Sometimes there are no words that do justice to a moment in history. Only a picture will work.
The photo above exemplifies what all the Freedom Rides and bus boycotts and sit-ins and marches were about. A simple thing. An ordinary choice to be comfortable as one goes about his day. A man -- in this case, a black man who happens to be president of the United States -- sits in the front half of a bus.
This is all you need to know about civil rights.
When you find yourself getting discouraged about how slowly things change, think of this photo. Then look at the one below, taken in 1956, a year after Rosa Parks refused to sit in the back of a bus in Montgomery, Alabama, on December 1, 1955.
I hadn’t been to a circus in 35 years before a few weeks ago, when we went to Ringling Brothers' Greatest Show on Earth with kids and grandbabies in Washington, DC. I was afraid the boys might be bored after the first five minutes, but not a chance. Are you kidding! They were mesmerized, and so was everyone else.
The colors! The lights! The special effects! The music! Not to mention the non-stop spectacle of tigers and elephants and acrobats and trapeze artists and clowns! So many clowns!
This time, we saw the circus at a downtown state-of-the-art indoor sports arena. Years ago, it was held every spring at the old Washington Coliseum, 3rd and M NE. The Ringling Brothers circus always used its own colorful train, which sat on the siding along New York Avenue for circus staff to unload, then guide the animals across this busy street, very slowly. Elephants sometimes pulled equipment carts. Other times they walked free, trunk to tail. It was quite a sight and -- once you were caught in the traffic -- there was nothing to do but sit and watch the show.