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A Brave New Day!

20 Jan

I’m writing this update on Monday, January 19th – Martin Luther King Day and the day before the inauguration of Barack Obama.  I have to say I’m profoundly happy to see this improbable turn of political events, given the difficult years we’ve all experienced.  I usually don’t write about anything political.  It’s not the point of this website, and can distract from what we’re about.  But this is worthy of an exception. 

 I'm sixty-six years old.  I saw my first Pete Seeger concert at the age of 20 in 1963, when I was home for the summer and a totally cool, new boyfriend took me to see him at a small folk concert at Brandeis University.  I lived as a student and young adult in the Hyde Park neighborhood of Chicago for 9 years, some of them around the block from the house our new president so reluctantly had to leave. 

My husband – he was my fiancé at the time - was in Selma, Alabama (his job was building outhouses for the demonstrators).  We were at Martin Luther King’s speech at the Chicago Armory (baffled by his prescient talk about poverty and the Arab-Israeli conflict – “Why is he diluting his civil rights message?”, we wondered….) and we were tear-gassed together (how romantic!) at the Democratic Convention of ’68, watching with dropped jaws as tanks wrapped in barbed wire rolled down Michigan Avenue.  That’s enough history – you get the picture.  It’s a big part of why I’m so happy to see this day.  Let me count the ways:

 

  • I’m happy to be proud of my country again.
  • I’m happy with our stated goals for positive & unifying change.
  • I’m happy our great problems will be addressed coherently and competently.
  • I’m happy that our young people are on board and excited to be part of this.
  • I’m happy to have an articulate, visionary, reflective, brainy, consistent, unifying, strategic, Constitution-savvy wonk of a president who actually might pull some of this off.
  • I’m happy with the random smiles I get on the street from perfect strangers of all stripes and colors.
  • I’m happy that my kids will now feel they own a piece of history, just as their parents did.  
  • I’m happy that Pete Seeger sang (sort of… he’s gotta be pushing 90!) on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial at the Sunday Inaugural concert.

 

Here’s to better days ahead, good people!

 

All best,