Temple-rarily there
Friday July 29th 2011, 10:55 pm
Filed under: Family,Friends,Life

Someone on my high school’s page wrote about it last week. A few days ago, Deseret News did. I have no idea how the subject appeared in both places one after the other all these years later, but it was one of the funny parts of my growing up.

The Washington, DC Mormon Temple was built on a hill above a place where the DC Beltway takes a sharp curve: so that as you’re driving down the freeway at night, the hillside covered in woods remains dark, emphasizing this white, illuminated building with towering gold spires that seems to float in the air above you. The outer loop of the road bends away to the left just as it looks like you’re about to tunnel right under.

The place promptly got dubbed “Oz” among the locals.

So what came next was a total delight to everybody I know, at church, at school, you name it.

“Surrender Dorothy!” (Done in a carefully proper manner, with newspapers stuck in the chain link fence on the overpass, nothing harmed.)

That promptly got taken down by the authorities, of course, but then came another, although one that required too high a level of risk.

“Surrender Dorothy!”

(Hey, Karen, am I right in remembering a version on the sound wall too?)

And on a personal note, the landscape architect for the Temple needed a temporary home while the place was being built; my parents volunteered, and so a sweet old guy came to live with us for awhile. And (though it’s true I remember him from a young teenager’s perspective) I do mean old: come to find out he had known my father’s grandfather, and he was able to tell Dad about the grandpa he never knew.

Building a yellow brick road for us linking us to our ancestor as those daffodils went in.

7 Comments so far
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Such fun memories are good to have.

Comment by Sherry in Idaho 07.30.11 @ 6:47 am

What a fun piece of local history I never knew! And I forever have the memory of driving to Bethesda Naval at 5 AM to give birth to my first child and seeing those gleaming spires on our way there.

Comment by suburbancorrespondent 07.30.11 @ 6:56 am

Ah, trekking down the yellow brick road! Did they ever find the perpetrator?

Comment by Don Meyer 07.30.11 @ 10:04 am

That must have been a magnificent sight in the dark of night.

Comment by Jody 07.30.11 @ 11:06 am

I’ve always adored that temple, but I like the no coincidence personal connect even more.

Comment by Channon 07.30.11 @ 11:51 am

I saw this when we visited DC over 10 years ago — there are trees around it, but it still seems to suddenly appear as you go around that corner — beautiful

Comment by Bev 07.30.11 @ 1:17 pm

I love driving around that curve and seeing the spires over the trees. Although I’ve often thought about Oz, I never knew the back story. Cool!

Comment by Deb 08.04.11 @ 2:05 pm

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