Sunday, November 26, 2006

Jim Banholzer
September 24, 2006
Informative Speech about Visiting the National mall
Professor Dayle Oahlau
COMM 101 – Fundamentals of Oral Communication

Liberating adrenaline rushes in Washington’s Cherry-air

Being a Native of our Nation’s Capital, I’ve had opportunities to visit many memorials and historic cubbyholes in that region. In Alexandria, Virginia, you can chug ales at the same bar George Washington used to get snookered in, taking his false choppers out, telling “Wooden” you like to know what type of saucy jokes. One of my favorite things to do while in D.C. is to take a determined stroll across the National Mall during the Spring Cherry Blossom Festival and watch people from various walks of life react to assortments of tourist attractions –taking it all in on a nice warm day.

I encourage Idahoans who have never visited D.C. to consider doing so. Basking in the actual presence of stately monuments and towering museums in the background of the Potomac Tidal Basin, relay first-class perspectives of true democratic progress of our Country. The National Archives Building on the mall displays an original copy of the Magna Carta. There you can find, behind bulletproof glass, America’s Constitution, The Bill of Rights and The Emancipation Proclamation. Flash photography is prohibited in order to preserve these charters of freedom. Within the same perimeter The White House and Capitol, offer group tours. Even a newly opened Native American museum now rests by the Capitol. Some tourists who have started from these whirlwind tours have returned for full summers to examine the multitude of attractions contained in our Mall.
For those of you living in the Wood River Valley, pilgrimaging to Washington D.C. during the Annual Blossom festival is a fine idea. Ski season has tapered down, so it’s a good time to leave this muddy town. Flights from Hailey directed though Salt Lake or Seattle are available online. Last minute cheap seats can have you jetting out of Idaho in the morning and over the Potomac River by afternoon. Try to grab a window seat to gather in an all-encompassing view as you scream like an eagle over our Nations finest museums, bustling art galleries and memorials, moments before skidding into Ronald Reagan National Airport. The clean and inexpensive subway from the airport leads safely onto the Mall at the Smithsonian Metro.
I like to jump off at this subway, and then work my way over towards the Lincoln Memorial, scrutinizing the congregating visitors there. The Lincoln Memorial lies at the heart of D.C. and for me it is the heart. I identify with Lincoln, admiring how he matured his mind regardless of public opinion. Abe taught us, as the father of our Republican Party, that flip-flopping could be healthy. Additionally through a physical Manifestation, I am exactly the same height Abe was. Therefore, another stage prop I bring you tonight is my standing body. I may even grow a beard this winter. If I budget properly, I’ll grab a stovepipe hat by the time February 12 rolls around for Abe’s 198th.
Those in attendance at the Lincoln Memorial gather reverently around the base of this Larger than Life Statue, which honors our larger than life forefather, who helped liberate many oppressed Americans. Sometimes tourists shriek in the surreal setting, sighing, “I can hardly believe I’m here!” The Greek Doric temple design of the Lincoln Memorial is superb enough to strike awe in the most casual of visitors. This profound symbol of American Democracy gets its job done right.
The Lincoln memorial has been the setting for some of the finest speeches ever made. Martin Luther King’s breathtaking “I Have a Dream” speech from 1963 reverberates there –still talked about in the surrounding cherry blossom ether to this day. A recently installed podium at the base of Lincoln’s feet commemorates this speech. If you visit the Lincoln memorial during the cherry blossom festival, it’s comparable to Visiting Ketchum during Wagon Days –only instead of 20,000 tourists, you’ll find 200,000. If you like breathing in Ketchum’s Gallery walk, then here you will gasp at the grand masterpieces at the Hirshorn, Freer and National Galleries of Art, along with futuristic art at the Smithsonian Air and Space Museum. Snippets of Cosmopolitan conversations enhance the charmed atmosphere. Once I enjoyed seeing 200 varieties of potatoes from South America displayed at the International Folk Festival on the mall.
Discovering multiple varieties of potatoes in the shadow on the Lincoln memorial was a rush for me. Scientists explain, that not only is variety the spice of life, but that cultivating such diversity enables farmers to have options to choose by, in the event some potatoes conform to blight or nematodes. Limited homogenized forms of Idaho potatoes can be boring.
So too, it is the same with human beings. And the Abe Lincoln Memorial celebrates this fact. Multiculturalism is a cornerstone of our country. “Give us your huddled masses” is what another fine figurine, The Statue of Liberty, beckons. –Although Lawrence Ferlinghetti has started painting a revised outlook on this:
If you were to take a ball and free it from a chain at the base of Lincoln’s ankles, it would bounce down the marble steps and into a magnificent reflecting pool. Startled herons from that pond would take off and symbolically free fly alongside kites, Frisbees and cherry blossoms, rising in the current heat of politicians’ bloated airs to boomerang past the windows of the 555-foot tall Washington Monument.
From this part of your whirlwind tour -like the heron you can fearlessly navigate a paddleboat returning thorough the Tidal Basin’s deep waters. The ebbing and flowing brine water is a refreshing break from Idaho’s stagnant Winter Brrrrhs. Slack spent at the Potomac waterfront at sea level breathing in blooming cherry air, warms the spring inside you and seeds your own blossoming.

Cindy Blackman -Idahoan blossoming in Washington D.C.

The Mayor of Tokyo, Japan along with Dr. Jokichi Takamine, the discoverer of adrenaline, donated many of these cultivated trees along the Potomac waterfront. After Pearl Harbor was bombed, some of these trees were hacked down by irate citizens. Though Japan was an Axis power in WW2, they are now officially friends again -nectaring on our side- and no longer considered an “Axis of Evil” according to the broadsheets.
If you are a newspaper junkie as I am, then you will enjoy the Newseum. This museum for newspapers will reopen on the mall next summer. Hundreds of headlines align the entrance wall, along with ancient news memorabilia, including an early Gutenberg Press. Before the remodel, Local Sports Editor Jeff Cordes and I both visited this museum the same summer. On each of our visits, we made similar requests at the tours end –that is “more Idaho Weekly’s, please”. Surely the curators upon unfurling our scribbled suggestions must have scratched their heads, wondering “Who were those guys!?” If everyone in this class makes this same request when they visit the Newseum, this demand will become a page one feature, itself projected onto the Newseum three-story wall. Idaho no more will be a token state with merely one Civil War battle fought for States rights.
If you’re looking for a Civil War token to bring back to Idaho commemorating your trip, a special tourist attraction that trades Honest Abe memorabilia stands in the silhouette of the Lincoln Memorial. If you visit D.C. next spring, chances are that it will be a warm day. After promenading around the mall in the parching sun for a few miles, you’ll be delighted to see outdoor beer (and soda) vendors –sometimes---actual descendants of slaves- preparing to emancipate you from the heat. When you hand the suds proclamator a five-dollar bill with its picture of Abe, you’ll notice on the reverse is a picture of the same Doric temple you are genuflecting before. Symbolically you’ll return with more sense than you came with, because your copper change grasps more Lincolns with each cent the unchained mans hand returns you in kind, while his cash registers a freedom bell.

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Questions or Comments?

Phrases not used:
Honest Abe is the founding father of our shining Republican party.

According to Reporters without Borders, the United States ranks 44th in freedoms of the press on its index.

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