Visit to the East Coast, 1996

Photographs by Michael Broschat

I was working in Seattle that year but Melissa wanted to go “home" for a bit so we planned for my vacation to include some East Coast points of interest. Her family lived in a suburb of Philadelphia and environs, so according to the order of photographs in this collection, we must have started there. There are two parades in Aldan covered in this collection, and because the second one is clearly the July 4th parade, we’ll presume the first one is of more local interest.

Aldan, PA: first parade

Longwood Gardens, Kennett Sq, PA

A visit to Longwood Gardens clearly followed, and we were obviously there for one of the night fountain displays. A couple years later (after our move to said East Coast), I would see the same show but where the only moisture not frozen solid was in those fountains.

Longwood Gardens was one of the many hidden treasures the East Coast seems to offer by the carload. This initial visit would be followed up by several other over the next several years. See my Web Topics, for additional sets of Longwood pictures.

I also see shots of a visit into nearby Philadelphia. 1996 would have been the 220th anniversary of our country’s founding, and this even number was enough of an excuse for a party in that city of our nation’s birth. The interiors you see here belong to various buildings used for the deliberations and document creation of those heady days, magnificently preserved (and undoubtedly restored). For me, the architecture of that period remains the most humanly comfortable I know.

Back in Aldan, you see their July 4th parade as well as some of our family.

Then it was on to Valley Forge, where The Boys spent an infamous winter a couple hundred years ago. I’ve done some reading in that early history, and it is certainly best not to explore much of it too deeply as it disturbs a lot of the myths about the tenacity and dedication of our earliest citizens that have filtered down to us. In reality, they were pretty much just like us: all for this or that action, as long as it was someone else doing it.

The subsequent visit to Washington, DC (pictures in right column) was not my first but was probably the most extensive. We would move there a year later but for all the times I walked by the Library of Congress, I never went in again. Seeing these pictures just makes me shake my head. What a dolt. We were excited to visit the headquarters of National Public Radio, and had some great discussions with personnel there. By the time I left DC some 15 years later, I would rarely be listening to NPR, mostly because I couldn’t receive it on my various radio equipment but also because my patterns and habits had changed. We were staying with the Stites family in Vienna, VA during that trip, which occasioned the picture of Young Shira asleep in the back seat of dad’s car. The rest of the pictures in this section are of the National Cathedral, which I would see a fair amount of over the next 15 years.