I grew up there, so certain things did not surprise me until I moved to Detroit, where there are lots of skyscrapers. City buildings are not supposed to be higher than the Washington Monument, which is 555 feet high. People ask why the tip of the monument is a different shade. The simple answer is that when they had enough money to finish building it, the same type of stone was no longer available.
Washington, D.C. streets are named alphabetically as they spread out from the capital. North-south streets are numbered. The first east-west set of streets leading from the Capitol have letters of the alphabet for names. The second set has two-syllable names. The third set has three syllable names. A fourth set in the N.W. section has tree and flower names. Some of the street names continue into Bethesda and Chevy Chase, Maryland.
I lived on Ninth Street in the third alphabet, (near Tewkesbury Street) but when my cousin in the Waves asked for leave to visit us, her supervisor refused because Ninth Street near downtown was a dangerous area. My cousin finally got permission after she convinced her supervisor we lived in a nice safe neighborhood.
On my birthday, December 7, 1941, I was a child who wanted to visit the Washington Monument. My father took me, but refused to walk up the stairs, so we rode the elevator. I got to look out the window and see the view before he allowed me to walk down the stairs.
After we left, we rode down Sixteenth Street past the Japanese Embassy. I noticed them burning papers outside, but thought nothing of it. Since that’s not a high drought area, that was commonly done with leaves and paper trash. However, when we returned to my grandparents’ house where we were staying, we listened to the radio and learned of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor. From that day on, until the war was over, no one was allowed to go to the top of the Washington Monument.