Saturday, February 26, 2011

Birdman goes to Charleston

I think we have one of the prettiest Capitol buildings anywhere.  Isn't the dome beautiful?  It didn't always look so nice.  Back in the day it was just painted blue and gold and looked a bit cheesy, but not so long ago, as one may reckon the turning of governmental wheels of appropriation, money was allocated to have the dome redone, and the gold is now real gold leaf.
I took this picture when I took Birdman to serve as a junior Page in the House of Delegates a couple of weeks ago.

Here we have Birdman on the Capitol plaza, next to our very own replica of the Liberty Bell (only ours isn't cracked). Did you know that there are 55 replicas of the Liberty Bell, one in each state and territory?  You can go here to see where your state's replica resides, and perhaps go visit it.  It is said that they have the same tone as the original and all sound alike, which of course isn't so hard to believe considering they used the original mold.

Here's Birdman with his certificate!  He had a very good time.  I'm so glad that when I was in high school I served as a junior page, because otherwise I don't think I'd have known about this great opportunity for young people to see and experience their state government at work. Some things have really changed since I was a page; the pages now stand in two groups near the Speaker's desk - we had a wee tiny cloakroom and folding chairs, with a board and lights on it.  When a light went on, one of us had to go to that Delegate's desk and see what they wanted - coffee, newspaper, go make copies of something, etc.  Now the pages are in the line of sight of the Delegates, so they just wave; sometimes the Clerk will ask a page to distribute copies of a bill or resolution.  All the Delegates have laptops at their desks now too - personal computers didn't even exist when I paged!  And the roll call board? That's all LED lights that change color according to how a Delegate votes, instead of a red or green bulb (for Nay or Aye respectively) next to the Delegate's name (in those pinned-on letters like a bulletin board).

Next year I hope to take him back to page in the State Senate - I remember the Senators being very bad to pass notes to each other, but I'd bet that's not a problem now, what with text messaging and IM capability.

Besides being a junior legislative Page, Birdman is also preparing for a trip to Washington, DC with his Civil Air Patrol squadron, and a Color Guard competition.  I'm going to the Color Guard practice tomorrow to teach them how to do a proper spit-shine; I'll try to remember the camera and then you will know how, too!

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