In the summer of 61, my father decided that we were going to take a real vacation. We had a 1959 Rambler. This beauty could travel and serve as our hotel. You see the seats reclined, so you could sleep in it. Dad had it all figured out. We would park the car in a lot which faced the Jefferson Memorial, which was across the Potomac River. He got a City map and from our new location, he plotted where we could go. First stop, Washington’s Monument. That was an easy jaunt. We rode the elevator up to the top and Dad checked coordinates from looking out from the top of the Monument. We also rode down on the elevator. I know, some like to walk up the steps, but we had miles to travel. Next stop, we visited our Senator from Ohio. Who was speaking on the floor of the Senate.
Kenny you lived in public housing at Waverly. But when the A plant almost shut down, all of those houses stood empty. Folks, these were pre-fab houses. A concrete slab was poured, tile was put down, and a two story house was erected. There was a furnace, an attic,and upstairs there was one large sleeping area, and down stairs were two bedrooms., There was a kitchen, and a dining area. The concrete slab could get colder than a ditch digger’s rear in the Winter. I lived in one for about three or four months after Dad lost his job at Waverly. On the whole, these were not bad houses. But with the loss of workers, the need for these houses no longer existed.
I heard my Senator talk about selling these houses, and moving them out. I don’t recall where they went, but today there is no Waverly Estates as they were once called. As Walter Cronkite used to say;” You were there.”
The thing I recall most vividly was the man who greeted us at the Capital. He could tell by our accents where we were from. He showed us around, took us on an underground trolley between the Senate and the House of Representatives. underground I saw all sorts of shops. It was a city all by itself.
The next stop was the Smithsonian. This place is huge. I saw the Hope Diamond, I saw Limburg’s plane, all kinds of rockets. You could spend a year there and not see it all.
It was getting dark, and we had to head for home, the car actually. Sis was so tired. I heard her mumble; “I don’t want to see another monument, statue, or anything more. She was Washingtoned out. I agreed with her. We were all beat. So Dad hailed a taxi.
The driver said;” Mister, I have seen you guys walking all over this town. I’m off in ten minutes, and I will take you wherever you are going.” Talk about angels. I am reminded of Scripture that says; ” Be kind to strangers for they could be angels . ” Well, it couold work the other way round too.