Friday, July 20, 2018

Wade in the Water

The title today is a Negro Spiritual that we learned about at the International Civil Rights Center &  Museum in Greensboro, NC.

Our first stop today was Furnitureland, a mega, mega store with more furniture than I could have ever imagined. Also the world's largest chest of drawers.

Luckily, our consultant guided us through several floors and many galleries so we saw all the modern leather couches. An amazing place and we found two couches that we like and now have to make a decision. We headed to Jamestown to a recommended restaurant called Southern Roots. A cute place with scrumptious food. So many choices for me on the menu. I decided on a small quiche with two sides. It was a tough decision and I ended up with a Vidalia onion pie and eggplant fries. Both were amazing and my taste buds are still happy. Jeff had meatloaf and enjoyed it.

Then we drove another 15 minutes to Greensboro, NC. This small town made lots of civil rights history. It was the site of the famous sit in at Woolworth's lunch counter. The civil rights museum is located in the Woolworth building and we saw the actual lunch counter with original dishes, cutlery, signage and everything else. We took a guided tour with LT, who is an amazing lady. She speaks beautifully and with passion and also sings and acts out some of the information. Lots of visuals. Videos, photos, signs and things like old Coke machines tell the story surrounding the lunch counter sit in which lasted all summer and ended in the desegregation which spread nationwide.

Sadly, no photography was allowed inside, but we will not forget what we saw and learned today about courage and doing the right thing. The focus of the museum is the actions taken in the 60's including the freedom riders and college students helping to register voters. Also information about the KKK, lynchings and other horrid things that occurred. As luck would have it we had a group of 1963 Dudley High School alums in our group who had grown up here in Greensboro and knew many of the students involved in the sit ins and also adults who helped shape the community. They enriched our experience with their own stories and memories.

We learned about the song Wade in the Water as it started out sung by slaves as a code to teach how to escape and later was sung in churches. Finally it became part of the protests. Outside we could see the Woolworth sign still on the building and a small bronze statue commemorating the events that happened there.

The four college freshman who changed history by their courage to sit down and ask to be served.

Thursday, July 19, 2018

Oh How I Hate to Get Up in the Morning

We are not used to getting up early, but! Got up at 7:00, dressed, packed and set out across the Potomac. Luckily the traffic was heading into the city and we were heading to Virginia to visit nephew Larry, wife Laura and to meet their daughter Alida. This little girl is 16 months old and this is our first time meeting. She is so sweet, but did not want me to hold her. So we played and Larry held her and this arrangement worked out fine.

After a short visit we headed south and then west into North Carolina. We arrived in Archdale around 4:00. Resting now as we have a big day tomorrow as we go furniture shopping at Furnitureland in High Point. This is a huge store and we have an appointment with a consultant and it should take hours to see all the couches and chairs. Need to take nourishment and rest for our big day.

Wednesday, July 18, 2018

Lift Every Voice And Sing...

Road trip to Washington, D.C. to visit Brian and Rori. Special incentive is seeing the musical Hamilton at the Kennedy Center.

We left Bluffton before noon on Monday and drove to Emporia, Virginia. In the morning we continued the drive to Washington and managed to avoid all rush hour traffic. We arrived at Brian's new building and settled in. We had lunch at a small grocery and then Brian and I walked to the National Portrait Gallery. This license plate art was in the entry hall and we saw this gallery sign. The Osher family sponsors our local senior adult learning center at USCB.

It was exciting to see the portraits of Michelle and Barack Obama. Both are stunning and we also saw some other exhibits of contemporary and military figures.

LL Cool J

This life size scene cracked me up!

When we tried to leave we were caught in a fierce thunderstorm. Luckily Brian had an umbrella, but we got soaked anyway. We ducked into a Starbucks and then got an Uber to take us home.

After a nap the sun came out and it was time to go to dinner in Foggy Bottom and then take a shuttle to Kennedy Center. It was exciting to see this iconic theatre and we had to go through a metal detector wanding to gain entry to the auditorium. The show is incredible and the music is rap, Broadway and ballads. Performances were wonderful. The words are exceptional. In short, fantastic!

During intermission we tried to contact our friend Michael who is the dance coordinator for the tour. Jeff sent his business card backstage and Michael texted us to come to the stage door after the show. We found Michael and were so glad to see him after many years. We got a tour of the backstage and met some of the cast members.

Then we went onstage and took some photos.

A perfect ending to the evening. Afterwards we took an Uber with Michael and he stopped in to say hello to Brian.

Woke up on Wednesday to a sunny, beautiful day. Around 11:00 we walked to a coffee shop and met Michael along with his wife, Liz  and their two year old daughter, Evelyn. What a cutie she is and so verbal. We loved meeting this little girl who is the granddaughter of our dear friends.

Jeff, Brian and I headed to the Mall to visit the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture. This museum is about a year old and very popular. We were lucky to get in without advance passes. The odd shaped building has a metal mesh outside. Inside the exhibits were arranged on three floors below ground. starting with slavery and continuing through the Civil War and finally into the 60’s, 70’s, and ending with icons like Oprah and the first black president Barack Obama. Lots to see here and very educational. A must see museum.

Sadly, our Lowcountry was featured in several displays and pictures.

The words to Lift Every Voice were displayed on a wall.

Words from President Obama.

Afterwards we took a walk to the White House and viewed it from the South lawn and then from Pennsylvania Avenue.

We Ubered home and rested before dinner. Rori got home from work and we went to the Unconventional Diner. This upscale diner has eclectic food and delicious. We started with an appetizer of roasted kale nachos. Can't really explain, but loved eating this dish. I had a lentil stew with Lebaneh,  a Lebanese yogurt, falafel and fried onions. Later we walked to the City Center and had sorbet and gelato. Now we are watching TV and leaving in the morning.