Many years ago I worked writing legislation. I was probably making about $16K a year back then and was rich enough to go to Europe once a year.
My roommate at the time, still a friend, got a job in our nation’s capital. I thought I was going to help her move in but she’d already done that and probably wanted me there to have someone familiar, as well as someone who’d lived nearby so had seen all the monuments.
The next day she brought me to my first huge farmers’ market. I was stunned. She bought a bunch of Maryland blue crabs and boiled them with Old Bay seasoning. The table was covered with butcher paper and we each had a mallet and I realized there’s really very little meat in a blue crab, but they’re delicious.
A few months later her brother and his wife, and another couple and I decided to drive to D.C. for the first national Martin Luther King federal holiday. I remember that day in 1986 as it was spent honoring the memory of Martin Luther King, Jr. and ended at an AME church singing songs and listening to Coretta Scott King talk about her husband and the movement.
After 1986, my father was on the board of a ski resort so some of the kids would go out and ski every year. Beware of a brother who says, “Nah, you don’t need lessons!” Now I live here and still don’t ski. Of course this year there’s no snow.
I will remember those D.C. trips for the rest of my life. Why? because I lived there for a few years, yes those awkward years, and was forced to go visit monuments and museums or Georgetown every weekend. It’s the farmers’ markets and celebrations of lives and movements that make me want to remember and go back someday.
This state may have named a block after MLK, I’ll have to check. But they waited many years to even acknowledge his existence. Over Thanksgiving en route to the airport we visited the site where JFK was shot and killed. The museum line might have made us late for our flight. Those were difficult days and years.
The first thing I remember in life is watching JFK’s funeral on TV with my mother. After that and picking berries and having our neighbors bombard us with black snakes and cherry bombs, I remember Walter Cronkite telling us the number of dead American soldiers in Vietnam, as we watched the news after dinner each night as Papa had bought us a color TV.
We, as a nation, have not concluded anything on race or sexual orientation. And now jobs are a thorn in the nation’s side that needs to be fixed as well.
Please, Congress and others, make smart decisions that put people back to work. Yes, I idealized legislators and lawyers until I found out I was being paid less than a quarter of what they were to do their jobs for them. Hello! Go do something that does make a difference.
Even if you don’t agree with my politics, agree that someone has to step up to the plate and stop the Fed from concealing billions to banks before TARP, and let us 99% get back to work and paying our mortgages. Best, Dee