Thursday, January 7, 2016


I found out that the shotgun I thought was me grandfather's?  It was actually my Dad's.  Single shot Montgomery Wards 20 gauge.

He got it in 1968 during the riots. 

Back then he worked at the phone company and his workplace was on Wisconsin Avenue in the District of Columbia.  The riots were going on, columns of smoke over the city, and reports were they were coming UP Wisconsin Avenue...

This had an impression on 30 year old him, as you can imagine.

For those unfamiliar with the geography of the city, you know it sorta looks like part of a square with one of the corners pointing due north.  There is a creek that is also a park that runs north to south.  Rock Creek Park.  The park sort of makes a dividing line in the city.  East of the park is the Georgia Avenue corridor, and not the best neighborhood then and now.  Not the worst by any means.  Mixed.  Shoot Catholics lived on that side...  Archie lived West of the park, but in the 30s if you wanted a girl that might be more conducive to Parking and Necking and MORE, you looked East of the park.

West of the park is more tony.  Wisconsin and Connecticut avenues.  Fancy neighborhoods.  Geogetown (which was a slum until the late 30s) to the south, Chevy Chase to the north.  So, if rioters were marching up Wisconsin Avenue, that was concerning to some people that weren't accustomed to that kind of concern.

So, Dad, who's parents lived in Bethesda/Chevy Chase but he, a working man, lived in the suburbs of DC more Eastish of the Park in the form of Silver Spring or Wheaton, got a shotgun just in case.  He couldn't have been TOO concerned.  Or he would have gotten something more effective than a single shot 20 gauge. 

All the real riot damage was more downtown.  And east of the park.  Quite a ways.  Closer to the train station and in the more industrial areas.  And area where people worked as well as lived.

No comments: