you're reading...
history, spiritual experiences

Washington, D.C., served chilled

In August 1968, my parents, step-brother and I traveled across the U.S. via camper truck.  Being a teenager packed-in like sardines with your family is not a ‘fun’ experience.  In August.  (or I imagine any other time.)
I always wanted to be one of those people who could read minds, or experience Extra-Sensory Perception or other stuff.  Alas, I never have.
Except once.
We were visiting family friends outside Washington, D.C..  The dad worked in Washington, so, he drove us into the city, and we caught a tour bus.  Well, actually, a tour limousine.  And we rapidly visited many of the historic sites in our Nation’s Capital.  It was wonderful.
After the rapid-fire tour was completed, we were dropped back directly by the White House.  And I was told I was ‘on my own’, and could meet the others at an appointed time again, at that location, later.
So, here’s young Guffaw, walking up Pennsylvania Avenue, taking in all the sites.
About a block down, across the street, a strange, foreboding feeling overcame me.  I wasn’t afraid, just sad and confused.  And strangely chilled.  You’d think I’d be happy divesting myself of the family for a while?
And, I had just stopped in front of a white building, and tried to assess what I was feeling.  Maybe I was coming down with something?
Then I saw the historic marker.  It commemorates White House Policeman Leslie Coffelt, who, while mortally wounded, returned fire and killed Puerto Rican Nationalist terrorist Griselio Torresola, who had just pumped four bullets into him, in an attempt to assassinate President Truman. (November 1, 1950)
Truman was staying at Blair House while the White House was under renovation.
Torresola and his partner Oscar Collazo had tried to storm Blair House to kill the President.  And Officer Coffelt died protecting him, killing one of the assailants.
Collazo was sentenced to death, but commuted to life by President Truman.  President Jimmy Carter then further commuted his sentence to time served, in 1979.
And, I got serious chills, standing on that spot.  It had never happened to me before, or since.

Makes my skin crawl, today, just thinking about it.

About guffaw1952

I'm a child of the 50's. libertarian, now medically-retired. I've been a certified firearms trainer, a private investigator, and worked for a major credit card company for almost 22 years. I am a proud NRA Life Member. I am a limited-government, free-market capitalist, who believes in the U.S. Constitution and the Rule of Law.


4 thoughts on “Washington, D.C., served chilled

  1. I got that when we visited Little Bighorn. Hit it right when the sun was going down and we were about the only people in the park. Very, very weird, eerie, chilling, and ect.

    Posted by bluesun | June 25, 2011, 9:25 am
  2. @bluesun – a friend visited Little Big Horn. He found it twisted that one buys something and gets a receipt, "Custer Battlefield – Thank You"

    Posted by Guffaw in AZ | June 25, 2011, 9:28 am
  3. Back in the early '70s, The Detroit News and The Detroit Free Press both started printing commemorative back issues as tabloid sized inserts for the Sunday paper, and it was there that I became aware of this story (they never mentioned it in history class), the gruesome photo that accompanied the article showed the dead would-be assassin laying sprawled on the steps. This photo so preoccupied my preteen mind that I didn't catch the fact that this didn't take place at the White House, I thought it was amazing that these guys had ran all the way across the lawn before anybody stopped them, and boy that was a tiny porch for the White House!Greg

    Posted by Anonymous | June 25, 2011, 3:27 pm
  4. @Greg – Look at the photo. Blair House is right up to the sidewalk!

    Posted by Guffaw in AZ | June 25, 2011, 5:54 pm

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

"Round up the usual suspects."

In Loving Memory…

%d bloggers like this: