Dirty in DC – Day 131

Day 131 — August 9, 2003 — Saturday

Dirty in DC

If you don’t appreciate that we are at war with terrorists, all you need to do is spend five minutes in Washington, DC. It was sad to see police cars and barricades everywhere — clearly there because of terrorists.

I spent another day in DC today. The weekends are a MUCH better time to see the sights in DC as all the government folks are nowhere around. I saw a lot.

When I left the hotel, I went searching for a tourist information office. I finally found one, and I picked up a bunch of brochures. I spoke with a woman there who was not particularly nice or helpful, but she did tell me about a roadtrip book that she had read.

I drove by the Pentagon again. Lots of police cars.

I enjoyed the Smithsonian 40 years ago. I didn’t have time today, but Bozzie Jane and I will be back to see it in detail in a few months. I did spend some time at the National Gallery of Art. I especially enjoyed their sculpture garden. I discovered the World’s Largest Typewriter Eraser there.

A Confederate Drum and Bugle Corps was playing outside the National Museum of American History.

The buildings in Washington, DC are impressive. The Environmental Protection Agency has one of the most impressive buildings while the Department of State has one of the least impressive. Perhaps they should flipflop. I would think we need to impress folks more when they come to visit the Department of State. The Bureau of Engraving & Printing is also very impressive. Perhaps we could move those printing presses to a suburban location and give that building to either the Department of State or the Department of Homeland Security. The hot dogs served by the Smithsonian Hot Dog Cart were excellent!

I enjoyed the FDR Memorial. He was elected to four terms. Thank heavens we didn’t allow that when President Clinton was in office. I might have moved to another country rather than endure that embarrassment for another term. The FDR Memorial is divided into four areas — one for each term. It was especially interesting to see that the original memorial did not show President Roosevelt in his wheelchair. A sculpture showing him in his wheelchair was added after the memorial opened and folks expressed their chagrin over the glaring omission. The Jefferson Memorial is very impressive. The Korean War Memorial was very effective — shows a platoon of soldiers walking across a field. The Lincoln Memorial is very impressive, and it seems to be the most popular. I’m glad some folks were taking a picture of the spot where Reverend Martin Luther King stood when he gave his “I Have a Dream” speech as I might have missed it.

I saw the Vietnam War Memorial when I visited DC on business 18 years ago. It’s definitely different. Just a big long black granite wall with the names of the dead inscribed. There is a sculpture of three soldiers looking toward the wall. A lot of people were tracing the names of friends or loved ones off the wall. Nearby is a memorial to Vietnam Women. It shows two female medical personnel caring for a wounded soldier.

The Vietnam Women’s Memorial sculpture was done by Glenna Goodacre. Glenna was the wife of Bill Goodacre and is the mother of Jill Goodacre. Jill is a famous Victoria’s Secret model who is married to singer and actor Harry Connick, Jr. Bill Goodacre was my financial partner in one of my student enterprises at Texas Tech University in Lubbock, Texas. I’m not sure if I ever met Glenna. Jill was born after I graduated and moved away from Lubbock. Glenna is an incredibly talented sculptor, and I definitely wanted to see this memorial while in Washington.

A new memorial was under construction — World War II. There was also construction underway on the National Museum of the American Indian.

I was surprised that Washington DC was as dirty as it was. I would say that DC would rank right underneath Detroit in terms of dirty. There was trash everywhere — trash that people had thrown on the ground. I did not see anyone cleaning, emptying trash barrels, or anything and I covered a lot of ground. We need to fix this. Maybe we need to put the people at Disney World in charge of trash in Washington DC, and then it would be as pretty as the way the Canadians keep things at our borders.

I left the Washington DC area a little after 5 pm. Boz and I are planning to come back to Washington, DC for a more in-depth tour in October.

I stopped in Williamsburg at 7:30 pm, but the hotel rates were so high that I decided to drive on. I met Pam at a hotel while I was trying to find a room. Her hotel was full, but she was especially nice and helpful. A little further down the road in Yorktown, Virginia at a Marriott Courtyard, Brandon, and Glynis didn’t have a room, but they somehow made one available for me.

My thought for the day is that we need to clean up Washington DC — physically. There should be cleaning crews on duty at all times keeping the tourist areas clean and attractive. Our founding fathers designed and built the buildings in Washington DC so visiting dignitaries would be extremely impressed. They would be ashamed to see the trash on the ground and how less than impressive the popular areas are as a result.

The Daily Journal of Round America:

Each day, we collect our thoughts on a web page just like this. We drop in some of the photos from the day. Our goal with the Daily Journal is to write about the towns we visit, the sights we see, the people we meet, and the pie we eat. We write about where we are, where we’ve been, and where we are going, but we also make observations about what we’ve seen and done as well as about life in general.

You can follow our travels from the Daily Journal section of this web site. Other pages of interest include the running report of “vital statistics” on the Trip Scorecard, our nominations for the Best & Worst of the trip, as well as a rating of the pie we eat. If you’d like to see information for a specific state or town, click here, and then click on the state of interest and the full itinerary is shown.


More Information on the Sights Visited Today:Washington DC — Smithsonian — National Gallery of Art — World’s Largest Typewriter Eraser — National Museum of American History — Environmental Protection Agency — Department of State — FDR Memorial — Jefferson Memorial — Korean War Memorial — Vietnam War Memorial — Vietnam Women’s Memorial — World War II Memorial