'A Real Native'

by Jeannette Bradley Dere

Just being born in the city Washington does not make a person a native of the District of Columbia. Ones forbearers make a big contribution in their claim to being a real native.
My great grand father owned the finest steam cutting marble plant in the city. It was located in what is now the middle of the mall. Marble was supplied for the Capitol Building, The old Renwick Gallery across from the old Sate and Ware building, Congressional Cemetery and many other building in the city.
As a small child we were taken each year to the annual Easter Egg Roll at the White House. After cracking a few eggs we took them to my father at the Treasury Department where he was employed in the Supervising Architects office. There blue prints and charts were printed for all Government Buildings in the United States.
On one occasion we were taken to the White House to meet the President. Access was fairly easy in those days as there was no tight security. President Hoover didn't even have a bodyguard with him. Later on Mrs. Hoover came to Ben W. Murch School in Chevy Chase to plant a tree.
As a bold young 8 year old her to bring the President when she came again!
I grew up knowing so much history of Washington. My mother was a former schoolteacher and a schoolteacher can never forget to still teach.
We went by public transportation all over the city to see new additions to Washington. Walking the mall to visit all of the museums and memorials were always favorites on a Sunday afternoon.
The Hoopers and Bradleys were old families in the city owning land around Washington Circle and on Capitol Hill. They original came from England in the mid 1700s and mid 1800s.
So my sister and I really feel like we are native Washingtonians. Our children also were born in Washington D.C. at the Columbia Hospital for Women.

By washingtonpost.com editors  |  January 26, 2009; 9:00 AM ET  | Category:  Reader Submission
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