Check (and a little).
I’ve been prone to get nicknames. I think it’s because half the time people don’t know how to pronounce my name. The other half is I think personality. Who wouldn’t want to give this face another name? And just a little bit has to do with friends. They can’t help themselves (Thank you Herr Bornbusch).
But Lady Liberty was all me.
I was in charge of organizing the Hausbar’s pub quiz and I needed a stage name. Something catchy and something American. Lady Liberty might have been an unoriginal choice, but it was a classic one. She was the iconic statue; just right for the quiz. A perfect and logical choice. Plus, I got to wear a crown.
Oh the crown. I made it so crudely… it had to be no other way. It looked like a kindergartener made it, but it lasted all those years. At one point it even broke (it was made of styrofoam), but I duck taped in back together. I even sat on it, but the foam crown points just popped right back up. It’s a miracle it never got stolen. It’s a miracle I never forgot it after a night of … sipping.
The crown still exists. I bequeathed it to the Hausbar; no one deserved it more. Plus I wasn’t sure if it would survive the trip over (it’s still amazing my three boxes came).
But as all those years masking around as one Lady Liberty I had never been to the actual one. The closest I came was a high school trip to Ellis Island; still we never set foot on that other island. Then last year I was determined to go, but the Statue was closed. One of the hurricanes damaged it or they were remodeling; nonetheless it would be closed for a year. But Lady Liberty reopened this year on July fourth (I get special Lady Liberty urgent e-mail alerts) and I had envisions of climbing to the top, wearing the cheesy New York City crowns and crying, “I’m the Lady of the world!!”.
Unfortunately, everyone else had similar plans too. In fact, to reach the crown required months of reservations in advance; even during the weekday (don’t people work around here?).
I for one wasn’t that organized. But with two Germans waiting in the wings to do the ultimate New York experience; I was going. Even if the monument stand section would be the highest we could get.
The trip itself was a quick one. Going inbetween off days of work; getting up at the crack of dawn, driving to New York City (G.W. Bridge!!! -shake angry fist-); relying on my schizo phone service (Virgin Mobile!!! -shake angry fist-); not really sure where or what Battery Park was (What’s White Hall??? -shake angry fist-); but somehow I made it. Right on time (American time, not German).
We reached the island and security let us through. I felt veklempt; Mike Myers would be proud. But in actuality, I did feel choked up.
And I felt even more so as I climbed the 192 steps to the Pedestal observation deck. Who knows if my mascara would have held up if I had reached the crown.
But this Lady finally met her match. And it might not have been the most organized, or everything I had hoped to do at the statue, it was still breath-taking and emotional as it could get. Or it was as simple as a couple of Ladies just taking in the scenery and the moment.
Sometimes you can’t plan it any better.
Twenty-four to go.