Wednesday, November 19, 2008

415. Do I really want to be in the middle of 4,000,000 people outside in January?

Me and three friends, two females and a male, are planning a road trip to Washington DC - in January - specifically on the 20th. All of us are political, all of us are politically engaged, and we all want to be a part of history, to use a well-used cliche.

So off we will leave on Sunday or Monday in a car. It's basically a ten hour drive from here along the Left Bank of the Ohio River near Milepost 606 to there along the Left Bank of the Potomac River right at Milepost 96. Hopefully we won't encounter any snow along the way in West Virginia or the Marylanbd panhandle.

Once there, we'll make our way to our lodgings, which as of yet are not wholly determined, although we have a few good leads. What to do with the car will be a problem, as many roads in and out of the city will be closed off. The DC area is bracing for a four-million-person invasion, four times the amount of any previous inaugural - this in addition to the nearly 600,000 people who live in the District itself, many of whom will likely turn out in this historic event.

Now, more than a few people know that I tend to be claustrophobic, whether a room is big or small. At meetings and others places, I tend to stand in the back, close to an exit. At church, I sit two pews from the back on the left. The church has two doors back there, one in the middle and one on the left. Where it is I'll be standing amidst these 4,000,000 plus souls is something I haven't determined.

It might be on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial, pretty far removed from where the 44th President of the United States of America will take the Oath of Office. Or, I might cross over to the eastern side of the Capitol, in the Capitol Hill section of town out toward Lincoln Park. Or maybe on top of one of the vaults in the Old Congressional Cemetery, over at 18th and E streets, SE, one of my favorite places and far removed from everything where I can imagine John Philip Sousa leading a march playing the Stars and Stripes Forever. Sousa is buried in the cemetery, as are some other interesting folks from American history, including Matthew Brady, J. Edgar Hoover, and Vice President Elbridge Gerry, who gave us the political word "gerrymander."

Wherever I am, it will be cold and I will be content that I did my part in helping to write another page in the annals of American history.

1 comment:

hbelkins said...

Jeff, it's your friendly Kentucky conservative road nut here. You're concerned about driving through the Maryland panhandle during winter? A few years ago I had to drive to DC in January for business and encountered snow there. You can bypass the snow via a route that is only about 10 miles longer, but costs $3.75 in tolls, by taking the WV Turnpike south from Charleston and then I-64 across to Lexington, VA, then I-81 north to I-66. Dumps you right out on Constitution Avenue when you cross the Potomac. You'll be less likely to hit snow than in the Maryland panhandle because the elevation at which you cross the mountains is lower and further south.

The Archives at Milepost 606


Louisville, Kentucky, United States
Never married, liberal Democrat, born in 1960, opinionated but generally pleasant, member of the Episcopal Church. Graduate of Prestonia Elementary, Durrett High, and Spalding University; the first two now-closed Jefferson County Public Schools, the latter a very small liberal arts college in downtown Louisville affiliated with the Roman Catholic Sisters of Charity of Nazareth. My vocation and avocation is politics. My favorite pastime is driving the backroads of Kentucky and southern Indiana, visiting small towns, political hangouts, courthouses, churches, and cemeteries. You are welcome to ride with me sometime.