Oneness you say? I will explain. First, I will give you what Trump never will:  an apology. There will be many products, places and people mentioned in my post. It looks like an advertisement but trust me, folks (no, trust me) these are things to know about and love.

Let’s start with the basics: how I came to be on a bus (one of two) with 110 incredible women going to D.C.; what I wore; and what it was like to be in the march. I’ll end with some thoughts about marching and where we go from here. 

How I Came To Be On The Bus

My dear friend and mentor Helen Cunningham alerted me to the opportunity over dinner in November. It was my way of saying thank you for her work as the Executive Director of the Samuel S. Fels Fund and years of friendship.  

Helen is an incredible woman: mother, wife (her husband is the noted Ted Newbold), artist, cook, traveler, avid book reader and aficionada of all things Latin (speaks Spanish fluently). You will be hard-pressed to find someone who cares as deeply for their fellow humans; is genuinely true to themselves; or is more committed to causes that support the arts, education, and social justice among others. If we could bottle Helen and sprinkle a little of her on everyone’s heads, the world would be a better place.  

So thanks to Helen, I readily accepted one of six available seats on a bus rented by a group of hearty women from Utah. Utah? No, they flew in. Cindy, the Utah organizer, is a sister of the Philadelphia organizer thus the connection. With Helen’s vast network of friends and colleagues, six seats filled quickly and one bus became two, one for the Utah gang and one for the Philly gang. We were scheduled to leave at 5:30 am from 5th and Chestnut on Saturday morning.  Our Philadelphia leader, Louise Strawbridge, hosted a fabulous cocktail party at her fabulous house on Friday night. Louise is also an artist.

Cindy, the WIC (Woman in Charge) deftly handled a potentially disastrous bus situation and two buses - not one - left on Saturday morning right on schedule after a boisterous roll call in the hotel lobby (thank you Hotel Monaco) vividly reminding me of school days. And as you remember, something always went wrong on those field trips of long ago so in true fashion, the bathroom on our bus was broken. Yes, you guessed it. The scene was this: many women peeing in the woods at a rest stop.



What I Wore

Dressing for a march is very important. There was a lot of information on the internet and on the Women’s March on Washington website.  Mostly what not to wear and not to bring, still helpful. This is what I wore:


(1) A soft, warm, pink ‘pussyhat,’ lent to me by long-time colleague, Gail Harrity who was on the bus. Gail is the President and COO of the Philadelphia Museum of Art. Wow. (Also with us was the newly elected Chair of the Board of the PMA. I was like, are you guys allowed to be together in the same place?)

(2) A merino wool Rapha sweater, a gift from my daughter-in-law, Jen Nordhem. It was the perfect weight and warmth and allowed me to make an attempt at being stylish. Jen works in marketing at the British-owned company. Jen is also a WIC. Here is a great article about her professional racing. Both Jen and Will (my son, fist raised) attended the New York march. I am so proud of them! 



(3) A pair of light weight polyester pants. I bought these maybe four seasons ago from my trusted friend, fabulous fashionista, and ultimate saleswoman, Amy at Joan Shepp, my favorite clothing store. The elastic waistband makes them super comfy and easy to pull down should you have to squat in the woods or squat in a port-o-potty.

Speaking of squatting, yes, in the photo you do see a pair of Depends. Aren’t they cute with the little bow? I suppose something is needed to assuage the indignity. My mom used to wear them when she traveled and couldn’t find a bathroom. I gave them a test run the day before and they worked! Fortunately, there were tons of port-o-pottys along the march route.  

(4) My favorite Bogner ski jacket. Not only was the pink lining purrrfect, but it matched my hat. The jacket has a ton of pockets for valuables and ID. It is sharp looking too (black, of course). I remember having sticker shock when I bought it but the salesman said, “It’s a piece of equipment, not clothing.” He was right. 

(5) If you didn’t know about Coobie bras, now you do. Comfortable beyond belief. One size fits all. I wouldn’t wear them with fancy clothes but for every day, they are great.

(6 + 7) Marching is hard on the feet. You should wear great shoes and thanks to the Philadelphia Runner I did.  The shoes are called On-running. Swiss-made, they are by far the best running shoes I have ever worn. Expensive but once you try them, you won’t wear anything else. No problems with my feet after standing and marching for nearly five hours. And don’t forget the equally important Balega socks - unbelievably warm and blister-preventing. 

I think that’s enough about my outfit but those of you who really know me understand.

What It Was Like To Be In The March

I have been on marches before but none this size. My last march on Washington was in 1992, organized by NOW, March for Women’s Lives. Reports put attendance at 750,000, making it one of the largest marches in history. We chanted and advocated a woman’s right to choose as hundreds of anti-choice protesters lined the route. I saw not one single protester on Saturday. On the other hand, they may have been hard to spot because the streets, sidewalks, every walkable surface overflowed with pink-hatted marchers many of whom carried signs, wore costumes, played drums, pushed strollers and wheelchairs, displaying above-average courteous crowd manners. 

But it was more than the thousands of people, celebrity speakers, or the fact that we were protesting in Trump territory. Yes, I was swept away with excitement but what stirred my soul and my heart more was being in a vortex of the voice of oneness. We sang, joined arms, shared smiles all because we were united behind a common cause, speaking with one voice, one mind, one goal against a president who does just the opposite by speaking against all we hold true and important in our lives. I have been advocating the power of oneness for a long time, especially to nonprofits seeking to strengthen their resources and gain financial stability. The solution is to create and execute a shared vision of the future. That is the lesson we leave with today. Find a goal, find a purpose, and stick to it. As Charles Blow said in the New York Timestoday: “A unified, mission-driven left that puts bodies into the streets.” And I would add, puts feet on the ground. Never stop marching.