“Neither a man nor a crowd nor a nation can be trusted to act humanely or to think sanely under the influence of a great fear.” Bertrand Russell (1872-1970), English logician and philosopher
I feel I’m observing a lot of fear in our society at the present moment. It’s not that fear isn’t always showing up in our society, it’s when it seems to spread through crowds causing groups to act unreasonably that it stands out. Therefore I contemplate the above quote and then I choose to focus on the one below.
I believe love can spread just as easily as fear or hate, I choose to spread love today.
Twenty five years ago today I was on vacation in Key West. I was there with my roommate Scott and a good friend named Bobby. We were staying at Alexander’s Guest House on Fleming Street. I was in room number 2, a wonderful room on the front of the 1880s Victorian house that was Alexander’s.
That week we spent our days lounging in the sun, recovering from the night before, roaming the quaint streets, eating and shopping. At night we were always out on the town in and out of the numerous bars of Duval street. Every night ending up at The Copa, a converted 1920’s Art Deco movie palace that was now (1990) one of the hottest discos in the states.
At that time in my life I frequented Key West. All through the late 1980’s I made the trek to Key West about 4 times per year. So much so the doorman at The Copa asked me if I had a place there. The Copa was a special place for me. In my world I made it the disco that I had fantasized about in the late 1970’s that I was too young to experience. As the seasons changed The Copa did as well. There was always a new theme, new dance hit premiers, guest DJs, guest performers, as well as never ending loops of porn at the balcony bar. Yes the movie palace had a balcony which was now a place to catch a moment away and watch the dance floor below.
Yes I was Lola from Barry Manilow’s “Copacabana”. Twenty five years ago tonight I did not know that Rico was about to enter my life. The difference between Lola and I is that my Rico wasn’t killed, and I’m not still on that barstool with faded feathers in my hair and unfortunately The Copa burned to the ground a few years later.
On that Saturday Night 25 years ago, with my traveling companions Scott & Bobby in tow, we made our way into The Copa probably around our usual 11:30 pm as the crescendo was building. Somewhere after midnight with the energy building the whole place went black and silent. Unusual for this club. Suddenly, with the first thump of a song, cobalt blue pin spotlights hit dancers on the boxes, bars and old stage. This unfamiliar tune that was pumping through the speakers into our bones was entrancing. The dancers started to move, but they were posing not actually dancing. Then the video hit the big screen, yes it may have had a dance floor but it was a movie theatre before and the big screen was still there. It was the premier of Madonna’s Vogue. The freaking place exploded.
We danced the night away, drank more than our fair share and each found a gentleman to take back to our rooms to “keep us warm”. After all the next day was Sunday, we were in Key West on vacation, we were in our twenties, gay, single and we didn’t have to do anything until time for Tea Dance the next afternoon.
Sunday came. I can’t tell you much about the day other than I’m sure we shared our stories from the night before and raved about the experience of Madonna’s Vogue premier. Sunday afternoon we made our way to La Te Da ( La Terazza De Marti’) for afternoon Tea Dance, a Key West must. From there we would go to Tea By The Sea at Atlantic Shores and onto Duval Street and The Copa for yet another night of three single guys on vacation debauchery. Little did I know my world was about to change.
I drifted away from Scott and Bobby at Tea Dance. I wanted quiet to think. I made my way to the top of La Te Da. A widows walk about four stories up. A small observation deck where you could watch the dance floor below. I chose to look out the other side, over Key West Victorian rooftops to the Sea. I became calm. I made a decision. I decided that I didn’t need another man, a relationship to make me whole. I let go of the pain from the break up six months before. I made peace. I decided that my own happiness and security was up to me, not someone else. I felt calm.
At that very moment that I made peace within me I heard a voice from beside me say hello. I had no way of knowing that the face I was about to look into was my soul mates face. I had no way of knowing that when I turned to respond that I would soon be moving 3000 miles to live with that man. I had no way of knowing that I would fall in love with him, I just turned said hello and a conversation started.
Today that man is my better half, my legal husband. Legal husband? In 1990 that was not even a fantasy. We have a home, six dogs, a wonderful family on both sides that loves us and supports us. We have careers, retirement plans, investment properties and most of all we love each other, care for each other, support each other and we laugh… A lot.
