Categories
Travel

National Native American Veterans Memorial Now Open

In 2013, Congress passed legislation authorizing the National Museum of the American Indian to create a National Native American Veterans Memorial to give “all Americans the opportunity to learn of the proud and courageous tradition of service of Native Americans in the Armed Forces of the United States.”

The Memorial opened on November 11, 2020 on the grounds of the National Museum of the American Indian. Kevin Gover, the Museum’s director, explained in The Washington Post that the “memorial brings long overdue recognition to the tens of thousands of American Indians, Alaska Natives and Native Hawaiians who have served in peace and war for two and a half centuries.”

National Native American Veterans Memorial, Washington, DC © David H. Enzel 2020

The Memorial was designed by Harvey Pratt, a member of the Cheyenne and Arapaho Tribes of Oklahoma and a Southern Cheyenne Peace Chief. Pratt is an artist, Marine Corps Vietnam veteran, and retired forensic artist. Pratt designed the memorial in partnership with award-winning architectural firm Butzer Architects and Urbanism.

Categories
Audiobooks

Martin Walker Mysteries

Om Malik recommended a series of mystery books by Martin Walker. Malik said Martin’s “tales of a provincial policeman in the South of France are like a nice glass of chilled wine.” Eric Asimov, The New York Times wine critic, described Mr. Walker’s books as:

rich in atmosphere and personality, with characters bound by the tenacious strictures of history and memory. And almost without fail, everything stops for lunch. It’s impossible to read a Bruno novel without getting hungry and thirsty.

That sounded like a great break during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Martin is a journalist. He divides his time between Washington DC and the Perigord region in the southeast of France.

Martin’s Bruno, Chief of Police series of novels depicts a village policeman named Benoît “Bruno” Courrèges. Bruno is a gourmet cook and former soldier who was wounded on a peacekeeping mission in the Balkans. Bruno loves his region of France. He’s also a compassionate and moral police officer who has a gun but never wears it.

I started with the audiobook version of the first novel in the series entitled Bruno, Chief of Police. This is historical fiction. I learned a lot about the French resistance during WWII (Le Maquis). The descriptions of life and food in rural France are fun and refreshing. The mystery is good. And there is a touch of romance to boot.

There are 13 audiobooks in the series so I am happy to have 12 more audiobooks to mine.

All the books in the series are narrated by Robert Ian Mackenzie, an English actor who did a fine job narrating the first audiobook in the series.

I’m happy that Malik brought this series to my attention through his fine blog. I needed a nice glass of chilled wine.

Categories
History

George Will: Holocaust Museum Showcases Lessons for Today

George Will writing in The Washington Post on the 25th anniversary of the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington:

Nothing — nothing — is unthinkable, and political institutions by themselves provide no permanent safety from barbarism, which permanently lurks beneath civilization’s thin, brittle crust.

This is why the Holocaust is the dark sun into which this democracy should peer.

Categories
Photography

Doug Mills

Doug Mills has worked for The New York Times since 2002. He was previously chief photographer for The Associated Press (AP) in Washington. He’s also worked for United Press International.

Mills won a Pulitzer Prize for photography when he was with AP for team coverage of the Clinton/Gore campaign and a second Pulitzer Prize for photography with AP for team coverage of the Clinton-Lewinsky affair. He is also a multiple awardee of the White House News Photographers Association.

Since 1983, Mills has covered The White House. Earlier this year, Mills was interviewed extensively by photographer Greg Gibson about what it’s like working at The White House. Gibson is an experienced photojournalist who himself has twice won a Pulitzer prize. In addition, Mills is physically at The White House during the video interviews so you can really get a sense of what it’s like to work in The White House.

You can see a sample of Mills’s superb images on Instagram. Mills shoots with the Sony A9. He was born in 1960 in Greensboro, North Carolina.

Categories
Podcasts TV Series

TV Series: ‘The Americans’

There aren’t many TV shows I miss long after they end. The Americans is one of them. Even though the series ended in 2018, I still miss the anticipation of the next episode.

The Americans is an American television period drama series created and produced by former CIA officer Joe Weisberg. It premiered in the United States in 2013 on the FX network and concluded after six seasons and 75 wonderful episodes.

The Americans is about the marriage of two KGB spies posing as Americans in suburban Washington D.C. shortly after Ronald Reagan is elected President. The series centers around the arranged marriage of Philip (Matthew Rhys) and Elizabeth Jennings (Keri Russell), who have two children – 14-year-old Paige (Holly Taylor) and 12-year-old Henry (Keidrich Sellati). The children don’t know about the true identity of their parents. The spies live next door to Stan Beeman (Noah Emmerich), an FBI agent working in counterintelligence. From there it gets complicated.

This is one of the best TV shows I’ve ever seen. What makes it special is the interplay between the spying and what’s going in the family of the Russian spies and the family of the FBI agent next door. In the end, I was more interested in the personal relationships than I was the spying. I easily connected with the relationship issues.

The relationship between the more practical Philip and the rule-following Elizabeth makes for some fascinating issues. Keri Russell’s beauty enters the plot in many different ways. The spying was just plain fun to watch, partly because of the now dated technology of the the era (the 1980s) in which the series takes place.

The New York Times said “The Americans” is “one of those rare series that actually has gotten better every season.”

If you want insider information about the show, Slate has a podcast about the show featuring cast, crew and creators.

Categories
History

Remembering Lindy’s

I was born and raised in Pittsburgh. I attended the University of Pittsburgh, which is an urban campus. After moving to Washington, I always liked the George Washington University (GW) campus. I could relate to it as an urban campus in the Foggy Bottom neighborhood of Washington.

Lindy’s Red Lion, George Washington University Campus, April 28, 2004 © David H. Enzel, 2004

For years, I enjoyed the burgers and fries at Lindy’s Red Lion (“The Best Little Carry-Out in Washington”). It was an institution on the GW campus. It was rumored that President Gerald Ford liked Lindy’s burgers and as President would send Secret Service agents to pick up burgers for him from Lindy’s. In 2008, The GW Hatchet confirmed this rumor with the owner of Lindy’s. I sure hope it’s true. I have fond memories of Lindy’s and the friendly people who worked there.

Lindy’s is now a barber shop. © David H. Enzel, 2020

Lindy’s closed in June of 2018 and was then vacant and is now a barber shop. The barber shop looks nice but I sure miss Lindy’s.