'Born to Be a Washingtonian'

by Rodney J. Becker

I found myself, a New York City boy, on the Eastern Shore at Wallops Is., MD, for my second professional job as a meteorologist way back in the early '60s. Rumor had it that our unit was to be transferred to Washington D.C., but with no date given. I was overjoyed when, after a year and a half, my prayers were answered in 1965. After moving several times within the metro area, I finally realized my dream of actually living in The City.

It was the penultimate year of 1976, the 200th anniversary of our country, and it seemed perfectly fitting that that era would be my entry into one of the more exciting and defining areas of Washington. I was living in SW, at Tiber Island apartments, next to the waterfront, with my fifth floor unit and balcony facing north. A grand sight to die for: Spread before me were the Capitol, the Washington Monument and, to the west, the Jefferson Memorial and the Washington Channel waterway, all about a mile away. Being a life-long walker, I used every available opportunity to discover my new territory, not least of which was The Mall, a short walk north through the 7th St. corridor, and far and wide circuits, from Georgetown to Union Station, snapping pictures, both physical and mental. I had become an integral part of this exceptional city.

The ultimate expression of my bonding with my adopted city occurred when I invited friends to my apartment for a fireworks party for that remarkable Fourth, as did all the other units on my side of the building facing the Monument. My friends still talk of that patriotic time and revelry.

While I wasn't born In Washington, I was born to be a Washingtonian.

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