I know I’ve been remiss in my blog posts lately. New computer. Stuff to do. Places to go. I’m now in Seattle visiting my son, his wife, and my new (and first) granddaughter Sophie. KUOW Seattle Public Radio’s Facebook post said they wanted people to write letters to loved ones regarding their feelings on the upcoming inauguration. I had written my son a letter 31 years ago about my hopes for him, and thought why not. It’s a good time to let little Sophie know what her MeMaw hopes — and fears — for her.
That’s me and Sophie. My letter is several down the page. You can also hear me read parts of the letter in their studio, with Sophie squeaking in the background. (Her mom came, too.)
Then there’s the Womxn’s March in Seattle yesterday. I intended to meet a friend there, but with 100,000 plus people crowded in one spot, no way. My daughter-in-law and her two friends came, but had to leave early. I stayed perched on a homeowner’s steps while two rivers of marchers converged at a snail’s pace. Claustrophobia and crowds don’t mix.
But I did get to see lots of great signs. Really great signs.
People said there had been a pair of bald eagles overhead as the crowd gathered in the park. Somebody even posted a video of them. A blessing, perhaps?
One source said the beginning of the march reached the Space Needle 3.6 miles away before the end of it even left the rally site. I waited 2 hours for the end of the line coming out of Judkins Park to funnel through Dearborn Ave, so I don’t doubt that at all. Once the logjam ended, I joined the tail end.
It was supposed to be a silent march, but after an hour a roar wave began, moving from one end of the line to the other. After a few minutes, it would repeat from the opposite end. This happened all day. I could hear the roar even as I walked a block away on 5th Avenue so I could photograph the march from above (and stay out of the crowd.) I’ll post video later.
I tried to post photos on Facebook but with tens of thousands of cell phones being used at once in a small place nothing was getting through. Plus my phone hasn’t been keeping a charge and I had to keep it on airplane mode. Barely had enough juice to check Google Maps at day’s end to find the bus route home.
The march went through the International District, and I wondered why vendors didn’t set up food stands on the sidewalk. Finally I saw one outside a Vietnamese market, and the hot dog-shaped fried banana bread looked yummy. It was. That and a trail bar were the only things I ate. Didn’t drink much either, which was good since I saw very few porta potties and many businesses don’t allow use of their restrooms.
Many, many people with signs and pink pussy hats who finished the march were passing me by as I paralleled the march downtown.
Some places downtown were familiar to me, having lived in Tacoma for 18 years and worked in Seattle for two. But there are dozens of construction cranes in the city now. Traffic is congested all day. New tech industries. Google. Amazon. Not much room to expand out, so more high rises are squeezing in.
Chief Seattle’s bronze statue was backdropped by the Space Needle, and a marcher was trying to find a taker for the last slice of pepperoni pizza she had bought.
One store on 5th Avenue had footprints of famous people. I took this photo of Jimi Hendrix’s footprints for my little brother who visited me in 1980 and made a pilgrimmage to see the musician’s grave in Seattle. We also flew over the smoking wound of Mt. St. Helens which had erupted two months earlier.
It was an amazing crowd (estimated 120,000). An amazing experience.
The rain held off all day, only starting a little drizzle as I sat on the uncovered bench waiting for the 372 bus after a long and crowded ride on the 62 bus. My umbrella finally came in handy. I got out at the local pot shop near my son’s house (they are everywhere) but still haven’t worked up the courage to go inside yet.
I got back around 6 p.m. starved, exhilarated, and worn out.
The whole world marched. They protested in Iraq and Antarctica. They marched in London and Australia. Friends of mine also marched in Fargo, North Dakota; Austin, Texas; Los Angeles; Las Vegas; Augusta, Maine, Washington D.C. and Oklahoma City. They marched in rain and snow and sun.
We are a force to be reckoned with. Trump, get over yourself.
Photos and text copyrighted by Cindy McIntyre
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