Back to Virginia – 2011

Excursion to Handicap Park at McLean

June 3 –6, 2011


Part 1: Memphis to Arlington, VA

Part 3: Visit to McLean handicap Park

Part 2: Diaper swim lesson for boys

Part 4: Arlington, VA to Memphis


- Updated June 20, 2011


There are photographs of Casey and Caroline Nolan and their identical twin boys posted in various albums at www.kodakgallery.com. There are also other family photos in various albums registered under Lewis “Buzz” Nolan’s email address. Email lewis_nolan@yahoo.com for instructions how to access the albums; please specify your family relationship or friendship for security reasons. 


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June 5, 2011 –Sunday – Excursion to park built in honor of children with handicaps at Arlington


I slept in until 8:30 a.m. in the comfortable guest room at Casey and Caroline’s home in Arlington, then finally got up and enjoyed another wonderful breakfast of ham and eggs cooked by Betty.


Doing double duty, Betty toiled in the front yard planting more flowers at her son-and-daughter-in-law’s nice, two-story home in an older section of Arlington, VA. Showing where my heart really was, I retired back to bed to snooze for a while as Caroline and Casey went out to play tennis. Casey is a fairly decent player with his natural athletic ability and intrinsic competitive spirit. Caroline – naturally long and lanky -  played on a tennis team while in high school and managed the women’s tennis team while a student at the University of Virginia.


I arose for the second time just before noon to check my email on a mini-Dell laptop computer brought from home that connected to the Wi-Fi Internet signal at the Nolan’s home. Meanwhile, Casey ordered some takeout sandwiches from a nearby shop, Lost Dog Café, while Caroline fed lunch to the twin boys.


A while later, Betty and I split a big club sandwich as well as tasty, freshly sliced pastrami sandwich made on large rolls of soft French bread rolls made at the Lost Dog Café. I also enjoyed a rare slice of barbeque-beef pizza cadged from Caroline’s lunch.  It was a delightful mid-day meal for everybody.


Fighting off a somewhat seasonal sinus infection, Casey napped for a while. Caroline and Betty drove to a nearby grocery store with a handful of cents-off coupons to purchase some baby formula for the boys.


Our family outing for this day was a visit to park built in honor of handicapped children at nearby McLean, VA. Casey and Betty drove us and their twin boys – Carden Lewis and brother Aiden Mayer – to a nearby park built by a family in honor of their disabled children and grandchildren.


It was a wonderful monument to the generosity and thoughtfulness of an old family in the area. I had visited McLean fairly often back in the late 1960s when stationed at the nearby U.S. Marine Corps base at Quantico, VA. The park was designed to serve children with physical disabilities and was magnificently built to be totally and safely accessible by young children. The pathways were paved with a rubberized surface to present a “soft landing” to any who should fall.  


The swings, see-saws and even antique carousel are specially built to insure that youngsters with disabilities can use and enjoy the equipment without parental fear of injury. Casey estimated the several acres of land the park is built on is worth $5 million or more. I found it to be a wonderful package, making me wish that the late Abe Plough, a wonderful benefactor who built the company that employed me for over a decade, had seen the park so perhaps it could have been used as a model for a similar park in Memphis.


We returned to the Nolan home, where I took another nap. Casey also napped to ease the discomfort of his sinus infection.


After shopping at a grocery store, Betty and Caroline jointly prepared a magnificent dinner of blackened Tilapia fish, salad and fresh broccoli, served with a nice-tasting Columbia Crest Chardonnay wine from Washington State. We adults enjoyed the meal and a good conversation while the boys slept.


Feeling a little better after his nap and good dinner, Casey printed the boarding passes for the next day’s Delta flight Betty and I were taking to get us home to Memphis.


Continue with Part 4, Flight to Memphis  /  Return to Getaways Home Page