Previously on Midlife Crisis Crossover:
Every year since 1999 my wife Anne and I have taken a trip to a different part of the United States and visited attractions, wonders, and events we didn’t have back home in Indianapolis. From 1999 to 2003 we did so as best friends; from 2004 to the present, as husband and wife. My son tagged along from 2003 until 2013 when he ventured off to college. We’ve taken two trips by airplane, but are much happier when we’re the ones behind the wheel — charting our own course, making unplanned stops anytime we want, availing ourselves of slightly better meal options, and keeping or ruining our own schedule as dictated by circumstances or whims. We’re the Goldens. It’s who we are and what we do.
For years we’ve been telling friends in other states that we’d one day do Atlanta’s Dragon Con, one of the largest conventions in America that isn’t in California or New York. We’d been in Atlanta, but we hadn’t really done Atlanta. Hence this year’s vacation, in which we aimed for a double proficiency in Atlanta tourism and over-the-top Dragon Con goodness. Before we went to D*C, there was the road trip to get there, and the good times to be had before the great times at the big show.
By the time we finished our meager lunch at the Jimmy Carter Presidential Library and Museum, the storm had abated for a spell. Not far down the road is Martin Luther King Jr. National Historical Park, whose features include a Visitors Center and free parking a block away. It was a nice start to the experience.
As covered in our previous chapter, on the next block over was the Martin Luther King Jr. Center for Nonviolent Social Change. By this time the skies had resumed with light sprinkling. Though the drops were tiny and the traffic was sparse, a gentleman ran over and offered to cover Anne with his umbrella, in exchange for a voluntary donation at the end of our momentary stroll. We’re not exactly quick to toss quarters to every soul we pass, but there’s something to be said for tipping for good deeds.
Next door to the Center is Historic Ebenezer Baptist Church. Founded in 1818, the church has had a number of locations throughout its run. Martin Luther King Sr. would become pastor for over forty years. His oldest son Martin Jr. was baptized there and later served as co-pastor from 1960 to 1968. However many of his son’s speeches you’ve listened to, their members were blessed to hear many, many more.
The Church remains an active congregation today, though the majority of their services appear to be at another site. At 6000 members strong, their church could absolutely beat our church at tug-of-war.
Everyone inside was, as you’d expect, nothing less than the friendliest of friendly. They provided trivia and browsing suggestions. They didn’t mind us resting for a bit in the folding chairs set up in the basement. And they have a gift shop, where I was surprised to recognize a couple of comics on their shelves — the second and third issues of a self-published series called Tuskegee Heirs, whose creators I met at C2E2 two years ago, and who were also at Dragon Con. Those comics aren’t the reason we came, but it was cool to be able to complete my set, and to see other inspired works.
To be continued!
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