

So, Missy, if you were at 10th and Penn, why did it take you forever to get there?  A distance of maybe 12 to 15 blocks?  The simple answer is: street closures. Pennsylvania was closed for the parade and every connecting street in the immediate and not-so-immediate area. Imagine a football team which loses yardage on each down. That was our threesome...walk a block, make a detour, walk a block, make a detour...going farther and farther away from the memorial. The sun started going down; tempers became frayed: "I'm not walking another damned step."  Lawd, Lawd.

We've gone too far to turn back now.  "Would you like to sit down and rest?"  Passing my last place of employment in D.C., The Daughters of the American Revolution and it's celebrated auditorium, Constitution Hall. Good and bad memories. We are so close and so tired.  I hailed one of the pedicabs on Constitution Ave., and negotiated a ride to the memorial and back.  The man swore that it would fit three.  Lies.  "We'll get to know each other real well," said my cohorts.

The poor man could barely make it around the corner.  A block and a half and he was down for the count.  The memorial is in sight...we can walk from here.  "No, no, I'll take you the rest of the way."  Listen to me now, Mr. Jamaica mon...we're getting out here and renegotiating the fare. Did he ever hate to lose that cash.  Everyone seemed to have the same idea:  Catch the inauguration and then trek over to the memorial.  People were everywhere.  How did they get there?

The monument is massive.  Far larger than it appears in the photographs that I've seen.  And what's this, it is bounded by low white walls engraved with parts of his speeches?  I didn't know that.  Impressive.

Now to find a cab and hit Phillip's restaurant. What? No cabs are running.  I'm still behind the duo as we strike off to find transportation. Called my child because he is at the restaurant and can come pick us up. It's not far. Turned out that it was farther away than normal because got it...road closures.  And, my child does not know Washington, D.C.  Unbelievable.  Finally caught up with him at the Hirshorn. What a relief to sit down.

My grandson, Kevin, was pleased with his Obama bling hat.  Turning seven on his birthday.  Wished that I had more time to spend with him.  Maybe one day. Got to meet the mother of my soon-to-arrive granddaughter.  Need more time with her, as well.

Natasha, Kevin Sr., J.B., Kevin Jr.

And it's time to depart. AAARGH! Road closures, road closures, road closures, making everybody run late.  We got to within spitting distance of Union Station and wound up back at 17th and Constitution.  AAARGH.  So, we're walking, yes, indeed, back past DAR, the White House, and to the subway station. 

Oh, my. Look at the time. We'll make the station just in time to retrieve the bags from storage. They close at 10 p.m. The subway is stopping. It is 20 minutes to ten.  WTH?  A schedule adjustment?  For how long?  I'm sick with fear; not only are we going to lose the luggage but probably miss the bus home.  Kaye whips out her trusty phone and calls.  The young lady on the other end tells her that she has a train to catch, she won't wait. We're only two stops away.  Good grief.

The train starts back up and with minutes to spare, brother dear has sprinted through the doors and to Gate A, retrieving the bags.  Not bad, J.B.  I'm thankful 'cause Lord knows I wouldn't have made it.  Hugs and kisses.  He's off to the subway and a snowy drive home to PA; we're off to the Megabus slot and a long ride to Tennessee. What a fantastic day!

Be Safe. Be Blessed.

No comments: