Hollywood on the Potomac

'Sea Change'

December 10, 2018

“The reason we’re here tonight is really because of David Smith and his family,” said Max Kennedy at a book party in his honor for Sea Change: A Man, A Boat, and A Journey Home at the residence of Sarah and Bob Nixon in Georgetown.  “I don’t know how many of you know the story of  The Pearl, but David is gonna tell us a little bit about it. The whole point of this book was to try to bring a real wooden schooner to Washington DC to represent The Pearl and to give children who are going to the public schools in DC a chance at experiential learning, a chance to experience the natural environment, and a chance also to understand what it was, to some degree, to try to escape to freedom.”

First things first: “The Pearl Incident was the largest recorded nonviolent escape attempt by slaves in United States history. On April 15, 1848, seventy-seven slaves attempted to escape Washington D.C. by sailing away on a schooner called The Pearl. Their plan was to sail south on the Potomac River, then north up the Chesapeake Bay and Delaware River to the free state of New Jersey, a distance of nearly 225 miles (362 km). The attempt was organized by both abolitionist whites and free blacks, who expanded the plan to include many more slaves. Paul Jennings, a former slave who had served President James Madison, helped plan the escape. The slaves, including men, women and children, found their passage delayed by winds running against the ship. Two days later, they were captured on the Chesapeake Bay near Point Lookout, Maryland by an armed posse traveling by steamboat. As punishment, the owners sold most of the slaves to traders who took them to the Deep South.”  Wikipedia

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Making Washington Work

December 4, 2018

A look back at the relationship between President George Herbert Walker Bush and his Chief of Staff, James Baker III.  This article was first posted on March 23rd, 2015.

James Addison Baker III defines charisma – a personal magic of leadership. The former Chief of Staff to President Ronald Reagan who accidentally worked his way up the political food chain is the subject of a PBS documentary that airs on March 24th: James Baker: The Man Who Made Washington Work narrated by Tom Brokaw. It explores his life and long political career; a remarkably savvy power player, deal-maker and diplomat respected on both sides of the aisle for his ability to get things done.

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1000 Points of Light!

December 2, 2018

President George Herbert Walker Bush: June 12, 1924 – Nov. 30th, 2018.  A Thousand Points of Light.

The below article was first published on October 23rd, 2017

Who knew that former First Lady Barbara Bush was a techie? In describing how his parents are doing – who are 92 and 93 years old respectively – Neil Bush, who was in Washington, DC for the annual “Points of Light” gala at The Embassy of France, says she is sharp as a tack. “Mom is the sharpest, funniest person. She’s got an amazing mind. She’s incredibly retentive and aware and curious. She knows how to use all the apps on iPhones and iPads. She does digital photography and sends photos out to friends and stuff like that, but she’s not a Twitter or a Facebook person.  My dad still has this amazing spirit of love and kindness towards one and all. He never wants to be a burden to anyone. He’s disabled so he’ll never be the same active George Bush that we’ve known for all of our lives, but they’re doing great!”  

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