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photogram: my 3rd post retirement roadtrip
Old 09-17-2007, 03:45 PM   #1
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photogram: my 3rd post retirement roadtrip

i'm getting better at this. my first major trip to the blue ridge mountains saw me dashing home after only 4 days. my 2nd trip to the smokies kept me away for 10, though i skipped a few days in charlotte and charleston.

this time i stayed on the road for 13 days. i think i traveled over 2000 miles. i'm getting better at this. my next weekend, 4-hour trip to tampa is gonna be a breeze. my packing still sucks, bringing everything from pillow to blender. will have to lighten up before i make it offshore.

after an overnight in fayetteville n.c., i got to my old home town in two days, sleeping that night just blocks away from my old house for the first time in 34 years.

the next day, while walking to see my old house with a bud who flew in from southern calif, we were pulled over by a local cop who cuffed me on the mayor's lawn.

there, ya see leonidas, i told you i wasn't anti-cop. even some of my friends are cops including that guy, my calif bud whose dad was police chief, the guy i stayed with who is a retired cop, another friend whose dad was with the fbi and a college bud who was also the police shop steward and used to take me out on night patrol. hard to imagine i was such a bad boy, huh? i'm not anti-establishment; i just see room for improvement.

meanwhile, back on the roadtrip. my 50th birthday party high school reunion was nothing short of marvelous. forty of us showed including me from florida, 2 guys from calif and one from new mexico. the dinner cruise went part ways around manhatten and then over to the statue of liberty. the food was very good. the drinks never stopped. nor did the laughing. seeing these people and remembering things i hadn't thought of in so many years made my brain feel like bubble wrap popping. like a memory stored inside a neuron which hadn't been activiated in years. like a dust cover removed and a brain cell expanding. wow, what a trip.

following that wonderfully warm welcome and great time i spent a day with family honoring the memory of my mom at her unveiling ceremony. so very sad. i miss her so much.

that night was another reunion party and the next day i met my father's first cousin for the first time in my life. he didn't know where my father is as the only family he knows is his own brother's. but he was able to give me some nice information on my grandfather which i'd never known because i only met grandfather twice in my life. after taking me to lunch, cousin gave me a tour of his very own new york tower and showed me some of our famous uncle's works as well as his own oscar and his brother's emmy. who are these people?

he also told me that because uncle had no will nor descendants, that if i wanted it, i'd be entitled to my share of 1/3 of a fabulous estate. but his brother, another very wealthy cousin, tried to pursue it for his children yet failed, so my chances of tracking it down with my limited resources would be about zero to none. oh well, nice to know someone or some organization is doing very well on our money.

after lunch i met a much loved cousin from my mom's side for dessert on madison avenue followed by walking her dog through central park. then i headed back to times square for dinner with an old family friend. our moms were best friends for 60 years and now we are dear friends for 50 years and so when we are together we represent 110 years of friendship. here is a view from her office. wow, what a view...

i've been on longest car trip i ever made, i've taken the ferry into the city, i'm hailing cabs, i've re-met 40 very old friends, i've made contact with my father's side of family for first time in my life, i've reburied my mom, i'm driving with the top down in tunnels under water and i'm high above times square. my head is spinning. what would you do? so i have lunch with my buddhist cousin in from hawaii, now in jersey for his mom's unveiling coincidentally on the very same day as mine. this guy is a breath of calm air and though i've only had the chance to meet with him a few times during life we always enjoy each other's company very much. he thinks i am farther along in my meditations than he but i know he is so much farther along than me in his understanding. what a great guy.

so i've got my breath back, i say my goodbyes and hit the road again. on my way to washington dc i stop to visit an old friend in phili. she's a nurse and extremely talented song writer, lyricist, singer, performer. he's a compassionate dr. house. they have a wonderful wood & glass house built on a creek that runs through a wooded acre. i was just stopping in for lunch but found myself there the next day as well. just the wind-down required.

my washington dc cousin showed me a great time there. even if you are a republican, how could you not love seeing this...

i visited for the first time a longtime favorite institution of mine, the library of congress. don't know by what criteria, but cousin tells me that this was the most expensive government building in washington dc. it is simply gorgeous.

this interior space is one of the most beautiful rooms i've ever seen...

on exhibit there was a tribute to bob hope. so of course i had to snap a shot of his wicker nose...

and just so you all know i was thinking about you all during my trip, here's a tribute to the early retirement forum

while in washington i had the honor of dining with our very own donheff, a very likeable guy. thanks so much for meeting with me. it was all too appropriate that during dinner we ran into his old boss. i don't believe in much, but i do believe in coincidence.

after washington i headed down to charleston where i biked around that beautiful town. i wasn't expecting such an extensive collection of historic buildings. very glad i finally made it there. unfortunately, sarah only checked her voice mail as i was bugging out of town. so just for the record, sarah, you still owe me a boat ride.
"off with their heads"~~dr. joseph-ignace guillotin

"life should begin with age and its privileges and accumulations, and end with youth and its capacity to splendidly enjoy such advantages."~~mark twain - letter to edward kimmitt 1901
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Old 09-17-2007, 04:01 PM   #2
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Cool trip. I can't believe I have never been to the library of congress, the building is amazing.

