Washington Schlepped Here

Unknown 2.49.32 PM.jpeg A favorite little book of mine by Christopher Buckley (2003…152 pages) who takes you on a walking tour through Washington D.C..

Each time I pick it up there’s something I missed the last time, like when he strolls along The Tidal Basin, home of the National Mall, how FDR in 1939, laid the cornerstone for the Jefferson Memorial, while Bill Clinton, in 1997, broke ground for FDR’s.

Mr. Lincoln looms large across the Reflecting Pool where in 1963, Martin Luther King gave his I Have a Dream speech, Unknown.jpeg a plaque marking the spot, while his Memorial, dedicated in 2011 by President Barack Obama, joins the Big 3. One imagines the conversations all 4 might have late at night while the moon, along with a slew of sharpshooters, stand vigil.

The mall, at midnight, is considered the safest place in Washington.

Brings me to The Vietnam Veterans Memorial, known as The Vietnam Wall, never realizing the opposition 21 year-old architect, Maya Lin, encountered with her spare design. All I know is, when you visit, it has the reverence of any great Cathedral, compelling as you read the names while families still remember, leaving birthday cards and letters, Teddy bears and flags, all collected and archived at the end of each day.

Lin’s concept of such simplicity she called, A Rift in the Earth, beginning low becoming raised as the losses increased (58,320), makes you cry.images.jpeg

I also remember a young Jackie Kennedy  Unknown-2.jpeg saving Lafayette Square from the Eisenhower wrecking ball, all set to raze a row of historical homes to Unknown.jpeg build an eyesore of government buildings.

Resting right behind the White House, you can sit in the Park lining the Square, accompanied by majestic statues of Lafayette himself, and President Andrew Jackson whose Magnolia Tree planted in 1835, still blooms on the White House lawn.

At the helm of the Square painted a pale yellow, is St. John’s Episcopal Church built in 1816, Unknown.jpeg where every president starting with James Madison, with the exception of Richard Nixon has worshiped, facing another landmark, the Hay Adams Hotel built upon the site where the homes of Lincoln’s Secretary, John Hay, and Henry Adams, John, our second President’s great grandson, once stood.

A murder even took place in 1859 when Daniel Sickles shot, Philip Barton Key, the son of Star Spangled Banner author, Francis Scott Key, who was canoodling with his Missus. Old Dan, who later served during the Civil War losing his right leg at Gettysburg, was represented by none other than Lincoln’s future Secretary of War, Edwin Stanton, who gets him off in our country’s first case of Temporary Insanity.

Chris ends his tour at Arlington where you learn, besides JFK, the only other President buried there is our 27th, William Howard Taft.

You humbly pay tribute to Army Major Marie Therese Rossi-Clayton, the first woman combat officer who died in 1991 at age 32, during Operation Desert Storm.  Marie_T._Ross_Cayton.jpg

Below her name, rank and dates it reads:

“In Memory of My Sweet Little Wife, Whose Beauty Could Only Be Outlived by My Love for Her.”

Sure wish Buckley’s book came with a box of  Kleenex.

God Bless America   🇱🇷

SB

 

About Susannah Bianchi

I'm just a girl who likes to write slightly on slant. I've had a career in fashion, dabbled in film and to be honest, I don't like talking about myself. Now my posts are another matter so I will let them speak for themselves. My eBooks, A New York Diary, Model Behavior: Friends For Life and Notes From A Working Cat can be found on Amazon.com. Thanks.
This entry was posted in Books, creative writing, Culture, History, words, writing and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

28 Responses to Washington Schlepped Here

  1. skinnyuz2b says:

    Susannah, thanks again for sharing bits of history with us. I read pieces of your blog to Pookie who also loves history.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. My daughter and son-in-law went to Washington DC last couple of weeks for her to do interviews for psychology-centered votes coming up in the house. They got to see a lot of places and enjoyed it very much.
    Scott

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Dale says:

    I’ve never been one to reread books as you and Marc do – there are so many out there begging to be read first. However, you are not the first to say now much new things come to your attention with each read.
    This sounds like the perfect book for you, Miss History Buff. And one that I feel I should add to my to-read list!

