So I’m in Washington D.C. for the second time in almost as many years. The first time for ALA 2010 and now for Computers in Libraries. The last time I was here, my “must see” was the Lincoln Memorial. We started at the Washington Monument and hiked our way down beside the reflecting pool. Me being the geek that I am, I was quoting lines from that war protest scene in Forrest Gump the whole way… When we got to the Lincoln Monument and trudged up those stairs to that larger than life effigy, I was totally at a loss for words. I stood there and looked back the way we had come and was suddenly struck by the place from history in which I stood. It was a moment in time that I’ll never forget.
It’s two years later I’m back again in the capital district that’s suddenly crawling with librarians of every shape, size and background imaginable. This time I didn’t have to go far to be transported back in time. As it turns out, we’re staying at the Washington Hilton where in March of 1981 (incidentally the day before my birthday…) an assassination attempt was made on President Ronald Reagan.
I was only 7 years old at the time of the shooting, but remember the flurry it caused even in the little backwater town where I grew up.So as it turns out, the assassination attempt occurred at the back door of this very hotel, my hotel… Being the librarian I am, I looked up the incident on Wikipedia (hey, I was only 7 when it happened and a reference librarian is a reference librarian-we look stuff up!) then went around back to see the spot for myself. Again, I found myself standing in a place out of history.