Dear Director Jim Stowe

ImageMarch 30, 2013

Dear Director Jim Stowe,

Thank you so much for the tremendous gift you have given me, my mother and my daughters by making this trip possible and powerful.

You warned us from the beginning that we weren’t going to be able to see and do everything. You said that the choices you had made for our itinerary would be unforgettable, mostly because of the special people we’d be meeting along the way.

You did not disappoint. You not only took care of so many details, you made sure that our time on the bus was filled with snacks and nourishment for the mind. At each step of the way, you shared documentaries and Hollywood films about the places were going and the people who made history. It made for a completely immersive experience.

  • This trip was amazing even though it was bitter cold for the first few days and I wanted to see the Southland in the springtime.
  • This trip was amazing even though the wifi on the bus was intermittent.
  • This trip was amazing even though I ate more fast food this week than I do in a year.
  • This trip was amazing even though soul food buffets overdo the salt, sugar and fat.
  • This trip was amazing even though I sat in the back of the bus – near the bathroom.
  • This trip was amazing even though I shared a room with a snoring senior citizen.
  • This trip was amazing even though I had to take my mom to the hospital for vertigo and one daughter complained of nausea for a solid day.

This trip was amazing because that same daughter – who practically committed civil disobedience to avoid sacrificing her spring break on an educational trip –  finally said, “I am actually surprised at how un-boring this trip has been. We’ve gone to some very cool places.”


This trip was amazing because you made it so. You brought a diverse group of Montgomery County residents together and took us on a voyage of discovery about our nation and ourselves.

For this I am forever grateful and I promise now to carry the legacy forward.

I have no gifts of similar size or depth to present to you. But I offer you my time, energy and creativity because you have given so much of your time, energy and creativity to us. Please feel free to use, edit, share, excerpt this blog site in any way you wish. I pledge to make a presentation about this Civil Rights Bus Tour to an intergenerational group in my own faith community, The Washington Ethical Society. I will spread word about it to the principals at my daughter’s middle school and high school and other educators I know in the DC area. And I will be in touch with you at the end of 2013 to discuss ways I may be able to help you promote this unique opportunity so that others may consider joining the journey and the cause. Consider me a footsoldier in your efforts to help shape our shared future by getting in touch with our collective past.

Thanks for all you do to make my county, Montgomery County, a place where human rights matter most.


At the Tuskee Airmen’s museum, trying on uniforms and a special salute.

Julie Drizin, Silver Spring

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