Memories of vacation
I’m back from a family vacation to the Washington, DC, area. Like the Minnesota State High School League, I determined my four kids needed a week without sports. More accurately, they needed their father to take a week off from writing about them.
I bathed my feet in the fountain of the World War II Memorial (it’s what Tom Hanks would have wanted) to prepare myself to wade back into the cesspool of youth sports. Before I do that, a few fun vacation memories:
— The revisionist historians at the Manassas National Battlefield Park (a Confederate re-enactor who, not in character, buttonholed us about how much Lincoln loved slavery) and the National Museum of the Marine Corps (one more chorus from someone claiming we would have won Vietnam if the damn politicians hadn’t gotten in the way). A docent at the Marine Corps Museum shared one explanation he heard about why the Iwo Jima flag on display had only 48 stars: “Alaska and Canada hadn’t become states yet.”
— The dramarama at Six Flags America. My 12-year-old son and I witnessed two girlfights, including one that finished with each girl looking like they were worked over by Freddy Kreuger. That same fight featured two boyfriends who clearly did not want to get involved, but who yelled at each other because they figured they’d better look like they were doing something. (“Don’t make me come at you!” “No, don’t make me come at YOU!”) Also, my son and I got stuck on the Joker’s Jinx for 15 minutes, which sent me into a claustrophobic frenzy, always a good example to set in a crisis with your kid sitting next to you.
— How my kids, my 6-year-old son in particular, turned the Gen. Sherman statute outside the White House into the coolest slide ever, thanks to its wide, curving bannisters. That son also got at least two other kids yelled at by their parents when they tried to copy him. The Cook family is a bad, bad influence.
Look at those bannisters! How could you resist?