Friday, October 31, 2008

Glen Echo: summer and other memories (repost)

I was Sir E's guest at a lovely summer wedding. This is a reposting from my "unedited" (private I'm thee only reader not ready for prime time) journal. Except the daggone photo isn't working.

On a dentzel carousel horse ride at Glen Echo at a wedding the end of June. Naturally as the ride ended, and E got off of his horse to come by me for the photo, my horse went up and up and up again. That's why he looks so much shorter on here. I'd like to photoshop this or something and move him up beside me more in the photo.

My father used to go to Glen Echo Amusement park often as a youth, even integrating the crystal pool (swimming pool) when he covered briefly for his friend who had to step away from taking tickets or whatever. (It was not allowed at that time, but was later.) Dad would take my brother and me there when we were children. The place has been renovated over time, and by the time my daughter, M, was little, we'd take her there, the playground and theatre and artists yurts. Then I'd take her. We saw Cinderella puppet plays repeatedly; she took calligraphy camp; we'd play in and alongside the creek. It felt really fitting to be there at this wedding as E's guest, waltzing with him (in the bumper car pavilion, as contra dancing was going on in the renovated Spanish ballroom), and then riding one of the few remaining original dentzel carousels, THIS carousel, Dad's carousel, with the player piano music and repainted ceilings and animals. On my brother Doug's birthday, albeit he never did respond to my birthday card I'd sent him, with notes. Oh, plus this picture turned out, so good (i.e., we both look good, I like how my outfit of pink and silverish turned out). And E liked my pink flirty shoes I actually waltzed in before I changed shoes for more Irish dancing, the lovely bride being a musician in the Irish dance world, it was FANTASTIC music). lol.


They're gone.

Maybe it happened at noon, Eastern (U.S.) time. I don't know.

After midnight, I checked; my AOL journal was still there. As if I was staying up late with a friend you know isn't going to make it the next 24 hours (except, to be honest, I'd MUCH rather have this go, than an actual friend / family member, et al, and there isn't anywhere near the same emotional angst and all that; I still find that somewhat analogous, kay).

I checked this a.m. -- normal. Some comfort in that, some "when will the foot drop?" Now, it has. (Tune in the dirge; I recommend Laura Byrne Egan's air entitled "Och nan Och.")

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Billy may never come "home," after all (we'll stay waiting and hoping)

My mother and my aunt Vesta spent a few days in D.C. last week, for a conference where they spent time learning a lot about those who served and died in the Korean War. As Vesta came down from Maine, where my mother and her family are from, her plane fare was paid for.

That first night, my daughter M, boyfriend E, and I joined Vesta and Mom for dinner and socializing. Interestingly, the Cafe Italia was only a few streets away from my late (paternal) grandmother's house in Arlington. If I can figure out how, I may add a photo later. We went to the upper tower of their hotel to view the D.C. skyline before we left.

The next day, their conference settled in for business, including a meeting just with Mom and Vesta on Billy's case. Previously, Mom (and her two surviving siblings, both sisters), provided DNA samples, per request, in hopes of making a match with his remains. My mother said that the overall conference was a lot of information to take in, a lot of good information, just a lot to absorb.

I *think* I have this info correct, from information she relayed last Sunday:

My late Uncle Billy, aka, William Edward Douglas (he listed himself, and his two youngest sisters i.e., Mom and Vesta, with the family name of Douglass), died as a teenaged POW in the Korean War in 1951. He was apparently in Camp 5. My mother said that there were 512 cemetaries in Camp 5. That's a LOT. That the U.S. Government has received 218 boxes. I'm not clear how large these boxes are, and they sounded as if they were not from the area where Billy had been. They do, however, contain many body parts. Jumbled together body parts. The DNA experts could take up to a year (or longer) to know more, having to piece together skeletons. A leg bone may or may not belong with a hip bone.

After all these years, it's encouraging to have any information, any hope. It also gets my mother talking a little bit more about him which has been so difficult over the years. Just, well, it's a slim hope.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

1 year

I don't know how many others remember that October 8th was the date we "observed" Columbus Day last year.  Beth and I did.  Maybe my brother Doug did; he actually called me but I just couldn't bear to answer.

It was late morning.  I'd seen him earlier, then helped at M's school for several hours.  I'd just missed him, it seems, albeit I'm told there was about a 95% chance of not surviving, anyway (and then, well, not exactly quality).

E took his two local grandboys and me tubing late summer.  I didn't connect until we were there that we were headed to Harper's Ferry, my father's favorite location of favorites.  Okay, I felt ready, and was glad I was sharing it with him, and even then.  Continuity of life, open up this part of the world, historically, geographically, etc., to new eyes.  Until I saw the postcard, the photo of Jefferson Rock.  It was in the small restaurant where we had a great lunch.  THAT rock, that's Jefferson Rock, and it's HERE?  One of my good memories was of Dad and I camping, and he'd taken photos of me with my then very long hair, at that rock.  I would recognize that rock anywhere, just didn't realize it was at Harper's Ferry.  After my moments, we toured some more, including to that rock.  Jefferson was correct that the view from there was worth the voyage over the Atlantic (paraphrasing).

I did talk "with" Dad this morning, as apparently did my aunt Beth, too.  He's still in his beautiful wooden box, on our table.  Maybe it's time for him to fly, be released......  maybe this 3-day weekend, fall and all.

I miss him.

update:  I did edit this to say October 8th, from October 7th.  Somehow it's letting me edit this NOW, but not previously.  It was nice to see E for about 10 minutes at lunchtime, him asking how my day was going, I looked forward to that.  It still is hard to NOT have my dad around.  And, now I know in advance the very very sweet thoughts and actions of Mary and Amelia, which I quite appreciate:)


Wednesday, October 1, 2008

a new year

A new year. 

A school year still new, with only just over a month into it.  With two new clubs (Equestrian Club which focuses too much on competition for M's strong interest as she likes to ride and train and be with horses for the fun of it, too, and Show Choir, which she had to audition for -- the dancing portion she choreographed while waiting in line to go in lol -- and she made it), and tons of students at a school so large, she got lost on the wrong floor by mistake even today (quickly figured out).  Meaning, also,

a new dance-school year, and new schedules and friends and such.

A Rosh Hashanah (sp).

Almost a year since my father's passing.

Which means not too much longer until a new year of my life, with a new season.  I love autumn, which is beginning with the mini red leaf on green grass, and tinges of yellow in the trees.  It always seems like the real start of a new year to me.  Maybe the Jewish are on to something here.

A new fiscal year.

A new half-year for E and me.  Hey, I can count half-years, too. :)  It's almost all good, and that's great.

Stocks market crash and attempt to rebound; AOL gives away it's journals.  Shaking my head.  (I can't even read blogger blogs from my main computer, so this isn't going to work so well for me.)  And yet while I stay both reflective and absorbed in the midst of my IRL life and M's and E's, and also having been sick for about a month I suppose, etc., I didn't wish AOL to think this journal of mine was inactive so I had to post SOMETHING!  I may as well not try to post an image, eh?  AOL photos is going away, too.

A new year.