It’s almost 11:00 on Sunday night, which means that my column for tomorrow should be showing signs of completion by now. Or, at least, some research. Or maybe even a topic. Sadly, none of the above is true right now. It’s been a busy weekend. So, instead, I will tell you about something which will be lost if you don’t show up next week at 11:00 at Congressional Cemetery.
Far too many of my friends, when I mention Congressional Cemetery and the time I’ve spent there researching aspects of Capitol Hill history, remark that they have lived here for n years – and still never been. Which is a pity, especially since every Saturday during the summer, guides give an introductory tour of the cemetery to anyone who shows up. The tour starts at 11:00 AM by the gatehouse, just inside the main gate. The tour is given by one of the many docents that have made it their job to explain the history of this lovely patch of Capitol Hill. Well, I’ve always wanted to be a docent, and so I threw my hat into the ring, and they offered me next Saturday, May 24. It also worked out well that all my usual Saturday appointments were canceled due to it being the Memorial Day weekend.
Now, this will be a regular introductory tour, so we’ll be visiting such worthies (and unworthies) as John Quincy Adams, Thomas Tingey, Elbridge Gerry, William Thornton, Mary Ann Hall, J. Edgar Hoover and, of course, John Philip Sousa. But, having written books on scandals and urban legends, and having given ghost tours in the past, I will most certainly be unpacking some of these stories, as well. So, even if you’ve done the tour before, I’ll give you some new tales to go on. And if you’ve heard the stories before, I’ll make up some new ones. And I promise to be far away from the jail at noon sharp. You’ll thank me later.
So come on by, it will be a great start to the Memorial Day weekend and the summer. And you can watch me turn into a docent before your very eyes.