Where You Like to Go

One of my favorite places has more than 100 museums which are free to visit.  It reminds me of what we have accomplished as a nation and some things we need to do better. It is one of the most powerful cities on the planet but it is still open to visitors.

It can majestic, beautiful and inspiring. It can be scary, unfriendly and confusing. Washington DC is lots of things to lots of people.

According to Fodor, don’t rent a car or grab a taxi. The travel site suggests you use public transit, like the Metro. I am a fan of the Metro and use it whenever I am in town.  But don’t get so attached to the transit system that you forget to look at a map.

One time my friends left an hour before me to get to the museum by train.  My ten-minute walk across the Mall got me there when they exited the train station.  It is a great city to experience on foot. DC

When you go make sure you plan a visit to the White House.  This is something you have to do in advance, but it is worth it.  There are many rules and high security, but to walk through history is the result. One year we went during Christmas which they allowed us to take our phones and take photos.  It was an amazing experience.

There are lots of places to visit in this city and you will not get to most in one visit.  Yet for me, the historical points keep me coming back.  A visit to Ben’s Chili Bowl or to walk through the campus of Howard University inspires me.

For me, DC is like a good book with chapter after chapter. It never ends.  There is always something more interesting to see.

 

 

Advertisements

Where You Come From?

Always remember. Honor it. It made you.

Fort WorthHonestly, there are some days I don’t get me. But when I visit home it becomes clear. Crystal.

My hometown is Fort Worth, Texas where the west begins, but still stuck in the old south. It had great chicken fried steak and sweet tea. There are good schools that pass out fine educations.  I went to school with some of the best and brightest.

In high school, I got to interview Alan Bean, Astronaut from the Apollo 12 mission for the school newspaper because he was a graduate from the same school. I remember this moment because he made all of the other media wait and gave me the first few minutes of his time.  It made a lasting impression.

For many years the city was gerrymandered so that Republicans could maintain control of government positions.  I lived in an African American neighborhood south of downtown Fort Worth, and my congressional representative was a physician who lived in South Lake, one of the richest neighborhoods in the state.  There were no town halls with him but I did learn that I lived in a food desert, which is an urban area where it is difficult to buy affordable or fresh food. This neglect made a lasting impression.

It is still a city plagued with racist ideas because the current leadership does not appreciate what marginalized voices bring to the table.  The majority still believe that electing a sheriff that kicks out immigrants is the way to fix our problems. The majority believes electing officials who cover up abusive police officers is the way to handle problems. It is making a national impression.

Knowing that I come from this type of environment makes me cautious because some things I might think are normal, are probably racist. Some of the things I have learned to live with, I probably should not have.

So look at where you come from because it will definitely affect where you are going.

 

 

Fill In The Gap Magazine Crowdfunding is up and running.

Here is a chance to get in at the beginning of a fun project. Follow and Share our posts.

Fill In The Gap Crowdfunding

It is going to be a wild and fun ride.

This magazine is designed to be published four times a year. Each issue will stand on its own bringing helpful and encouraging information to its readers. It will have data that helps people become better people. It will have information that inspires and encourage those about to give up.

GAP Anouncement

 

What Do You Pack?

When you go somewhere most of the time you need to take a few things with you.  I know depending on where you go determines what you take with you. What do you pack it in?

Opening Suitcase

The idea of a suitcase was an afterthought. At the time it was created, only rich people traveled, and they used large trunks because they could also bring servants to carry them. The chosen method of travel were ships, and trunks worked best in the bottom of a leaky ship that tossed items around. Trunks were made with metal bases, sealed with rubber to keep water from getting in. It made it difficult for a person without servants to travel.[1]

According to the Smithsonian, more people began traveling for the sake of traveling at the beginning of the 20th Century.  Transportation was better with many more ways to travel and it was not just for rich people anymore.

The suit case was originally created to hold a suit. There was a compartment inside for the shirts, and sometimes even an attachment box for a hat. It was designed to hold a suit and had a handle to be carried. Before that, there was a carpet bag which could hold a few items and was also able to be carried.

