'Goosebumps and Hope'

by Moya Benoit Thompson

Even though I grew up in the suburbs, I have always considered myself a Washingtonian. I often tell people how lucky I am to come from a place of such diversity and history. I spent my formative (teenage) years here in the 70's - when Georgetown was a haven for hippies (a place a young girl did not go alone!) to later when Georgetown was a haven for carousing (a place a young girl did not go alone!). Winston's, the Cellar Door and Dixie Liquor on M Street all hold special memories.

I went to O'Connell, an outstanding Catholic high school in Arlington. While I know I must have learned something, most of my memories are of field trips to Capitol Hill, skipping school at Great Falls, rival football games, and Senior Prom at the Sheraton Carlton.

I had a great summer job running elevators on Capitol Hill. Because everyone I met was from somewhere else, I learned about different occupations, cultures, styles, and politics-- all within the confines of an elevator ride. I remember anti-war protesters blocking my way to work, and the day President Nixon resigned (lots of champagne bottles being uncorked). The late Redskin Coach George Allen once showed me his Superbowl ring. I owe many people I met on those elevators for what became the rest of my career (so far)!

Washington is a great place to "be from." Where else could you party with the "young" Beach Boys on the Mall every 4th of July (okay, not anymore), regularly see a Presidential motorcade whiz by, or play softball in the shadow of the Washington Monument. Every morning I see the majestic dome of the Capitol in the distance guiding me in to work. Even now, it still gives me goosebumps - and hope.

By washingtonpost.com editors  |  January 26, 2009; 9:00 AM ET  | Category:  Reader Submission
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The creative title "Goosebumps and Hope" immediately captures the imagination and beckons one's attention to read this writer's answer to "What Does It Mean to Be a Washingtonian?" Moya Thompson's specific memories trace positive experiences that reflect a growing sense of belonging to a wonderful place. Even now, the "majestic dome of the Capitol" draws her with enthusiasm to her present occupation. Her love for the nation's capital city gives the reader goosebumps as the writer exudes a present spirit of hopefulness engendered by the recent inauguration.

Posted by: mbenoit1 | January 26, 2009 7:34 PM

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