Skip to main content

Philly Bucket List: The Rocky Steps

We’ll be leaving Philadelphia to return to Kansas this summer: “Philadelphia Bucket List” is an occasional series of posts about what we’ll miss about this great city.


Everybody knows the Rocky Steps. Everybody who visits Philly has to visit the Rocky Steps. Why?

Do I really have to say? Because of this:



We visited soon after arriving in Philadelphia, of course. Everybody does. There's always somebody — often multiple somebodies — charging up the steps, then raising their fists in triumph at the top. Homeless guys hang out and offer to take pictures; there's a guy in a sweatshirt and porkpie hat, slightly Stallone-ish, who offers to be in the pictures.

None of that is why the Rocky Steps are on my list.

This is why:

Two months after my mom died in 2013, my dad came to visit us for the first time without her.

He and I walked and talked for a few days, stopping every now and again to sob. As deeply as I felt the loss, his pain (I know) was absolutely searing. One of our walks took us to the Philadelphia Museum of Art — we circled from the Schuylkill River Trail, on the back side, around to Benjamin Franklin Parkway and the steps in front.

I looked him, whipped out my cell phone, and told him to go.

And my father, deep in the earliest stages of widowerhood, bounded up the steps to the top, then raised his fists in triumph.


 That's when I knew we would survive.

Comments

leslie said…
That is so sweet. Love it.

Popular posts from this blog

Yoga

I've been making some life changes lately — trying to use the time I have, now that I'm back in Kansas, to improve my health and lifestyle. Among the changes: More exercise. 30 minutes a day on the treadmill. Doesn't sound like a lot, but some is more than none, and I know from experience that getting overambitious early leads to failure. So. Thirty minutes a day.

One other thing: Yoga, a couple of times a week. It's nothing huge — a 15-minute flexibility routine downloaded from an iPhone app. But I've noticed that I'm increasingly limber.

Tonight, friends, I noticed a piece of trash on the floor. I bent over at the waist and picked it up, and threw it away.

Then I wept. I literally could not remember the last time I'd tried to pick something off the floor without grunting and bracing myself. I just did it.

Small victories, people. Small victories.

Liberals: We're overthinking this. Hillary didn't lose. This is what it should mean.

Interesting:
Nate Cohn of the New York Times estimates that when every vote is tallied, some 63.4 million Americans will have voted for Clinton and 61.2 million for Trump. That means Clinton will have turned out more supporters than any presidential candidate in history except for Obama in 2008 and 2012. And as David Wasserman of Cook Political Report notes, the total vote count—including third party votes—has already crossed 127 million, and will “easily beat” the 129 million total from 2012. The idea that voters stayed home in 2016 because they hated Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton is a myth. We already know the Electoral College can produce undemocratic results, but what we don't know is why — aside from how it serves entrenched interests — it benefits the American people to have their preference for national executive overturned because of archaic rules designed, in part, to protect the institution of slavery. 

A form of choosing the national leader that — as has happened in …

I'm not cutting off my pro-Trump friends

Here and there on Facebook, I've seen a few of my friends declare they no longer wish the friendship of Trump supporters — and vowing to cut them out of their social media lives entirely.

I'm not going to do that.

To cut ourselves off from people who have made what we think was a grievous error in their vote is to give up on persuading them, to give up on understanding why they voted, to give up on understanding them in any but the most cartoonish stereotypes.

As a matter of idealism, cutting off your pro-Trump friends is to give up on democracy. As a matter of tactics, cutting off your pro-Trump friends is to give up on ever again winning in a democratic process.

And as a long-term issues, confining ourselves to echo chambers is part of our national problem.

Don't get me wrong: I expect a Trumpian presidency is a disaster, particularly for people of color. And in total honesty: My own relationships have been tested by this campaign season. There's probably some damage…