Which well-known monument has spring showers on the inside? In what city are F. Scott Fitzgerald and his beloved Zelda buried? How did Foundry Methodist Church get its name? Who was John, as in Cabin? The answers to these questions* - and a lot more - were nicely presented the other night by WRC-TV, Channel 4. The hour-long program, "Washington Odyssey," was one of the most imaginative local public-affairs shows to come this way in a long time. Using the format of a bus ride through the area, WRC and NBC television personalities pointed out familiar landmarks and lesser-known attractions and gave interesting facts about each.
This was no ordinary public-affairs broardcast in the traditional low-budget, studio-taped mold. Instead, the staff and crew wandered through both the city and the suburbs. They pointed out such things as the city's most inattractive statue (in honor of temperance, at Pennysylania Avenue and the 12th Street NW) and a statue that required an unmentionable transplant (Gen. Scott's horse, at Scott Circle). What's more, they removed some of the mystery of a few things (no, there are not really 13 columns around the Capitol dome - just 12), while encouraging a few ghost stories of their own. A great deal of credit goes to WRC's Bryson Rash, who came up with mosat of these morsels of information. Amoco, the progam sponsor, also deserves a hand for imposing very few and very short commercials.
We hope that there will be another opportunity to see Channel 4's "Washington Odyssey" - this is one rerun that will be quiet welcome. Moreover, it strikes us that WRC and local public-school officials should talk about the possibility of using the program in classrooms. The "Washington Odyssey" is a trip well worth taking.
Answers : 1) the Washington Monument, as a result of its unique height and humidity ; 2) Rockville, Md. ; 3) in honor of a Georgetown foundry that supplied ammunition to U.S. soldiers during the War of 1812; 4) John Trust, an alleged murderer who fled England with his fiance, became a hermit after her death and lived in - you guessed it - a cabin .