Tuesday, August 7, 2018


7/15 to18

Hey there Campers,

As we were leaving the Outer Banks we decided to stop at the Oregon Inlet to see what this campground looked like. While there, I met two college professors who just sold their home and are going to spend their time fishing. They had fishing poles everywhere. Even the liner inside the Jeep had at least 10 poles. Talk about doing your hobby. Eddie Heinrich I can see you drooling over those poles.

We left the beautiful Cape Hatteras and decided we needed to stop at the last lighthouse of the Outer Banks. Bodie Island Lighthouse was a climbing one also. Unfortunately, I did not have time to climb this one. All the lighthouses were doing their job. I can see why the Lord asks us to be a lighthouse.

We traveled on to Mechanicsville, VA to send the night at Walmart. On Monday, we drove to Washington, D.C. Another best kept secret in D.C. is the Greenbelt National Park in Maryland. It is a 15 minute metro ride to the capital. We met the host and his wife Ana. They were a wealth of knowledge. They told us how to get a discount metro ticket by going to the local library and filling out a senior form. They explained all the things that were available to do and where to go. An added perk was the camp site was only $10 a night because we are old. Getting old does have some perks.

Tuesday was a great day to spend in the capital. We went to the African American Museum. Nope. We did not have tickets. I tried to get them on line to no avail. We decided we would just go and stand in line and hope for the best. We arrived early so we could be in the front of the line. I prayed earlier if there we any tickets available we would get two. The Maranatha Baptist church out of Michigan was there. The tour director had extra tickets and asks if we needed tickets. Prayer answered.

We went into the museum. There was a docent, Cheryl, giving tours. She was amazing. We started the top of the museum and worked our way down. However, my recommendation is that you start in the bottom of the museum 3 levels down and work your way up. This area is where you will spend 75% of your time. Floors 2 to 4 only enhance the bottom level. The information on the bottom level starts with Africa and brings one all the way to the present. Who ever put this museum together did and awesome job. There is so much history there you will be overwhelmed.

Some quick facts about the museum:

Ø  The museum idea was 101 years old.
Ø  19th Smithsonian Museum
Ø  Full of interpretative exhibits
Ø  Genealogy lab
Ø  Divided in 10 areas:
          History Galleries
Slavery and Freedom  
Defending Freedom, Defining Freedom: Era of Segregation (1876–1968)
A Changing America: 1968 and Beyond
          Culture Galleries
Musical Crossroads
Cultural Expressions
Visual Arts Gallery
          Community Galleries
Power of Place
Making a Way Out of No Way
Sports Gallery
Military History Gallery 

Boy did we ever learn things that were never taught in any schools we attended.

Do you know about the Negro League Baseball teams? There is a very interesting documentary video at the museum. African-Americans began to play baseball in the late 1800s on military teams, college teams, and company teams. They eventually found their way to professional teams with white players. Moses Fleetwood Walker and Bud Fowler were among the first to participate. However, racism and “Jim Crow” laws would force them from these teams by 1900. Thus, black players formed their own units, “barnstorming” around the country to play anyone who would challenge them.  In 1920, an organized league structure was formed under the guidance of Andrew “Rube” Foster—a former player, manager, and owner for the Chicago American Giants. In a meeting held at the Paseo YMCA in Kansas City, Mo., Foster and a few other Midwestern team owners joined to form the Negro National League. Soon, rival leagues formed in Eastern and Southern states, bringing the thrills and innovative play of black baseball to major urban centers and rural country sides in the U.S., Canada, and Latin America. The Leagues maintained a high level of professional skill and became centerpieces for economic development in many black communities. In 1945, Major League Baseball’s Brooklyn Dodgers recruited Jackie Robinson from the Kansas City Monarchs. Robinson now becomes the first African-American in the modern era to play on a Major League roster. While this historic event was a key moment in baseball and civil rights history, it prompted the decline of the Negro Leagues. The best black players were now recruited for the Major Leagues, and black fans followed. The last Negro Leagues teams folded in the early 1960s, but their legacy lives on through the surviving players and the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum. White owners did this on purpose because blacks were not coming to many games and they were losing money. Yep it still comes down to the Benjamin’s.  Ok that is slang for money.

Ever heard of the green book? This book was like the yellow pages. This was passed out as one traveled in the South. It told where blacks were to buy/eat/sleep. It was started by black folk since black folks were not welcomed everywhere. The book was sponsored by ESSO Gas Company. This was a fun exhibit. It was in half of a car. It really was great to test our knowledge if we could have survived the south in the 1900’s.

Did you know about Sundown towns - no blacks were allowed. If they ventured in they could disappear.

After a full day at the museum we decided to leave for home. Well not so fast. While in the metro station the elevator was out so we could not get Lo’s scooter off the bottom floor. We had to go to the station attendant who had to track down the elevator guy who took his time getting there. Sooooooo. We waited an hour before he could fix it. Normally this would not be bad but it was commute time and the station was crazy. They have hundreds of trains coming and going in different directions. We finally travel back to the Hilton 4 to a restful night.

On Wed we decided to venture back to the museum since we did not get a chance to finish it. We prayed and decided to step out in faith again to see if we could get in. A man got 6 tickets and 3 didn’t show so he gave them to us. Prayers answered.

We started back on the bottom level. There is an Oprah Winfrey theater and exhibits. It shows her whole life and how she obtained her status. There is a good behind the scenes of her show, studios and foundations.

Back up stairs there are many exhibits. Everybody knows how most black women think about the hair. It is one of the most important aspect of our confidence. This exhibits shows the tools that are necessary for our hair.

One of the exhibits that really stood out for me was the Bag test - if you are darker than a paper bag you were considered low class. This has always interested me. As a child growing up we were treated differently because of our skin tone. It seems all the lighter skinned people got many more privileges’ than us dark ones. While looking at this exhibit a man came up beside me. We got to talking and he stated he was an Aborigine from Australian. His dad is Polish but mom Aborigine. He stated this is still true in his country even to the point of mistreatment. Seems like very little has changed in both of our countries.

Of course Lo was happy to find the Star Trek section. That really made his day.

Since we finish the museum we decided to stroll capital mall. Can you believe we were stopped by the police because guess who was coming home. Yep, the Prez. He buzzed right over us in his helicopter. We ventured down to the front of the White House. Some of the protesters did not mince words on how they were feeling about our nation.

It was time to return to the park. This time no elevator mishaps. We just got on the wrong train. No problem. Got off crossed over and got home safely.

Please note that this blog can do no justice to the museum. You really have to go and see the amazing exhibits and artifacts there.

Well Campers, until next time.

Lo & Bren


  1. I CANNOT -- CAN. NOT -- BELIEVE that you got into the NMAAHC by just ROLLING UP TO THE DOOR to see if they had tickets. They have ticket LOTTERIES on the first day of every month and every month I hear from friends excitedly squealing that they got tickets for THREE MONTHS FROM NOW.

    Occasionally people are GLORIOUSLY kind and boy did God have your backs! No way you should have gotten in there!!!

    1. Also: good for you! I've seen loads of pictures so I know it must be amazing, but truly: nothing like seeing it for yourself.