Here’s my best shot of the Rally for Sanity, a view many people there would actually envy – of Jon Stewart on stage, with a close-up of him on the Jumbotron to the left. I got a somewhat better view with my binoculars, and felt lucky to see even this much and be able to hear about half of what he said. That’s because the rally was over-attended by a lot, so there weren’t enough Jumbotrons or loud speakers to enable most of the rallyers to see or hear anything. Except for the funny signs and costumes. But the crowd was nice to each other, which one would expect, right? And I’m glad I went – just for the good vibes if nothing else. Now I just wish I’d remembered to set my damn VCR to tape the show – coz I’m hearing that Comedy Central has announced it won’t be shown again. Huh?
On the right you see one of the two large grass panels that were roped off – grass panels that thousands of us would have dearly loved to sit on and watch the performance from that prime position. So, not a popular day for the National Lawn, which was partially roped off because – it had recently been seeded? Maybe they should have grabbed the Lincoln Memorial spot after all.
And here’s the scene looking west from the Capitol building. And below is just a sampling of the many amusing signs on display (photos by PamelaJ).
Very sad day today. Marv Hurwitz, one of my oldest and closest friends, died this morning at the age of 77. It was sudden and fast, so a good dying for him; a shock to everyone who loved him. I blogging about him because it may help, and I don’t know what else to do.
We met back in ’73 when we both worked at Common Cause headquarters, and we became and remained friends through one of his marriages and two of mine. Through Marv I met lots of other people who became good friends, including PamJ pictured above, her husband Doug and even one of my husbands. We traveled to England together – as just friends. Marv was like that – a good friend to both men and women, an incredibly good listener who also collected guns and loved motorcycles. A dealer in antique scientific instruments whose independence from a boss we all admired.
I hope you can tell from the photos that he was also fun, though he never drank as much as the rest of us.
I’m happy that in the last years of his life Marv became close to his daughter and got to see his granddaughter Gillian every week. And he was pretty darn healthy til the end. So really, life was pretty good to Marv, and he was a wonderful friend to me. But shit, who am I going to call at the last minute for dinner or a movie? And who’s going to encourage me and tell me how silly I am to worry about money?
Hallelujah, it didn’t rain after all and a good (observed) Earth Day was had by all, one assumes. So first stop, the co-op two blocks away from me, where lots of unneeded stuff was being recycled, trees given away, and later, a darn good 12-piece jazz band entertained the crowd. And our Sunday farmer’s market was as lively as usual, what with all the commerce and this popular banjo-player, but for Earth Day we were offered cooking and gardening demonstrations, too. Nice.
Then I caught a train into the city to see the big Earth Day whoopla on the National Mall. No real schedule was posted – anywhere, for anything – so I can only report that there were lots of speeches and some big-name musicians, prominently Sting. There was also NASA, the Department of Energy, some corporations and a few nonprofits handing out literature and demonstrating aquaponics, lightweight cars, what plastic bags look like in a big wad, and whatever it is that PETA thinks they’re selling by – yet again - displaying naked women (or the illusion they’re naked, here on federal property).
Now dare I weigh in on which experience I enjoyed the most? (See, no judgments, y’all, just a preference). I think the photos tip you off that the local celebration was the livelier of the two, probably because it was mainly what neighbors are already doing, every week, and not intended to demonstrate anything at all.
But I DID get into the spirit of the Mall event when I saw these adorable students from my alma mater, one of whom hugged me when I ID’d myself as an alum. They and 30 others had taken a six-hour bus trip to be part of these event and will be schlepping right back to Northern Ohio this afternoon. I hope they’re glad they came.
Here’s the class of six, plus teachers Adele Schmidt on the far left and Sam Hampton on the far right. My co-director, the talented Mario Starks, is second from left. The students are a United Nations of aspiring filmmakers, and a wonderful bunch who produced some great 3-4-minute documentaries over six weeks. It all happened at Docs in Progress in downtown Silver Spring, Maryland.
Winter's a lot more beautiful with the right architecture and some river birches, don't ya think? Like this view of the Mall side of the Smithsonian's Air and Space Museum. (Still, I believe, our hottest tourist attraction.) I was passing by the other day on my way to the Iranian Film Festival going on at the Sackler Museum. To complete the Southwest Asian experience, I took in the Falmana: Book of Omens tour while I was there. All free, of course – like almost all museums in D.C.