February 8, 2023
February 13, 2023
On the ride from Washington to Richmond, I made a pit stop in Charlottesville to visit The University of Virginia. While there, I talked with six students about how divisive the country appears to be and to get their opinions on the future. While there was no consensus, the average opinion tilted towards optimism, although they collectively recognized severe challenges.
Richmond is a very historical city, as I learned. First, it is the town where Patrick Henry gave his famous speech, bellowing, “Give me liberty or give me death,” about three weeks before the first shot was fired at Lexington, Massachusetts, in the War of Independence. That speech took place at St. John’s Church. Lucky for me, on Sunday, February 12, actors re-enacted the Second Virginia Convention that George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, and Patrick Henry attended, among others. It was an outstanding performance. I also met briefly with Reverend Wilmer, with whom I hope to have a more in-depth discussion later.
A second historical fact about Richmond is that it was the Confederate’s capital city from 1861 to 1865. It was the second-largest city in the south at the time. Jefferson Davis’s “White House” is now a museum.
I also met another minister at a Presbyterian church. He mentioned that one gentleman who might wish to participate in my project came to mind. I did a fair amount of city walking as the weather is warmer in the south. Also, I drove through another university campus, Richmond University. I can understand why it is considered one of the more beautiful campuses around, even though it was February and not in full bloom.
I visited a hybrid apartment complex / senior citizen’s living community and met a woman considering moving in. She seemed very interested in being interviewed via Zoom later on. The administrator also seemed enthusiastic and told me he had someone in mind for my project. We shall see.
Finally, something unusual happened as I was leaving the city. I stopped to get gas, and a 13-year-old African-American boy asked if he could use my phone. I asked who he needed to call, and he replied, “The police.” Apparently, he had run away from home and had a bruise on his face. I called 911, and when the officer arrived, she conversed with the boy as if she knew him. She did. And she even knew his social worker. Interesting. Anyway, I did what I could do and hoped for the best for the kid.