Once the idea of suit cases caught on, it became an industry.  Historians said that our luggage reflects our modes of transportation. This is very true today as we have to pack our suitcases based on whether we drive, fly, sail or travel by train.  Each mode of transportation has its own rules about what we can/cannot bring.

As I think about what I will take on this journey, because I know everything and the kitchen sink can’t go, I have to think about what will I carry it in. I think about this a lot when I travel because I know, whatever I take, I will carry.  Let me say that again, whatever I take, I will carry.

One of the things I learned in 2018 was that I have to carry the things that I want. I do. Not my kid, or family, or friends. I should not load things up in a car or a cart unless I intend to keep the car or cart as long as I keep the things. I have to carry my own things.

I try to choose suitcases that make that job easier. I like smaller ones that I can lift. If they have a handle and wheels that can rolls then I am a superstar.

I know choosing the suitcase before I decide what to put in it is the best way for me. So how do you pack for your trips

[1] https://www.smithsonianmag.com/history/history-humble-suitcase-180951376/

Fascinating Places

2019 will be a fascinating journey for me. It has started with a bang.  I have spent the first part of January reading books that take me deep into the jungles of the African continent. I read the story of one of the last people brought to the United States on a slave ship. He spoke of what his life was like before being captured. He spoke of his family and their customs, the rituals to become a man and get married.

More important, he spoke of the process of being captured to be a slave and what it was like watching everyone he loved being murdered. Like the author of the book, for many years I thought that the Europeans had seized the Africans from their native homes. But in Barracoon by Zora Neal Hurston, the old African man told a different story.

He spoke of other African tribes who ruthlessly killed entire villages just to capture the young and strong people to sell to the Europeans.  These killers left their regular way of life, which was farming, to become slavers. Motivated by greed, they created soldiers that could terrorize and take out a whole village. These soldiers were paid by the number of heads they brought back. The skulls were collected as a prize by their king.

It made me think. As these greedy people sold off all of their strength for material wealth, they were not prepared to fight the colonization that would overtake and suppress them. It reminds me that the greedy people today won’t get away with their evil deeds. They are just getting prepared to be undone by something more evil than themselves.

Another book took me into a different part of the continent. I loved reading how Nelson Mandela’s father was the family historian. He could recount the family’s history for hundreds of years, yet he could read or write.  Our history was repeated by word of mouth through the generations.

Mobile

It reminded me of my own family who would sit and tell stories of the way it used to be.  Even today I question older relatives to the point of annoyance because I want to know more. I want to know what it was like and what they did. But I am finding that some of the secrets older people tried to keep, are coming to light.

But this part of the journey makes me appreciate a history told orally and through art, like masks and other sculpture. It tells us what is beautiful. What is powerful. What is important. The thing I appreciate about African Art is that it finds beauty in the work. It is not an exact replica of someone or something. It just is.

We need to do the same. We need to tell our children the stories orally of our family. We need to create art that represents what legacy we leave behind. Many of the previous generations of my family were poor and undereducated. They did not think they were leaving much behind, but the truth is they left a lot.

I love the story Nelson tells of the first pair of pants he wore. They were not a brand new pair fresh from the tailor. They were an old pair of his father’s pants. His father cut them off so they would fit, and used a rope around the waist to hold them up. Nelson said it was one of the proudest moments of his life.

Think about what legacy you are leaving your family. What kind of objects are you making to represent it? Do your children know your family’s story? Do you? Remember when you carve out your part of your family history, it does not have to look like someone else’s. Like the African mask, it only represents what you want it to.

For One Reason

you go into a business but figure out later that something different was planned.  Artist go into entertainment to entertain people, but later see that their messages impact peoples lives. Artist like Sammy Davis Jr have carved out legacies that impact generations.  They did more than entertained.  They asked the questions we all needed to ask.

Sammy