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Old 09-17-2007, 04:06 PM   #3
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All the pictures are great. Sounds like you truly had a wonderful trip. Thanks for sharing.
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Old 09-17-2007, 05:26 PM   #4
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LG4NB, very nice pics and stories. Thanks for sharing.

"As a general rule, the more dangerous or inappropriate a conversation, the more interesting it is."-Scott Adams
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Old 09-17-2007, 09:11 PM   #5
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Thanks for sharing - good inspiraton.
Sometimes death is not as tragic as not knowing how to live. This man knew how to live--and how to make others glad they were living. - Jack Benny at Nat King Cole's funeral
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Old 09-17-2007, 10:17 PM   #6
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Thanks for sharing. Cool pictures. And I have never made it to the Bureau of Printing and Engraving, even though I lived in Washington for 12 years.
Angels danced on the day that you were born.
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Old 09-18-2007, 05:57 AM   #7
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Now that I have met him I can state with out reservation that LG4NB is a good guy. Lots of interesting plans for travel coming up so we can look forward to more photograms.

The cousin Lazy was staying with lives about a half a mile from me so it was easy to get together. His cousin is quite a good artist - you should have snaped a shot of one of his stadium paintings Lazy.

It was funny seeing my old boss - he is pondering his third job since retiring from government and thinks he will work until he drops. Different strokes...

Stop by next time you are in town Lazy.
Every man is, or hopes to be, an Idler. -- Samuel Johnson
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Old 09-18-2007, 08:50 AM   #8
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pleasure to share. it was such a whirlwind trip that i had to write it down anyway just to sort it all out in my brain.

i didn't enter the engraving building, though i had time and really should have as there didn't seem to be much tourist activity then. but i could not resist taking a pic of that sign. money factory? how scary is that?

this trip, besides biking all around town and touring the fancy schmancy consulate area which i'd never seen before, took me inside the library of congress which i totally loved. all that marble work (shown above) ain't appliques ya know. that's a big ol' chunk of marble, so very skillfully cut and polished. i imagine it would be hard to find that level of craftsmanship existing today. you can tell, not just from the purely beaux arts style of the building, but especially in the details & their symbolism that this building was designed by an architect, not by a committee. it is a wonderful & fitting edifice to knowledge.

obviously designed by committee, the world war ii memorial is dull in comparison though i still found my way to enjoy it. i liked the plaques (done by a friend of my cousin) which show the story from home life to consciption to struggle to victory and death. i liked hearing the fountains which made me feel a sense of bombs falling in war. i did not like the so very large sub-monument to revisionism and to what i refer to as reagan-speak (pay no attention to what i do; reality is only what i say--yeah, right!) held evident directly in front of the wwii memorial where imprinted for all to read is the justification for its placement on the mall: some hogwash about washington representing the 18th century, lincoln the 19th and so this represents the 20th. while i appreciated sinking the momument into the mall so as not to take away from the visual expanse, i found that bit of nonsense to be the most distracting part of the entire exhibit.

my bike tour continued down the mall to the lincoln memorial which i always enjoy visiting. and of course jefferson, what an amazing man and what a great building that is.

i also made it to the native american museum for which i have mixed emotions. while i loved the building and most of the interior spaces, i had trouble with the exhibitions on the fourth floor. i'm not sure what the designer had in mind. perhaps it was done on purpose but it left me with a sense of incompleteness. in retrospect, perhaps that might have been fitting had i not started there and worked my way down.

it was a privilege to tour some of these places with my curator cousin who was able not just to guide me but to inform me with little tidbits from off the beaten trail. i loved this one: that when the shamans were brought in to bless the warehouse building which supports the native american museum, they found that moccasins of a lower tribe were stored in a drawer higher than those of a more significant tribe and so the entire warehouse had to be emptied and restored with that type of criteria in mind.

it struck me that those are the types of details lost in today's society. that is the type of sensitivity missed by committee. that is what would have been noticed and addressed by the designer of the library of congress. this is how times have changed.
"off with their heads"~~dr. joseph-ignace guillotin

"life should begin with age and its privileges and accumulations, and end with youth and its capacity to splendidly enjoy such advantages."~~mark twain - letter to edward kimmitt 1901
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