By Tommy Obert, 5th Grade
Dateline: Alexandria, Minnesota, April 11, 2011
This is Washington, D.C. Our nation’s capital. I lived and worked here for 30 years. I was a bureaucrat. I never wore a badge. But I did wear a photo ID. My name is Obert.
[The Department of Labor, to which I matriculated when it was a brand new building in 1975.]
Before we go any further, I feel an obligation to give you a feel for our host’s place. I met Roel Alexis Gorena in Okinawa in the early ‘70’s when we were in the Army. Strangely, we also both ended up employed by the U.S. Department of Labor in D.C. Roy got there first and bought this lovely Cape Cod in South Arlington over 30 years ago. He transformed the place into a mini-museum, and added a “California” addition to the back of the house overlooking his Japanese garden. Over the years, Roy’s interior has reflected a décor from Japanese to Old Europe to ultimately a combination of both. He retired while we were there – after 40+ years of federal service – and has aspirations of moving to Hawaii. In anticipation of such, he has stocked his house with 15 telescopes for viewing the Hawaiian sky:
[Roy’s Japanese garden and art museum.]
[Roy’s last day of work.]
I forwarded the following e-mail while in D.C. (no point in reinventing the wheel): Yup, we’re still freezing here in Washington, D.C. I’ve always found 40-ish, damp, gray, windy weather to be the most uncomfortable. We went to an REI store the other day so Ruthie could buy some winter clothes – we discovered we’re still in the their computer as members since 1997, so she got a 20% discount! . . .
[First day brunch with family friend, Betsy Greer, a great fan of the AGC.]
[It was Cherry Blossom time. Years of experience led us to a favorite parking spot on the oval by the Tidal Basin where I played softball for more years than I care to remember. (Editor’s note: We ignored the “prohibition” sign. It’s softball, for Pete’s sake! Every team always had a cooler of beer.) It’s seems appropriate to this photo that we just returned from a spaghetti dinner fundraiser for the girls high school softball team – they must abide by the “prohibition” sign. Oh, the supervisor had two plates of spaghetti – under the guise that women attendees were given smaller initial portions!]
[Jefferson Memorial – on the far side of the oval from Field 3 and across the Tidal Basin.]
And now for an incredible potpourri of photos from the Cherry Blossoms around the Tidal Basin and the FDR Memorial. Ruthie & I would ride our bikes down for this on an annual basis when we lived there. You will note, however, the camera was crapping out with a black fuzzy ball on the right side of the photos – something that had been “repaired” before, about a year and a half ago:
[to be continued . . .]