Earlier in the day when posting my 4 July White House Roller Hockey photos which brought attention to the Washington Area Roadskaters (WAR) I'd then realize that, it being Wednesday, WAR members may would hold their weekly Wednesday Skate Night, weather permitting. Since I had also hoped to touch base with Diane Wiliams who, since 3 July, and along with other peace demonstrators has held vigil at the Troops Home Fast Hunger Strike, in Lafayette Park, though in the midst of working on several photoessay projects I decided to head to Lafayette Park, and, perhaps, would kill two birds with one stone.
Just before leaving, perhaps, at around 4:15p or so a heavy rain storm would pass through. Which is often the case, in the summer, in WDC. And once it passes through, the sky clears up and the rain will stop. I'd leave my apartment at 5:30. for the m,ost part, the rain had stopped. Catch the green line from Waterfront Station, in SW. Transfer to the red line at Gallery Place, in NW, and deboard at Farragut North. Run south from Connecticut Avenue and K Street to Lafayette Park and reach the south side of the Peace Park, in front of the White House at 6:59p. Not observing any roller hockey players, I'd inquire of one of the policeman, who I've seenm before, if he had seen any roller hockey players. He said that he had not. And would add, that he, himself, had just arrived in the park. I'd walk afew yards west toward 17th Street and directly across the street from the White House Press Gate where several groups of people had congregrated awaiting the departure of the Presidential motorcade. Seconds later, a motorcade would pull out from The White House complex, turn left and head in the direction of 17th Street. I'd snap a few photos, in connection with my ongoing Presidential Motorcade Project. I'd then walk back into the park and inquire of a homeless man who I have photographed several times in the past if he had observed any roller hockey players. He said that he had not. But, that a group of them had been around yester evening. Which would have beenTuesday, 11 July.
It was then that I noticed a group of demonstrators from the Troops Home Fast Hunger Strike holding vigil under one of the trees. Perhaps to protect themselves from the rain. Or, I'm sure, also from the sun. I'd walk over say hello to Diane Wilson. Hand her my card saying if she checked out my site at http://elvertbarnes-freedom.blogspot.com that she would find a recent posting pertaining to her. Saying to the group that "My style is consentual but candid, meaning that I do not like 'posing' ... so just pretend that I am not here'" I would take several shots of the group during which time one of the men was sharing his experiences.
After taking the photos, I'd thank the group and head back to Pennsylvania Avenue, at the center of Peace Park, where I inquired of Concepcion if she had observed any roller hockey players. She said that she had not.
She then would ask if I knew Bill Maher. At first I could not understand the procunciation of the last name but after some contemplation and clarification I realized that she must have meant Bill Maher. Apparently he, or someone from his staff, had interviewed her on yesterday, which was Tuesday, 11 July 2006. She asked for my assistance in obtaining a copy of the interview. Reflecting that I had attended one of his Politcally Incorrect tapings at Howard University some years back I'd inform her that I knew of the comedien and talk show host who now hosts the political commentary show, Real Time on HBO, on Friday nights. I said that I would see what I could.
Though it was not then raining, the cloud formations suggested that another rain storm was about to pass through. I'd rush from Peace Park, retrace my steps north along Connecticut Avenue, through MacPherson Square, proceed up Connecticut Avenue in the direction of Dupont Circle with hopes of getting a few shots of rain reflections in Dupont Circle before the rain storm came through. North of M and just before reaching N, on Connecticut Avenue I'd stop to take several photos of the VISA-Life Takes Risks billboard at the bus stop and just as I was about to leave from under the bus stop, a heavy rain storm would start. Waiting for the rain to stop, and reflecting on my 25 June 2006 rain photos, I'd began to take photos of folks, hurrying about in the rain on Connecticut Avenue.
I must admit, one of the reasons that I had proceeded past Farrugut North which is where I could easily have boarded the red line to return home was that I was hoping to happen upon several roller hockey players sitting on the front patio of the Lucky Bar which is where I have photographed a few of them in the past. The Dupont Circle rain reflections would only come to mind as a second thought. My hope was to photograph, at least, one hockey player ... if necessary ... caught in the rain.
Yes, I was very disappointed not to have captured the Washington Area Roadskaters Roller Hockey Players in front of the White House but I was also glad to see Diane Wilson and the other Hunger Strike participants. And, had it not been for the rain, I may would not have been inspired to continue the new but now ongoing project Caught In the Rain. In closing, let me just say this.
One of my favorite things that I have always enjoyed, is to be caught in the rain, during the hot summer months of summer. Whenever I'm now caught in the rain, I usually reflect on when as freshmen or sophomores at the University of Maryland, in College Park, that a group of my friends, namely Sandra Burkom, Fred Allentoff, Frank Gramarossa and Robyn (whose last name I can not now remember) would rush outside of Easton dorm, run down the hill and across University Boulevard and 'dance in the woods ... in the rain!'. And, yes, there times, then too, that we would streak across campus, naked as jay birds, in the rain!
Frank, an Italian from Long Island who was my best friend and soul mate would pass in the spring of 1989. Fred, Jewish, who was from Brooklyn NY would relocate to the Baltimore area after graduating form U of M, I would run into a few years back at a barmizva that I catered in WDC. Married and with children he was even more handsome than when he was in college. Sandra, also Jewish, was from the Pikesville area and, at least from what I had heard, would marry and raise a family. Not too sure of what happen to Robyn who was also Jewish but I'm sure she's done well in whatever she chose to do with her life.
So, whenever I'm caught in the rain, as was the case on the evening of 12 July and on Sunday, 25 June in NYC, these old friends, Frank, Sandra, Fred and Robyn will come to mind.