Happy Anniversary babe! I’m so glad you said hello.
What a wonderful trip.
We averaged about 7 miles of walking each day, not bad for a bum knee! We saw some amazing art, monuments, quotes, sights, views, places and homes. We ate great food. We absorbed history. We read, walked, observed, absorbed, learned and appreciated. We rooted for a baseball team in their new stadium that ain’t the Padres. We enjoyed friends. We laughed with strangers and shared smiles with security guards.
Washington DC is a melting pot of culture. A place of many people, many backgrounds all converge in a city of the world like no other. A place where people respect, demonstrate, speak out, listen, debate, agree, disagree, learn and grow. It has politics, government, art, history, beauty, grime, love, crime, heroes and villains. Most of all Washinton DC is a place for all people.
We arrived home last night tired, full, happy and grateful. Our six darling pups greeted us with love, love and more love. Our wonderful bed swallowed our tired bodies into its comfortable soul and we slept.
I’ve always loved Renoir. I’ve seen a number of his painting throughout the years. Yesterday I went to the Phillips Collection here in DC to check out the current Man Ray exhibit. I had never been to the Philipps Collection and was unfamiliar with it.
Ducan Phillips was the grandson of a Pittsburg Steel magnate. He opened the gallery in 1921. It’s located on a corner in the DuPont Circle area of DC in what was his family home, a 1897 Georgian revival house. The museum has expanded over the years into several annexes both before and after his death in 1966. It has quite a nice collection of European and American impressionists as well as impressive modern art. It’s quite a nice setting for this Man Ray exhibit. The Man Ray is an amazing look at his work and how he accomplished it. Highly reccomended.
Then I turn a corner and find this:
Which just happens to be one of my favorite Renoir paintings. I had never seen the original before, obviously, and was able to spend a good twenty minutes sitting in front of this beautiful work.
A satisfying day yesterday was as I ended the days excursions at Hillwood, the home of Marjorie Merriweather Post, well… one of her homes, which is now a museum of her collections. She was the heiress to what we know as Post cereals or General Foods. It’s an amazing oasis and all I can say is Fearsome was quite taken with the place and the Tulips. Put this on your list as well for your next Washington DC visit.
No doubt that Franklin Roosevelt left a legacy. In my opinion, a good legacy. Three terms through one of the roughest periods in our history.
The Roosevelt monument moved me. A beautiful place full of inspirations ever reminding us that we are a community that must care for all in the community.
A few quotes that I wish to remember, I share.
“The only thing we have to fear, is fear itself” ….. Franklin D. Roosevelt
It takes a lot to run a country. A lot.
Washington DC is an amazing place. Fifty states, numerous territories, 300 plus million people all rely on a cohesive central government that then has to maintain some sort of relation with all the other countries and people who inhabit this planet. It’s a government that is in constant transition and evolution. House representatives can change every two years, the Senate every six, justices until they retire and presidents every four. Each member has numerous staff and each administration thousands. All of these people working for those elected are only here for the terms of their official. They don’t get hired out of college to stay until retirement. Think about that one. Change, it’s how our founding fathers designed it.
Yesterday I saw this quote in the Jefferson memorial, inspirational it is:
Checks and balances can be frustrating and slow yet they help us evolve. Progress is not always a straight line to the best result but with debate and work we can get there. A couple of days ago I was reading about an election in a city near my own where a winner was finally declared. The winner won by two votes. Two. Every one of us has a vote, everyone of our votes counts.
The people of this city live with change, are taxed without representation, work hard long hours and serve a nation and a planet. I am thankful for the people of this city. I am thankful to those who transition through to make our government work as well as thankful to those who make this city their permanent home to support our ever evolving heart. The heart, the soul of our progressing, not perfect but progressing, civilization.
Fearsome himself and a special blogger bud are beards of the day as Fearsome is in our nations capital on holiday.
That I love my San Diego.
I noticed this sign for the first time about 6 months ago. I had read somewhere that our airport had done this even before then. Yesterday on my way out of town I saw it again and had to snap a photo.
and just watch this…