After the Ypsi Pride cleanup, there was a lovely picnic in a park for the volunteers. I took the boys who had helped me (O and L) and we ate well (they ran out of food last year, but the organizers were so on top of it this year and everyone got plenty, even those who worked long and got there late!). While we were lounging on our blanket in the breezy sunshine, we noticed this sight -- A mayor (Ypsi), a city council member (Ypsi), and the longest-serving member of the House of Representatives, John Dingell.
Dingell represents our district so it is not a surprise that he showed for this community-wide event (he also provided the cookies, which were quite yummy). I chatted with the boys about who he was, as well as who the others on the bench were -- it made for a nice little lesson in civics when we discussed who of the three we thought it most more important to talk to (O voted for the mayor, but L said "nah, I see him everywhere").
A short time later, when we were leaving, I crossed paths with Dingell in the parking lot and we exchanged pleasantries. As he headed off to his car and a woman called to him saying, "Governor..." He didn't look back (Michigan has a female governor at the moment...).
She looked at me confused, so I said (helpfully), "It's Representative... Representative Dingell").
She said, "oh, I knew he was something." Pause. "Who is he?"
I answered, "he's in the House of Representatives."
She responds, "What is that?"
Wha???? A grown woman just asked me what the House of Representatives is....
Okay, deep breath.
"You know, he is part of the government in Washington, D. C. It is one of the two bodies of Congress..." Schoolhouse Rock, where are you when I need you?
The closing line belongs to the 10 year old: In the car, I told the kids about this exchange. O sympathetically said, "well I don't know that I really know what that is." L responded, "Yeah, that's okay, you're 7, not an ADULT!"
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