Tag Archives: Washington D.C.

Happenings

Hoping all had a VERY MERRY CHRISTMAS and did not forget what and/or why the holiday is. It’s not for commercialization but for the religious beliefs that is meant. In fact, here we are just a few days after Christmas, New Year is not here yet, and Valentine stuff is already up. Now we are in the new year with new things that will occur (especially here in the USA). There are other worst things that are occurring in the world. Let us not forget good old Imperial Plaza have it’s problems also. Oh well..Life goes on.

Being retired means having fun so I’ll mention only a couple things that is happening at Imperial Plaza. Our head of food services is out although he just got here. I’ve talked about food services before therefore I won’t get into it again although my heart is pulling me to speak more on the subject. Alas, I will not, for now. Also, there are a lot of people that is crying about the rent going up but it is just a little bit. I know that being retired put most people on a fixed income but this is not unexpected. No matter where a person go, the rent takes a yearly rise. Not much but it will rise. There is a very old joke that mention “like age, rent goes up” and it does. And we have a new director for Imperial Plaza, Mr. Don Jones. I am patiently awaiting the good things that is promised to happen.

In Imperial Plaza’s weekly travels, this week we went to the Virginia State Capitol Building. I have been to the U.S. Capitol many, many times but not my own state’s. Why and how, you would ask. Easy. The word is “segregation”. As a kid I lived in Washington, D.C. and we used to play in the capitol building and go to many other places. It was not like it is now. The Virginia Capitol is beautiful, not because it has been through a recent renovation but it is. The first capitol was in Jamestown then it moved to Williamsburg and, at the beginning of the Revolutionary War it moved to Richmond.

I took many pictures and listened to the tour guide with fascination. Much of what was said bought back my teachings in school. When I started school, it was a requirement to take the course, Virginia History. This was a requirement all through elementary school. It would have been nice to come to the capitol, when I was in school, but two things were in the way to keep that from happening. First I lived in Petersburg and Richmond was twenty miles away with zero school buses and second, it was during segregation and that meant many places I could not go and that was one of them.

I’ll cut this short for now and go on to another pressing thing. Before I go I want to wish everyone a HAPPY NEW YEAR and want you to keep reading and please pass this on and on and on. I need followers and likes for encouragement to continue and, most of all, for the blog to grow. Suggestions for topics to write about would also be great. See ya and remember my saying…Be kind to your neighbors because you’ll never know when you’ll need them. Also, ensure your words are soft and sweet because you’ll never know when you’ll have to eat them. Bye, bye…

A Week of Delectation

I am still on cloud nine from all that I have seen, done and went through this week. In a nut shell, I interviewed the last graduating airman from the famed Tuskegee Airmen of Tuskegee, Ala. Myself and Len Rasmusen, with Len driving, went to northern Virginia to meet with (Ret.) Col. Carl Johnson. He was the last to graduate because before his class graduated he had a bout of appendicitis and was hospitalized. When he got out of the hospital, his class had graduated and he was all alone. He was thinking he would be sent home but, instead, he was allowed to finish his training and graduate as the Last Tuskegee Airman.

At 91, he is clear voiced, full of spirit and was eager to talk about his storied career as an Army Officer although he did time in the USAF and the Army National Guard. Through him, I found out about Tuskegee Airmen flying bombers, although it was after WWII. He also flew in Korea and Viet Nam and was posted at the Pentagon, among many other places. Len and I viewed a number of scrapbooks and saw pictures of many people of note, such as Gen. Chappie James as a lieutenant. We were told that he was good friends with Chappie James, because he was his co-pilot, and they remained friends for years.

I have it all recorded so I can refer to it as I write a longer, more precise, work for The MPP (The Mighty Pen Project), the Virginia War Memorial and self-gratification. I love history. Everything about history. I love to dig deeper as I ask the question, why? I don’t mind the research nor do I mind the inevitable self induced trance I fall into.

In the middle of the week Imperial Plaza took us to the new Afro-American Museum, officially entitled, Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture. After lunch in Washington, D.C., we traveled the very short distance to the museum, which was very crowded. A word of caution for anyone that is planning to go there. Go on-line and get tickets first but plan to wait a few months before the tickets will allow entrance. Getting tickets now will allow you entry in April or May although there is a line for people that arrive without a reservation but there is not a guarantee that you will get in that way, even if you wait all day.

There is no way you can view the entire museum in one day so I concentrated on the lower three floors (basement) of the eight floors. I quickly went through most of the displays, not spending too much time on any one thing. I had three hours and almost didn’t make it although three hours seem like a long time but when you are engrossed in the displays, time flies and there is so much.

The thing that bothered me most were not the displays but the kids. Most of the kids were either running through the place, playing with each other or mindlessly texting. The great majority were not interested and, I will make a bet, could not tell you about anything there. What a shame. What a waste.

In that section was a short display on the Tuskegee Airmen and, I noticed, one of the pictures on display was one that I took a photo of from Col. Johnson’s scrapbook. There, on display, is one of the planes that the Tuskegee Airmen flew (The Spirit Of Tuskegee) and a few other pictures. I wish the display had more but you take whatever there is to take. The photos of some of the grotesque hangings done to my people where very haunting to say the least. The display of an actual slave house really show how small they were for the number of people that lived in them, or should I say survived in them. That’s all there was then, survival any way you could.

That was my week and I am overjoyed to have lived it. Col. Johnson and the museum made my entire week and I’m happy for it. Imperial Plaza’s Activity Department get thumbs up for the work in getting tickets, getting us there and getting us back safely. Praises to Kayle, Ron and Jerome.

See you next blog. Don’t forget to check out my other blog, although it will automatically pop up on other sites (twitter, google, etc). The weekend is coming and my wife and I are off again. Our schedule is full and we have a lot of fun and adventures to catch up on. Bye-bye and remember…Be kind to your neighbors and ensure your words are soft and sweet.