We were able to take a number of trips with this choir and this story is about one of those. The choir went to New York City and to Washington, D.C. in 1976, two weeks after the 200th anniversary of our country. We had opportunities to sing on the Capitol steps, at the Pentagon, and visit the White House lawn for a reception of the German Chancellor given by the then president, Gerald Ford.
But one thing stands out in my mind -- a thoughtful act on the part of a taxi driver on a rainy evening. We had some down time to do whatever we wanted and some of us went to the Smithsonian Institute. We visited the Centennial Building which housed the gifts to the USA from countries around the world on our 100th birthday - 1876. Fascinating place to see what was "new" in 1876.
Smithsonian Institute Centennial Building shown new in 1876.
It was raining when we came out of the building and we needed a cab to get us back to our sleeping quarters. There was a cab sitting right outside the building and I asked if he was for hire. He was. We had five of us and we asked him to give us a quick look at the capitol city as we didn't have much time there and wanted to see things -- like the Lincoln Memorial. He started the meter running and we went around the town seeing the sights from the cab as it was still raining.
Then he asked, "do you like ice cream? I know this great place in Georgetown that has the best ice cream!" I could just see the bill going higher but didn't notice that he had turned off the meter. So we went to an ice cream store and all of us including the driver enjoyed some great ice cream.
The driver engaged us in conversation all through the tour and enjoyed himself with us having some great ice cream. One of the gang. When he stopped where we were staying, I asked him what the charge was -- NOTHING! He said he had a great time sharing his city with us and we were the last fare of the evening for him.
Were we visited by an angel?