    Liked by 1 person

    • You’re Canadian so our Capital can’t hold too much allure for you however, reading in general heals all in my obsessive opinion. Favorite books become like old friends you can count on. Thanks for reading what I pen. Means the world.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Dale says:

        You would be surprised. I am a fan of history, and that of my neighbour to the south’s is most interesting. Besides, we are inundated with all things American, I swear I can sing the Star Spangled Banner better than lots of Yanks 😉 – I don’t know if you ever heard, the microphone died during the singing of the American Anthem during a hockey game, in Canada, and the crowd sang it for them… A beautiful gesture, I should think.
        I think I’m too flighty to become friends with books, no matter how much I love to read.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Flighty is a great word. And no, I never heard that story. How wonderful is that. A beautiful gesture indeed. My kinda lore. Thanks for sharing it.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Dale says:

        Flighty is appropriate in many moments 🙂
        It was quite emotional and beautiful.
        So very glad that I did.

        Like

      • Looked up definition of flighty…not serious nor dependable. That does not sound like you. You’re very serious. All one has to do is look at your photographs. And if you weren’t dependable you’d be a no show more often than not on Wordless Wednesday. So there. Mighty is more like it. 😉

        Liked by 1 person

      • Dale says:

        OK. I might have chosen the wrong word.
        But just so you know… I am serious but not overly. I have a good sense of humour. Yes, I am dependable.
        I’ll take mighty.
        And you’ll take generous and kind.
        Deal?
        🙂

        Like

      • I don’t exactly know you but I know you, if that makes any cyber sense, so I agree the word could not apply. 😊

        Like

      • Dale says:

        It does…😊

        Liked by 1 person

  4. Your love of history, especially American history, shines through again. 🙂 Washington is a great place to wander around and this is such a great book for giving those little stories about different parts of it. I’ll have to reread it before I go back to DC.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Vasca says:

    Susannah, I’m so happy you’re a history buff. I love history…especially American. Our entire family has visited Washington at least once. My husband’s ancestor, Ninian Beall, was one of the original 18 land patentees of the capital area. There’s a monument in their honor in the Washington Mall. I’m happy you wrote of that book…I’m going to read it. Washington D.C. is one fascinating, beautiful city and how could one ever see everything? I think not. Wonderful writing and thanks.

    Like

  6. Sorryless says:

    History Girl,

    The Vietnam Wall was so sad. I remember taking my kids there when they were much younger. My daughter was five. She asked what all the names on the wall meant and I told her. She replied “Too much died,”. I still tear up when I remember that moment.

    We visited just about every spot and ate very well. My kids were good with eating every kind of food which was great, because we weren’t gonna do fast food.

    Liked by 1 person

    • My favorite place is Old Ebbetts. To sit at their fish bar till I grow gills. I’m disappointed this piece didn’t do well. No one cares about their history it seems. Makes me sad. I appreciate you reading it.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Sorryless says:

        A place I didn’t venture into!
        It took me a moment to understand what you were saying, because I was like “This piece did SO well!”.
        You write so beautifully, with a perfect sprinkling of snark thrown into the mix. Go Zen with your posts. Because the writing, that’s the thing. The whole thing. 🙂

        I appreciate you writing it. Always.

        Liked by 1 person

      • That’s so kind. Thanks. It’s my favorite thing to write about. People I hope will embrace it but I missed this time. Could have been the title. It’s such a great little read. People hate his father. I remember sending it to a friend who refused to read it. It threw me. It was if William Buckley rivaled Hitler. Lighten up, I say. And learn about your nation’s past. It’s pretty damned impressive says the Thin Girl along with her pal Marc, AKA Sorryless Imma. 🇱🇷🇱🇷🇱🇷

        Liked by 1 person

      • Sorryless says:

        History Chica,

        I don’t get why people choose sides ALL the time. Forget enjoyment, forget learning something, forget expanding your horizons . . . grab the chalk and make a line. It’s such a sad and narrow mindset.

        High fives all around for embracing your wheelhouse. Love that.

        Your Pal,

        Sorryless Imma

        Like

      • That’s your full name from now on. Mr. Sorryless M. Imma. I can just see it stenciled in black on your door. 😉

        Liked by 1 person

      • Sorryless says:

        You are a troublemaker. In the very coolest kind of way, so there’s that. 🙂

        Like

      • It’s the Spanky in me. 🙃

        Liked by 1 person

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