I visited the National Cathedral in Washington DC for the first time since 1968. It was still being finished back then and it didn't yet have a moon rock in one of the glazed windows because they were still pretty darn scarce hereabouts at the time. They're not all that rare. There are gigatons of moon rocks and they're free for the taking. You just have to go there and pick them up.
I've been in any number of cathedrals and while the National Cathedral is an impressive structure it doesn't begin to have the kind of gravitas those cathedrals begun in the 14th century have. Enter one of those in Europe and you can feel and see the age worn into the stones. Plus, they have way more impressive gargoyles.
We do have some interesting plaques that I don't recall at all from the last time I was there. I didn't see the one for a long gone French admiral. My maternal ancestors had an awful lot of Huguenots in the mix. I think my great-great grandfather was the last of the clergy in my maternal line.
|I'm the short fellow|
And then there is the porch entrance on the starboard side entrance dedicated to the memory of Winston Churchill. We just watched Darkest Hour this month. We liked it so much we watched it twice. That man had a profound effect on the course of civilization.
And there was another plaque dedicated to an Army Major who died with the Titanic. He was an interesting man. The plaque is difficult to read and I had to move some rubbish out of the way to get a clear picture of it. It is located in the downstairs gift shop, which has a unique sales approach.
TO THE MEMORY OF
ARCHIBALD·W·BUTT, MAJOR, U·S·A
HE LOST HIS LIFE APRIL 15, 1912, WHEN THE
BRITISH STEAMSHIP TITANIC SANK AND THE
WOMEN AND CHILDREN WERE SAVED. OF HIM
PRESIDENT TAFT SAID "THE CHIEF TRAITS
OF HIS CHARACTER WERE LOYALTY TO HIS IDEAL
HIS CLOTH AND HIS FRIENDS. HIS CHARACTER
WAS A SIMPLE ONE; HE WAS INCAPABLE OF
INTRIGUE OR INSINCERITY; HE WAS GENTLE
AND CONSIDERATE OF EVERYONE AND A
SOLDIER, EVERY INCH OF HIM."
GEO T. BREWSTER
[ inscription on memorial plaque ]
One of the other interesting things I found there was the tomb of Norman Prince. He was one of the founders of the Lafayette Escadrille. When I was there it was in by far the darkest part of the cathedral.
On the way home we stopped and spent the night in Pittsburgh to visit with friends and relatives. We stayed at a B&B we particularly like and and found ourselves in a really nice room. (They're all nice but this room was amazing). Oddly enough, it had the complete works of Albert Engström: all of them, in Swedish. Each room in the Inn has guest/visitor books going back decades for all the people who stayed there and recorded their thoughts about their stay. Naturally, a recent entry was from a Swedish family who really enjoyed finding some classic Swedish literature to read available in the room. It really is amazing what one runs across in B&Bs.
We left MetroParkCentralis in a driving snowstorm, enjoyed 70 and 80 degree weather in both Virginia and Maryland and returned to MetroParkCentralis in a rain storm. Coming and going though, we made a point to stop in a little town called Hancock. It's the crossroads of I-68 and I-70 and it has a remarkable store called the Blue Goose with the best apple cider donuts on the planet. It's also a bakery. It is easy to find. In fact, you can't miss it. Just look for the giant flag.