It was several years ago when the whole Gator family went to Washington D.C. They even took a friend with them. It was her first flight and she did the usual casual cool luggage rack and seat location. Gator had a little disagreement at the boarding ramp. The attendant told him his airline case for his viola was baggage and had to go into the hold. A stewardess for the flight was nearby. Jack explained to the attendant that the viola was made in France in the late 1700’s and it was not going into the hold. It was a bit of a standoff and the nearby stewardess told Jack to board the plane and she found a nice place for the case where the crew puts their stuff. Jack was thankful and very effusive with his praise of that crew member.
When the Delta flight began it’s roll out the friend that was with was a little nervous at the turbine noise and the acceleration. Like every first time flier, when the gear came up with it’s thumping and noise, she reached over and grasped Jack’s hand tightly. Every new flyer does it. Grab the arm of the seat, anything. When they arrived at the airport in Maryland, they rented a van and the best driver of the family took the wheel. If you hesitate for more than ¼ of a second off the line when the light turns green, you get the horn in back. Every time. Stijn, the oldest of the sons drove well and knows where the horn is on every make and model.
They found their rental apartment in an average city block which all their acquaintances who had been in D.C. Said was a neighborhood to avoid. Their host was very gracious, the stainless steel appliances were first rate and the first time they went to the national mall, a neighbor knew somehow where they were going and told them where to get off to catch the subway/metro. Nice neighbors in spite of the need for bulletproof glass at the local cafe. They had two tables and we sat at one. There were five of us. One of the cooks came out with an extra chair for Jack. Very aware folks in that neighborhood. It was pleasant. Our apartment was downstairs with a separate entrance. We could lean on the short chain link fence and chat with the sidewalk passers by. One gal from next door kept trying to bum a cigarette. Tempting to buy a pack across the street at the check cashing store, but our new friend on the bus said we would be out of cigarettes soon. None of us smoke. The lady was focused. Becoming city mice, the family took an Uber back to the AirBnB. Cheaper than the Metro and without the burned oil smells of the fast train. The acceleration of the Metro was nice for Jack and his young son. Old drag racer and his son that drives a ‘slightly’ modified turbo Saab. Strap hangers swaying with the close walls flashing by.
The Gators were there to protest abortion in a very unusual way. Each state had a tent on the national mall and there was 24 hour worship and prayer for our country and the unborn children. It was hot, it was crowded and it was wonderful. Got to see the original stars and stripes at the Smithsonian and there was the actual Apollo 1 capsule among Saturn booster engines and the like. Pretty cool. The whole mall was filled with tents, each one with a sign that said the state the worship team was from. Julie went up to the Washington monument and there was a Tepee there. She went inside and saw the drum circle. An older man looked up at her and firmly said, “You are First Nation” How do you know that? was Greta’s immediate question. “It’s in your eyes” was the immediate response. True. Her great Grandmothers name was White Feather.
After a while at home, the Gators went to visit Grandma and Grandpa about 5 hours drive to the southeast. After a scrumptious meal, Jack went into the living room and relaxed to the point of a bit of sleeping. A dream/vision swept over him. A young, pretty girl with dark hair ran up to him and grasped Gator in a strong hug with her head on his shoulder. She was about the same height as Mrs. Gator. Vivid dream, she was wearing a thick wool coat, it was tan and her hair was dark. Suddenly Gator heard a voice: “This is your child Greta who was miscarried. She just wanted to touch you and tell you it was OK. She is with Me now”
Startled awake, Gator went back into the kitchen and sat down at his place at the table and told the dream immediately. He believes he saw a glint of a tear in Grandpa’s eye. It was stunning really, the older man did not show emotion, ever. All conversation was covered with a salesman’s chuckle and laughter, as though life was some sort of running comedy. Not this time. Serious stuff, even he knew.
Gator loves to tell this story as it means a lot to him and Mrs.Gator and it plants the flag of stopping abortion clinics firmly and unmovable in his heart. There is life after death, we are ‘overbuilt’ for life as it seems. There must be more than this short life, it’s hard wired into us to wonder about, dream about and even write about. Why do some folks rail against these things? Denial of Spirit is hard to do.
Gator loves to quote writing and songs in his writing. He likes this one. “There’s something going on and you don’t know what it is. Do you, Mr. Jones”1. Indeed. It’s pretty good. Jack Gator 1. Bob Dylan