I came, I marched, I earned several FitBit awards. (5,000, 10,000 and 20,000 steps)
But hey, that’s just the tip of the iceberg. As a matter of fact there is SO much to write about I’ve decided to write in three-part-harmony here. The Before, The Awesome During and The After.
The Women’s March. Washington, DC. January 21st, 2017.
And I was there. Along with perhaps a million close friends.
Truly? Words cannot begin to describe the experience. Gave a fleeting thought to NOT writing about it. But seriously? The honor and privilege of having participated in perhaps the greatest march of all time? (And yes, the young girls there will be talking about it when they are my age.)
So three … three posts.
This all started of course with the election here in the US. And the subsequent shock for many of us. That a man who had so stridently criticized, demeaned, bullied and (according to his own words) abused major groups of our population … not the least of which was … Women.
Did I mention you can’t do that and get away with it anymore?
So a week or so later when I heard of the March, I immediately signed up with Rally buses out of a town 30 miles south of here. No local buses at that time. For $40.
Flash forward a few weeks and they added the bus/train station two minutes from here. I transferred my reservation. Still $40.
Although I noticed prices for everyone else were then up to $80.
Then the day before Christmas … an email …
And two weeks ago they did indeed cancel the two locations near here.
I am sure the fact that the local bus companies are owned by prominent Republicans played no part in this. cough
And I decided to NOT transfer my reservation to State College (30 miles north) … because … oh gosh … since it was further away I’d have to pay the going rate.
Enter my cousin. Who lives in DC. Actually she is my oldest cousins daughter. Who offered both her driveway … for me to park in if I decided to drive … and her spare bedroom if I decided to stay there.
As it turned out a co-worker decided she would drive with friends and sold me her bus ticket … for $80.
Flash forward to March Day. Yesterday. And the half dozen buses leaving from State College … at 4 AM. Then there is the hour to get there. 3 AM. Plus the half-hour early they wanted us there. 2:30 AM.
Figured I’d wake at 2:29:30 AM. After all I’m used to getting up at 0-dark-thirty for work.
Woke at 2 AM.
On the way to DC in the bus my phone buzzes. A message from Young Cousin.
I can leave my house key in the planter if you need to leave the march for health reasons.
Oh great. This officially makes me “the Old Cousin who might have health problems”.
Slightly embarrassing since the woman next to me … Marie … was 84 years old.
Ah yes. Marie.
Sweet little Jewish lady originally from Canada. Who figured she would have no problem with the march.
Since she runs marathons. At 84.
Although she admitted to cheating. She only does 5K runs.
And she walks up any hills. But she runs down the other side.
Oh and did I mention that she used to march with Martin Luther King back in the day?
So yeah … Holly The Slug was pretty sure it would be a long day. But not for Marie.
She described being rather disgusted once … as she was a social activist organizing students … getting students who were the first in their families in college the resources they needed to get into grad school. I guess there was a meeting in which the students were suggesting things that were less than peaceful.
Her comment … “Well actually I am the only person here who has actually met, marched alongside, and shaken hands with Martin Luther King”.
To which a student said to her … “So what?”
But still she continues.
At RFK Stadium where the bus parked you started to get an idea of the magnitude of it all.
And I worked on Taking A Selfie 101.
And then we headed out to the march. Walking. The whole way. With pink hats. And signs. And a whole lot of determination. I had no idea what lay in store for us.
As an aside, I just got a quick message today from Young Cousin.
I felt feverish when I got home and have the chills today. My feet were sore yesterday and I wore very comfortable tennis shoes. You’re the bad ass cousin to me.
Bad Ass Cousin.
I have been vindicated.