It seemed the thing to do at the beginning of my 60th year. Travel back into the past. A place well documented and familiar.
Threw a few things into the car and headed to
the Davenport in Spokane. It has a couple of touch points for me. Grandma Foster and I went there for a couple of nights and Thanksgiving Dinner one year. I am sure I was in law school at the time. Maybe teaching, I have to work on figuring it out. We stayed in what I would call a very "period" room. Not a good period but it reinforced the importance of the public areas. In the old days it was enough to have a grand place to sit. The room was secondary.
I went to a conference in Spokane pre-relapse and stayed at the Davenport. It had been "re-done". Goo had been removed from the wonderful Lobby beams. Years of cigar and wood smoke revealed lovely gold and green and red. It is truly a wonderful place to go and remember. Even if your memories are not from there. It is a place to remember. It has seen so much. The impressions of presidents and real celebrities like Amelia Earhart and a women in white that haunts one of the ballrooms. Yes, ball rooms, more than one.
John is the door man and he has worked there for 59 years. He is in his 80's. He comes with black gloves and hat and red coat. He has seen it all. There are places in the marble floors worn with the years of standing bell man. When you walk up to the concierge desk you step into a place also worn by millions of people that stopped and inquired about something. All the requests vibrate up from the floor. All the requests...
Sometimes visits to such places are required. A place to sit, think and to know despite what whirls and swirls around you, life does go on. It is sort of like the back drop. It just sits there and supports you with some continuity. When it feels like nothing but crazy and out of controlness is happening, there are places where things are the same and have been that way for decades.
I am headed into a new decade. It will full of change and challenge and struggles but then I know there are places I can go to find a bit of quiet.