Having just closed his nearly full April / May 2012 Journal, Luke Hochevar set his pen down and looked across the Inner Harbor of Baltimore. He had gotten up early the morning before--standing at the door with eagerness at 9:00 AM sharp as they unlocked the door--so he could take in the National Great Blacks in Wax Museum before he was due at the ballpark. With his Friday morning having been spent in Harpers Ferry taking in, amongst other things, the John Brown Wax Museum, it made sense to Hochevar to continue down this path of historical tourism in which abolition played a central theme. It also meant he could take in the Harlem Renaissance exhibit, one that he was particularly excited about as he had long been a devoted admirer of the works of Langston Hughes.
Since he was a child, Luke used to walk to the banks of the Arkansas River with his heavily-underlined copy of The Crisis, reading "The Negro Speaks of Rivers" and contemplatively gazing at the waters passing by at his feet. Fowler wasn't the most diverse town, but in Hughes he found inspiration, not just in his writing and what he overcame, but in his relatively humble beginnings, having grown up in towns across the Midwest only to rise to prominence in the greatest city on Earth despite the cards being stacked against him, Hochevar saw Hughes as a beacon of hope, an example of what one could do with stalwart determination.
Hochevar thought of the harbor; of the rivers that drained into the Chesapeake; of the trade that once thrived here; of the greater symbological import that the water held in his and the lives of others. He thought of these things and turned his gaze inwards.
Resolute, he made for the door.