Actually, it was on the East Coast, which sometimes feels like another galaxy even after almost 3 years here in California. Especially given the better mass transit systems back East. We took the bus, since the Metro didn’t yet exist, but the subway in DC has always been too expensive for most normal people. I’ve always been shocked at the level of segregation in the metro, as the prices got higher relative to bus fares, and you began to see a big difference in ridership between train and bus lines, between 2004 and 2017. Grandma Marie always took me on the bus everywhere, even to her church, Mt. Zion UMC, all the way over in Georgetown (which by the mid-1970’s was already gentrifying) from Regency House aka The Old Folks Home, on Connecticut Ave & Nebraska Ave, NW.
It’s also the end of Sukkot 5781, which again feels like another planet, growing up going to church, but now looking in from the periphery of a chosen religion, although honored to be asked to chant in public, still not always feeling at home, and feeling a bit guilty for missing the vibrancy of church music, once in a while. But I feel no guilt for missing my adoptive great grandmother, my idea of a Saint in the nation’s capital:
a Grandmother not of my blood, but certainly of my heart and soul…
Here is a snipett of thought that has since been corrected, as apparently My 2xs gr grandfather on that side was not quite the “crazy drunk Cherokee” that I recall hearing about:
Happy Past Experiences
Alot of my past is best left forgotten, but I am grateful to have had a Great Grandmother who adopted us (my mom’s mother died when grandma Laverne was 8) and looked after me when I was very small.
That was Grandma Marie. She always saved me The Mini Pages from the Washington Post and seeing her was always a peaceful and interesting time. She told me the story of my great great grandfather the crazy Cherokee Hayes Wheeler Mayo who went missing for three days when the Maine blew up. The Navy apparently thought he was dead until he turned up drunk with some interesting and apparently inplausible excuse that Grandma Marie seemed to think was characteristically colorful and odd. She also mentioned my taking somewhat after him, being a ‘rambunctious child’ and never staying still. She always had a smile when she told me about him, and frequently looked at me with that same slightly mischievious and ever so slightly almost shocked look. It’s hard to explain, but I always felt that she stood somewhat in awe of him, whilst looking just a tiny bit askance at the same time, and wondered just how closely I took after him. Whatever the case, I nearly felt like he was a hero as she told funny stories about him which I’ve forgotten details to, but remember the love with which she told all of his descendents about him. Grandma Marie, to my knowledge, never had children of her own, but my grandmother, mom, and I were like her own descendents, and I am proud of that. She taught me how to sew on an old black Singer treadle sewing machine, stitching the words I Love You onto the cloth, explaining how she had been a seamstress and her husband, Adolphus Johonson, a very kind man, had been a tailor. She once told me to make sure to carry at least $50 at all times because one day years ago Grandpa Johnson had been arrested for Jay Walking and he didn’t have the money to make bail. She laughed as she told me how she had to go down to the jail and get grandpa out, lecturing him on the way home, as she was known to do. She was such a strong personality, and so loving and bright.
And a wonderful Great Grandma.
Marie Nash Johnson.
Read, Write, Dream, Teach !
22 February, 12016 HE
Interesting how, just a year or two ago, I recall feeling guilty for being angry with the US Navy for burying this particular gr. gr. grandfather with honors, while my other gr. gr. grandfather was accused of suicide and his family chased off of their land in OK. Guilty for having to believe that this man who was honored by the military did not deserve what the other grandfather did deserve, but never received. And yet neither family prospered: the two families met and members married and died during the Gr. Depression of TB.
Yes, we can do better than this.
More on my continuing striving with family of choice next time, friends:
Yassas, γεια σας! Salût ! Nos vemos! Görüşürüz! ! שָׁלוֹם
Action Items in support of literacy and hope that you can take right now:
1.) Search for two different reasons to study your thoughts.
2.) Share them with us in the comments, here, if you feel safe enough.
3.) Share your thoughts a book from your GoodReads reading list on self-reflection,
4.) Write a blog post or tweet that explores, tells a good story, or otherwise makes a difference. I’m working on that through my historical fantasy #WiP, #WhoByFireIWill. Once published, donate one or more copies to your local public library, as I intend to do.
Dear Readers, any additional ideas toward learning, especially multiple #LanguageLearning as part of on-going education and empathy-building, to #EndPoverty, #EndHomelessness, #EndMoneyBail & achieve freedom for All HumanKind?
Support our key #PublicDomainInfrastructure & #StopSmoking for CCOVID-19:
2. #ProBono legal aid and Education,
3. #UniversalHealthCare, and
4. good #publictransport
Read, Write, Ranked Choice Voting and Housing for ALL!!, Teach and Learn (Lesson Plans)!
September, 12020 HE