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March Date Wednesday September 20, 2006 March Day 96

Good Day to all March to Yorktown followers and supporters ~

It is a dark reveille but we all rise quickly with anticipation of our entry into Washington D.C. and Georgetown. The dawn arrives with the promise of a clear, cool and dry day. As we prepare, Rob Reyes pedals his bike up the long front drive of Bostwick House, eager to scout the day's route by cycling ahead of the men.

The army marches out of Bladensburg, crosses the bridge over the Anacostia River and into the D.C. line on Rhode Island Avenue. We are met by Gerry Gilmore (whom I incorrectly identified as the police/photographer at Bostwick in yesterday's log...my apology) of the Department of Defrense, Public Affairs. We are all interviewed and photographed for their website www.defenselink.mil article about the March. During this session with Gerry, a reception committee forms to ceremony our crossing into D.C.. There are previous friends Pat and Robert Archer-Jacobs and BJ Gerber, along with new friends Adele Bowyer who is D.C. DAR state regent, and Acquinetta Anderson of D.C. Benjamin Harrison Society of DAR and CAR. Short speeches are given and many photographs taken.

The army proceeds down Rhode Island Avenue and Rob returns for his carriage. As Rose enters the small carriage to run support, it is discovered that we have been the victims of a theft. During our brief ceremony, with the carriage a mere fifty feet away, someone has stolen a cup of silver coins and Dave's portable communication device (cell phone) from the carriage's interior.... from right under our noses. The coins are little loss, but Pat reports the incident to the local police and the communication device service is notified.

We continue the march, now turning onto Florida Avenue which winds along the old Boundary Road, stopping to photograph and visit the new park dedicated to Crispus Atticks. Next stop is Garnet Patterson Middle school where the group gives a short history presentation to a class of students.

Close to noon, Acquinetta now takes the men by carriage to Howard University for a pre-arranged luncheon, courtesy of Dean James Donaldson. It is a splendid time where we are all served delicious croissant sandwiches, fresh fruits and sweets. Among the near thirty people present are Virginia Williams, mother of mayor Tony Williams, all of our day's hosts and companions, a reporter from the Washington Times, and students from the university. Speeches of welcome and speeches of thanks are shared, and we too soon resume the day's march.

The next stop for rest comes at the site of the Old Stone House, oldest private small residence preserved in the heart of Georgetown on busy M Street, now an historic treasure and managed by the National Park Service. Pat and Robert Archer-Jacob were married in this garden some 22 years ago on September 30. As we rest here, we are again joined by Rob Reyes who has created commemorative envelopes depicting artist Couder's painting of the Siege of Yorktown, complete with period stamps and post-marked with today's date, town, and 225th Anniversary of the Yorktown campaign. We are each given this wonderful souvenir and are given a surplus to distribute during our morrow's scheduled visit at Walter Reed hospital.

With the day's march almost complete, we are now guided by BJ Gerber to Halcyon House, where we will camp the night. This is a 1786 brick home in the heart of Georgetown, built by Benjamin Stoddert, first secretary of the navy. We are given a complete tour of this impeccably maintained house and meet with John Dreyfus, reknowned sculptor and our host for tonight. We are also greeted by Dylan, his loveable but ever watchful ridge-back hound.

The men now continue the few blocks march to the Francis Scott Key bridge and Rob transports Rose back to the small carriage which was left (Locked!!) on Rhode Island Avenue on the outskirts of D.C. at the beginning of the day. The drive back to Halcyon House to the men occupies almost an hour and a half during the late day commuter traffic and the men are waiting, reclining on the walkpath as she arrives. This is definitely not the time to return to Bostwick for camp Martha!

We stroll down busy M Street to meet our hosts for dinner at Clydes, a popular and busy tavern for locals and visitors alike. We are seated at a long table and everyone orders salads. (David is the usual exception, and orders his much-loved steak.) There is Pat and Robert, BJ and George, and we are joined by Margaret MacKenzie who is vice president general of the National DAR. We all socialize and the night becomes late. We must still retrieve camp Martha at Bostwick in Bladensburg.

We walk back to Halcyon House and take the small carriage back the eleven miles, the city streets now manageable.

We speak briefly with Kathy and Brian Manicke, debate whether to take the camp forward tonight or sleep here until morning. The city traffic is the deciding factor and we head for Georgetown arriving at almost midnight. To deposit the rig into her space for the night, David (Merci, mon Dieu, it is not ME!), must bring her up a one-way street, stop the present night traffic while backing up through an electric wrought-iron gate with minimal side clearance. David is an experienced driver of his own rig, but even so, he makes several corrective attempts forward and back, clearing parked cars and the cement pillars. We guide him as much as possible but do not foresee the descending grade of the cement drive and Martha noisily scrapes bottom. The automatic heavy gates close when Martha's weight leaves the walk path, and Rose and Dave attempt to hold back the gates. There is a narrow scrape with the rear view mirror on one forehead!

Everyone breathes a sigh of relief as this ordeal ends. We soon head to our beds. Mike heads for the roof-top garden and lawn to fall asleep overlooking the city, Dave sets his bed in the sculptor's studio with Dylan in attendance, and Rose and David take to their usual beds in Martha and George...all thankful for our safe destination. Dormez bien.

Avec amour,