Monday, January 19, 2009

Live from the District of Columbia - Day Two

I took a drive around Washington early this morning, before a lot of people realized it was actually already this morning. I visited the two cemeteries I had wanted to see, on the southeast and north sides of town along with a number of other sites throughout the city. By 9:30 am I had returned to my base and picked up my two fellow travellers for our trip down to Capitol Hill. The three of us visited our congressman's office, seeing old friends, and enjoying some pleasant conversation. Congressman Yarmuth wasn't there but most, if not all, of his staff was. While waiting in line to get into the building, Kentucky's new Second District congressman passed by, Brett Guthrie, a Republican from Bowling Green. His district includes twelve precincts in southern Jefferson County, including the one I was in raised off South Park Road. Congressman Guthrie was very gracious despite our being three self-identified liberals from Louisville. He asked if we had tickets (we did) and offered some if we didn't. He also invited us to his office. Congressman Guthrie had the unfortunate distinction of being the lowest draw for new offices for the incoming freshmen. His office is on an interior wall of the Cannon Building, up on the 5th floor, about as far away from the House of Representatives as one can be. He has taken it all in stride. Before leaving the Cannon building, we made our way up to Congressman Guthrie's office. His staff included two very knowledgeable and helpful folks, one who formerly worked for former Congressman Ron Lewis, and another formerly of Senator McConnell's office. They offered coffee, cookies, some tourist advice, and took pictures for us in his office. Jessie's parents and my parents are all residents of Congressman Guthrie's district. I know I will disagree with much of Congressman Guthrie's votes, but the visit to his office and discussions with him outside the building proved him to be a true southern gentleman. He will likely hold that seat for many years. Before leaving the congressional office buildings, we found Congressman Ron Paul's office as well as Congressman Ben Chandler's. No one was in either which was unfortunate. In a previous worklife, I worked as a paralegal to Congressman Chandler's present chief-of-staff and I would have liked to have seen my former boss and friend. Tonight's plans include a reception in honor of Muhammad Ali and other events taking place at our hotel, the Marriott Wardman Park. Later tonight we'll meet back up with some friends from Congressman Yarmuth's office and no doubt raise a toast to the last day of the Bush Administration, and then another of hope for the future, plans for prosperity, and best wishes for our new president, Barack Obama.

I have to admit I have pretty been choked up all day, and may have shed a few tears here and there. The whole visit has been very emotional.

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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.