Thursday, January 10, 2008

Gus and the Mother of Jesus and Mary

I am in Annapolis, Maryland.

The city was restored to its colonial grandeur back in the fifties and is now rated one of the top 5 places to live in the country. It is 30 minutes from both Washington D.C. and Baltimore, and has it’s own historic port. The Continential Congress met here for a time just after the Revolution and George Washington gave his resignation speech in the Capitol building which still stands (the oldest state legislature building in the country still being used).

Washington’s speech was a big deal. It may have led to the democratic world as we now know it. The immensely popular general could have easily taken over the country. Many wanted to crown him king. General Oliver Cromwell couldn’t quite let loose the reigns after his successful revolution in England a century before. The backlash got the king restored.

(You go, George.)

The Founding Fathers were up on their Greek and Roman histories, and one great Roman hero was a farmer named Cincinnatus, who led the Romans in victory and was slated to lead the country. Instead, he went back to his plow for the remainder of his life. This is what Washington intended (the Constitutional Convention later caused him to reluctantly accept the Presidency).

Maryland. It means land of Mary. Annapolis means city of Anne, who was the mother of Mary, the mother of Jesus. Fun facts to know and enjoy.

(Grandma St. Anne, Mother Mary, and infant Jesus--by Albrecht Durer)

I was introduced to Annapolis through my college roommate and longtime close friend Gus. I am writing this from a bench on the grounds of the Maryland Capitol. Gus once brought me here to pray for his city. It’s a habit I took with me to Chattanooga.

Gus’s parents owned the Severn Inn restaurant which overlooks the Naval Academy on the Severn River. His grandparents came here from Greece and started the business.

(Here's the view from Gus's family restaurant.)

He was Gus Diamond when I met him 25 years ago, but he now goes by Constantine Sotery Diamondidus. He was raised Greek Orthodox and got saved in a Presbyterian Church here. I was raised saved and became Orthodox.

Gus the dark-skinned Greek is in the yellow sweater.

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