July 4th, 2012

Harriet Vane

July 4th in good company

Dear friends and readers,

I sure hope you have electricity tonight. It's been very hot in the DC area. As still we didn't quite reach the heights of super-hot I'll resort to saying the heat was merely brutal. Sun burning on your skin in the middle of the day.

For our July 4th ritual the Admiral, I and Yvette were fortunate. We were invited to go to a party at the house of the man who was one of the organizers of Bloomsday. Bob. A really nice man. He and his wife have a largish house with a garden in back in Northwest Washington DC. We had a little trouble driving there as many roads were cut off but we managed to get onto a highway called 110 and then to Foxchase, a road that takes you past American University. We arrived just as others were coming.

Bob's wife is Viennese and she danced a waltz with the Admiral to Strauss music at the height of the party. Johann Strauss, strains of in the summer evening. About maybe 30 people were there and some I recognized from Bloomsday, others I became acquainted with for the evening. People with connections to AU, a librarian, a banker and his warm friendly wife. The food was yummy barbecue (two different eggplant dishes) and lots of wine and sodas and liquor and water with ice. Good talk. A number of couples like us had adult children with them so Yvette was not at all unusual there.

Towards the end three people read aloud. Michael Dirda an Irish poem, Robert McNamara (scena director and very handsome he is) from a tweet version of Joyce's first chapter of Ulyssses, and then Bob a monologue by George Carlin.

We drove home and saw so many people stationed at various places along the highways to see the fireworks in DC 

Chez nous Pussycats glad to see us. I watched Amy Goodman's special on Woodie Guthrie with Billy Bragg singing some of Guthrie's songs and a tape of Pete Seeger talking about Guthrie.

Woodie Guthrie:

This land is your land, this land is my land
From California, to the New York Island
From the redwood forest, to the gulf stream waters
This land was made for you and me

As I was walking a ribbon of highway
I saw above me an endless skyway
I saw below me a golden valley
This land was made for you and me


I've roamed and rambled and I've followed my footsteps
To the sparkling sands of her diamond deserts
And all around me a voice was sounding
This land was made for you and me


The sun comes shining as I was strolling
The wheat fields waving and the dust clouds rolling
The fog was lifting a voice come chanting
This land was made for you and me


As I was walkin'  -  I saw a sign there
And that sign said - no tress passin'
But on the other side  .... it didn't say nothin!
Now that side was made for you and me!


In the squares of the city - In the shadow of the steeple
Near the relief office - I see my people
And some are grumblin' and some are wonderin'
If this land's still made for you and me.

Chorus (2x)

And so now to bed. I hope others were as well companioned as we.

Jean-Claude and Cristo, Umbrellas