Or….to march or not to march ..that is the question!
First of all I couldn’t decide if I should or even could walk and secondly, I couldn’t decide if I should write about it on my post…then I decided. Yes, I would march and yes, I would write about it to all of you. But let me say first, this is not a political statement, it is just about the time I had walking thru midtown surrounded and packed in by women, men and children of all ages and description. Here’s my story about joining the Women’s March on Saturday.
I started out from my apt at 1:00. I planned to take a city bus to as close to the starting point as possible. I sat on the bench patiently waiting with my pink plaid hat on my head. Others joined me, including a man who wasn’t marching just needed the bus to get him downtown. He didn’t know about the March and wanted to know what it was all about. After I told him he asked, “Do you think these demonstrations do any good?” “I do.” I said. ” Give me an example of one that worked?” inquisitive guy bluntly asked. ” Well, I will speak to one of the marches that I’ve been in.” I told him how we were able to help stop the nuclear power plant from being built at Shoreham LI without any workable escape routes, many years ago.” “Really” he said, wide-eyed. ” Keep up the good work.” It was about then that we all realized the bus wasn’t coming so quickly… so we started to walk. I bid my cheerleader goodbye and was off.
Now, as you probably know, midtown Manhattan is a series of rectangles. The March started on 2nd Avenue at 47th down to 42nd Street and then over to Fifth and north to 55th, very direct easy route.
However, by the time I reached 48th Street the crowds were so dense, I couldn’t move. I said to myself, “Self, this isn’t working.” I’m going to head over to Fifth and join the march there. I made a hard right turn and walked with families with strollers, people in wheelchairs,on bikes,on scooters winding our way across town to meet up with our fellow marchers.
After about an hour of very slow movement, I was trapped between Madison and Fifth. Slowly and I mean slowly we moved. I’m not a tall person, in fact I’m short, so often in crowds I have trouble seeing what’s ahead. At one point, I was chewing on disgusting fur on the back of a tall woman’s hoodie. Yuck. OK, time to take control. I moved away from whatever that smelly fur was and slid between people to get to my target area. After about another 30 minutes, I made it. I was walking up Fifth with all the signs, horns, clapping, yelling, periodically loud yelling, and surrounded by the masses. Exciting
It was about on 53rd Street and around 3:30 that I decided it might be time for me to head home. I knew it would take me at least an hour to walk back.
I don’t know if you’ve ever been in a march but it can get very tight especially when barricades are up like in the City to control the crowds. To get out I had to wait until we got to an intersection that was open. Then I had to think of the best plan to get out of the throngs to the open sidewalk on the other side of 5th. Hmmmm, I thought and then I knew.
And without any shame, I used my very advanced age as a ticket to get out of the crush by saying, “Excuse, please, elderly crossing.” “Excuse, please, elderly crossing.” And the people parted…..with big smiles opening a path for me to cross the absolutely packed avenue. “Thank you, thank you,” I yelled and waved. Now that’s power, I thought!
I came home very satisfied that I made my stand with women, men and children across America and across the world for equality and respect for everyone. I poured a glass of wine, took off my shoes, plopped down on the couch and as I turned on the TV I said, “Thanks knees you did great!”
Eleanor Roosevelt said, “You must do the things you think you cannot do”