We are back from a very varied eight-day trip, and darned happy about it as well. We went to Washington D.C. to see my oldest daughter graduate from Americorps NCCC last Thursday, and that was quite a production.
We sat just below the steps of the Lincoln Memorial, looking up at the great man and his many visitors through a haze of gnats as a small army of professional do-gooders saluted the graduates and their many accomplishments over the last ten months in an impressive and emotional, but seemingly endless, three-hour ceremony.
As I listenend to keynote speaker Dr. Patch Adams, the most professional do-gooder of them all, enthusiastically espouse his essentially communistic philosophy of One World of Universal Love and Tree-Hugging centered around a “love strategy” (very noble and convincing as a personal modus operandi, disastrous as political policy), forsaking any and all military action and virtually every other policy of the current administration, right down the street from that administration, I realized what an amazing and freewheeling country we live in.
Here was a very tall man dressed in billowing clothing of chaotic, conflicting colors and patterns, with a long gray-and-pink ponytail and walrus moustache, denigrating much of what the U.S. government stands for, to a crowd of young government employees, on the steps of one of our nation’s most revered monuments (on the very spot Forrest Gump addressed a massive anti-Vietnam War throng), as if it were the most natural thing in the world.
While I may feel Patch is amusing but full of it, his participation in such an “official” government event proves what an open society we have.
After a few days in the D.C. area visiting relatives we went down to the “high country” of North Carolina and had a grand time there – more on that later – and on the way back we drove perilously close to the West Virginia town where my wife spent five years of her childhood, which she discusses with no little insight here.
It was a great trip but it’s always good to be home.