Janou, being amazing as ever, graciously managed to get us a West Wing tour during my few days in DC. It was awesome, and nearly a week later, I keep thinking about the art work in the Oval Office. It means a lot that the President and First Lady value art, and it was incredibly special to see the pieces and words they selected to decorate the Oval Office.
The large rug is adorned with five quotes, and the one closest to the door is from President Roosevelt (Teddy). I thought I noticed all of his quotes at Roosevelt Island, but maybe they do not have this one up-either way, it was the first time I read it and I love it:
“The Welfare of Each of Us is Dependent Fundamentally Upon the Welfare of All of Us,” President Theodore Roosevelt.
The others are equally powerful, though more familiar:
“The Only Thing We Have to Fear is Fear Itself,” President Franklin D. Roosevelt
“The Arc of the Moral Universe is Long, But it Bends Towards Justice,” Martin Luther King Jr.
“Government of the People, By the People, For the People,” President Abraham Lincoln
“No Problem of Human Destiny is Beyond Human Beings,” President John F. Kennedy
I had no idea the President is such a Norman Rockwell fan. In the hallway before the office, he has the Saturday Evening Post series, “So You Want to See the President?” depicting the hustle and bustle of people waiting to meet the president.
We also saw the beautiful bust of Martin Luther King, Jr. as well as a powerful painting of the Fourth of July by Childe Hassam.
It was a very special moment-thank you, Janou!!
A few other highlights…
Meeting up with Janou, Katie, Max and Dave for dinner and drinks on Monday night, and feeling like it was a totally normal, everyday post-work outing.
Listening to a fired up BAM give an inspiring speech about protecting Social Security. Did you know the reason the Social Security office is in Baltimore is because Thomas D’Alesandro (Nancy Pelosi’s father) was so pivotal in whipping votes for the legislation creating Social Security, that when FDR asked him what he could do to thank him, Congressman D’Alesandro said, “bring the new office to Baltimore.” Pretty neat!
Catching up with some of my favorite collegues. I had lunch with Brenda at the Portrait Gallery, one of my favorite quiet little retreats in the city, drinks with Shannon and Stacy Jaleo, and Bob and Brian at Joes-man, DC does a good happy hour.
West Wing Tour!! And just walking through the Capitol, by the White House and admiring all of its splendor.
Hanging out in Janou’s cozy apartment and dinner and laughing with Katie and Janou in Arlington.
Cheering on an incredibly inspiring Ohio advocate as he was recognized for his important work for Ohio’s elderly poor.
Flying back home and feeling thankful for the week, but thrilled to feel like Oakland is now home.