Washington, DC — Immersion Memoir 1

June 29

Déjà vu

Flying into National (okay now it is called Reagan) Airport, I looked out the window at the lights laid out as if it were a quilt of lights and I felt a strange déjà vu. It was all the same but not. After collecting our bags,  we met Rene who had been waiting for us. He drove us from the airport to the Key Bridge Marriott in Arlington, and once again I felt that strange recognition and at the same time a disconnect as things were changed. It was almost midnight, and although I couldn’t see much, I could see that the high rise buildings had proliferated.

The next few days in DC will be an opportunity to dwell in the past and be present in the now. I am here to work with the Smthsonian Folklife Festival as I did in 1987. Back then, I was working with a large group from Laredo that included the group of Matachines de la Santa Cruz otherwise known as de la Ladrillera, a female butcher, Cecilio, a wood carver along with Cipriano, a piñata maker who also constructed an outdoor oven to cook cabecita de cabrito, and Doña Maria the colcha/quilter from San Ygnacio.

This time I will be presenting the work of Veronica Castillo, arbol de la vida ceramic artist who received the National Heritage Fellow several years ago. We will certainly enjoy it.

The journey that brought me to DC in 1993 continues. Living in DC was transformative in many ways and I look forward to reflecting on my life in DC this week.

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