Parts of Fedland can be a really dark. I’ve come to understand where some of that darkness comes from. Where it exists, it comes from an internal tension that constantly is present but cannot be acknowledged or faced. A tension caused by shame about how people act and what they do. And the conditions that cause them to act that way. I’m not ashamed. I try hard to align what I do with what I say I do. I don’t always succeed–I’m human! But at least I try. Others? Yes. I think they live with shame. They know it deep down but never can admit that. But it is what keeps them from walking in sunlight.
But there are bright spots in Fedland, too. A blog post by my friend Don McIlwain reminded me of that this morning. There will be a pingback to what I write. I’ll be honored to see it. Because of what that particular site represents. The National Declassification Center (NDC) of the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA). NARA provides so much light for me in Fedland these days.
On February 1, 2012, NDC awarded Ed Cachine the first Jeanne Schauble Memorial Award. The award is a tribute to Jeanne, a friend to and boss of my late sister, Eva. I remember Ed from my many happy visits to Declass to join in some parties and luncheons out at Archives 2. I’m glad to see his contributions recognized this way!
The NARA Executive for Agency Services, Jay Bosanko, whom I so respect and admire, spoke at the ceremony at which Ed Cachine received the award. I get so much strength from my contact with my friend Jay. (He brought a smile to my face Friday evening. I heard again from him last night. Good man.) Jay’s words at the NDC ceremony were from the heart and spoke to mine. Jay said:
“the work of the NDC is incredibly important – noble really – and it deserves our very best – we need to stay the course and do what is right, even in the face of immense pressure to deviate. Ed knows the importance of this and serves as an example for all of us!”
Noble, indeed. Words to live by in Fedland.
Here is Jeanne with Jay and Joe Scanlon in 1995.
Jeanne with Neil Carmichael, now NDC Director, Indexing and Declassification Review Division, and Jay in 1998.
My late sister, Eva, Chuck Hughes, Jeanne, and Joe in 1996. They are celebrating Eva’s birthday, which would have come just a few days after Ed Cachine received the award. A. J. Daverede said of Eva at her memorial service, “She took pleasure in other peoples’ accomplishments as if they were her own.” She would love watching colleagues receive such an award!
It’s lunchtime. I shouldn’t feel the need to say that. Declass, as the NDC still is called by insiders, represents the strong side of AOTUS David S. Ferriero’s house. But there are parts of NARA that haven’t always acted according to the values my late sister, her boss Jeanne, and her friends and colleagues showed and the best of the present team still model. So yeah, I’ll put up the usual caveat. Posted on personal time. And oh yeah, check back later. This evening or tomorrow morning. I’ll try to add a few more pix. Could only use the few I had on a flashdrive right now.
Beautiful post, Don. Thanks for putting it up.