How I Spent My Spring Vacation, Part VI

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 . . .]

About tomobert63

The Journey Begins Thanks for joining me! This is the follow-up to the original, “,” which overwhelmed the system’s ability to handle it any more. Thus, this is “Part 2.” As the original was initially described: 10-26-07-4 “It all began in a 5,000 watt radio station in Fresno, California” . . . wait a minute, that was Ted Baxter on the Mary Tyler Moore Show! Let’s see . . . oh yeah, it all began in 2003 when retirees, i.e., old people, in Alexandria, Minnesota, who had no desire to become snow birds, went looking for mid-winter entertainment here in the frozen tundra of West Central Minnesota. We discovered girls’ high school hockey, fell in love immediately, and it remains our favorite spectator sport to this day. Initially, and for several years, reports on these games were e-mailed to those who were actually snowbirds but wanted to keep abreast of things “back home.” It was ultimately decided a blog would be more efficient, and it evolved into a personal diary of many things that attracts tens of readers on occasion. It remains a source of personal mental therapy and has yet to elicit any lawsuits. ~ The Editor, May 9, 2014 p.s. The photo border around the blog is the Cardinal girls’ hockey team after just beating Breck for the state championship in 2008. It’s of the all-tournament team. The visible Breck player on the left is Milica McMillen, then an 8th-grader – she is now an All-American for the Gophers. The Roseau player in the stocking cap I believe is Mary Loken, who went on to play for UND; and the Cardinal player on the right, No. 3, is Abby Williams, the player we blame most for making us girls’ hockey fans who went on to play for Bemidji State. *********************************************************************************** Photos contained herein are available for personal use. All you have to do is double click on any of the photos and they will become full screen size. You can then save them into your personal “My Pictures” file. They make lovely parting or hostess gifts, or holiday gifts for such as Uncle Ernie who wants to see how his grand niece is doing on the hockey team. If any are sold for personal profit, however, to, for example, the Audubon Society, National Geographic, Sven’s Home Workshop Monthly, Curling By The Numbers, or the World Wrestling Federation, I only request that you make a donation to the charitable organization of your choice. You have two hours and fifteen minutes. Pencils ready? Begin! **********************************************************************************
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