Washington, DC

January 8, 2019

Davidson men’s basketball team played at George Mason University in Fairfax, VA, on January 9, 2019. I rode the Carolinian up to Alexandria on January 6, Epiphany Sunday. I had loaded on to my iPhone two performances of Max Reger’s fantasy on “How Brightly Shines the Morning Star" for listening en route. One performance was played by Virgil Fox, and the other was by Wolfgang Rübsam, who I knew when we were in graduate school at SMU.

I left for the Kannapolis train station about 6:30 am, and to my east was the planet Venus shining brightly as the morning star. A little lower in the sky and somewhat dimmer was also the planet Mars. Almost all the way I was heading straight toward where Venus appeared in the sky, as if it were leading me to the station. Later as I listened to the Fox performance I checked on line to see how bright Venus appeared and found the answer to how brightly the morning star shone: It was about –4.4 magnitude that morning.

Pete picked me up at the station and we dropped my stuff off at his place. Tom called to say he was on the way to a restaurant in Old Town and we met for dinner. We would gather again on Wednesday at George Mason for the game. Davidson didn't shoot particularly well, but we won the game.

The weather was cold and windy, and I found that what I thought was just sinus drainage was turning out to be a virus, so it was not a great time for me to be out tromping around during the visit, especially with all the national museums closed for the shutdown. But Tuesday turned out to be a little warmer and nicer, so I decided to visit the two main outdoor monuments I had not seen, the Martin Luther King and the Franklin D. Roosevelt Memorials. They are located near each other on the west side of the Tidal Basin.

I found a bus line that circles around the Tidal Basin, and that ride would have been worthwhile for its own sake. It has a stop near the MLK Memorial. I took a few pictures at both places and also of the Washington Monument and the Jefferson Memorial across the water.


The exhibit begins with a somewhat controversial statue that shows FDR in his wheelchair, something that would not have been shown at the time, and perhaps not seen that much even in private settings, when he would have had a blanket or lap robe.

Mrs. Roosevelt is honored in the exhibit as the first US Ambassador to the United Nations.


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