A quick recap for those just joining us:
- My family and I have driven more than 700 miles to our nation’s capitol from Chicago.
- We have waited more than an hour just to board a Metro train to DC.
- We have ridden the train with a rowdy bunch of pussy hat wearing folks to downtown
- We have moved from the dark to the light – whereas we’ve left the underground Metro station to the bright overcast light of DC to join severals hundred thousand pink-clad warriors!
- We’ve needed to take a bathroom break
- Kids have had a meltdown – for different reasons
- I, a grown man, have had a meltdown
- We all made up
- We’ve got one kid who is dying to march while the other just wants lunch
- Cell phones are dying and my GoPro “movie” experiment has also died
Whew, I even gave you a couple details extra and free of charge!
Meanwhile, back at the march, I have been separated from my wife and kids. As a big fella, I was able to keep an eye on them despite being packed in like sardines. Here again, is what was so mind-blowing about the experience. Normally catching up to them would take an act of god or at least some bruises. But, in this crowd that was filled with respect and empathy, I quickly was allowed to sneak right up behind them at no time at all. Which turned out to be a good thing because the anxiety was bubbling up on my family’s faces. No lie, this rowdy crowd was as nice, as nice could be. I shouldn’t have been surprised. The crowd was made up of a few hundred thousand moms, sisters, hipsters, and others supporting a movement built on love and tolerance. There were no burning cars. No flying rocks. No confrontations with the police. Just a crowd excited to be walking together to make a point. Every few minutes a rolling cheer swept through the march. People just cheering because they were excited to make their voices heard. And, I mean cheers that could rival the loudest I’ve ever heard at the Madhouse on Madison. My daughter loved it! She’s a natural and I couldn’t help but smile thinking my mom was looking down on us marching. She used to talk about protesting in the 60’s all the time when I was growing up.
(embarrassed hand raise) Did I mention this was my first real protest? Yes, a child of super hippies from the 60’s had never stepped foot in a protest until the Women’s March in DC. In my defense, there wasn’t a lot of that going on in the 90’s when I was in college. And, I went to the University of Oregon, land of hippies! But hey, I’ve got my kids chalking up their first protests at ages 8 and 9! So, let’s focus on that…okay?
Back in the action…
We found ourselves marching North on 14th towards Constitution Ave which turned out to be a massive merging point for marchers converging from all directions. We followed along with a bulk of the rally crowd. But many had obviously split off and went straight to Constitution to march. That group poured in from the East. People late to the party (my guess) were coming South on 14th and plunged into the group heading North along with the group coming in East. Three groups, merging onto one street. To boot, there were food trucks on one of the corners of the intersection, so that was also garnering tons attention and confusion. And guess what? Not a cross word or fight in sight!
Needless to say, our attention turned to the food trucks since my son was in tears from the noise and hunger pains. Did I mention, we ate breakfast two hours before? But, I already lost that argument to both he and my wife, so I best avoid it now. Nevertheless, it turned out to be a great choice. We got a front row seat to the neverending pink, sign carrying, chanting army that poured passed us. But, aside from the view, we got the chance to make more friends in the food line. A line that would take more than 45 minutes to get through. In a scene straight out of “A Christmas Story,” I stepped into the middle of the line thinking it was the end, only to be shunned back another 40 feet or 30 people in line. I actually made that joke when I reached the end of the line, which is why a wonderful conversation sparked. I found myself, chatting with a young lady that was a Teacher/Chaperone on a class trip from Arizona. She was with a group of High Schoolers (yikes) and had been there since Thursday. While she was not impressed with the inauguration, nor the speech. She talked about how she had to “sell the trip” to some of the student’s parent. “It was history.” “The peaceful transition of power.” I’m pretty sure I would have been one of those parents need a pitch too. But that quickly transitioned into how horrible things had been for her since the election. Students had begun freely repeating some of Trump’s more ugly statements to their fellow students.
Yes, all his greatest hits were in there:
- Grab them by the….
- Build that wall chants at non-whites
- Deportation chants at non-whites
- Trump is going to get you…
- When Trump is president…
Their excuses? The president says it so why can’t I? Thanks DT…thanks!
I think this is as a good a time to break as any…
Next post, I’ll wrap up the march and then share my experience for when the pussy hats met up with the MAGA red hats at the Lincoln Memorial. Oh it was fun!
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Filed under: Me being Me