On September 6, I hopped on the Metro to Union Station, headed north to Philadelphia for a brief consulting gig the next day. While waiting to board the train, I spotted an ID tag on a fellow traveler’s piece of luggage, “Finnish Broadcasting Corporation.” That was a perfect T-t-S invitation, so I said “Welcome” in Finnish (one of about five words in my Finn lexicon). She looked surprised, and we launched into a 15 minute yak across a bunch of topics. Paula was the U.S. correspondent for the YLE, as it is known over there, and she and her camera-woman were headed to New York to interview a victim of sexual abuse by a Catholic priest.
Arrived in Philly about 4:30, hopped on a suburban train two stops into Center City (as downtown is known locally) and my hotel. Grabbed a quick nap and at 6:30 set off to meet my clients for dinner on Market Street. I hadn’t been in the center for years, and it was fun to walk past so much history in just a few blocks; pausing at a stoplight, for example, I looked at the old brick building to my right, and a plaque identified it as the house where Thomas Jefferson drafted the Declaration of Independence. Cool! Moved on, gazing affectionately at the Liberty Bell, Independence Hall, and more. We Americans are still working on creating, as it says in the preamble to our Constitution, “a more perfect union,” but I remain a patriot and an optimist, and I love walking in the footsteps of the people who started the whole experiment.
Had a fine dinner with my clients, a diverse lot. Slept hard. Up early, to the hotel gym, then the daylong engagement, then a train home to Washington, arriving just in time for Robin’s birthday dinner. Some scenes: