Tuesday, January 20, 2009
One More Time
Back about a year and a half ago, in July of 2007, I posted about this bumper sticker, which I spotted near my home, and saw a lot for the last couple of years.
A lot of people had those "countdown" things on their blogs, counting down the days until the end of George W. Bush's administration. Back then, the counters had about 500 days on them. It was, at times, a little disheartening. 1/20/09 seemed years away.
Today, I missed Barack Obama's inauguration; I had a doctor's appointment at 11:30, and had to leave just before Yomo Ma, Perlman and company began the performance that preceded the ceremony. I was content, though; the CNN commentator mentioned that the ceremony was only for show. As per the constitution, at noon Eastern time (11 am local time) Senator Barack Obama became President Barack Obama, regardless as to whether the the swearing-in had occurred.
I drove over to my doctor's office. It was a combination of a follow-up to my visit last week and a routine physical.
After checking my vital signs and asking a few questions, the doctor made the diagnosis of asthma official. She told me that she was going to prescribe Advair and see how I did with that. She ran me through the physical and we discussed my blood pressure, which had improved a lot, but was still high. She sent me to the lab in her office for a tetanus shot and a flu shot-- the latter is highly recommended for people with asthma.
As I walked to my car, I recalled a conversation last night with a young (20's) co-worker about my memories of Martin Luther King's murder, over 40 years ago. My family lived in pre-gentrification Lincoln Park. The little mixed island my family lived in was surrounded by African-American and Puerto Rican neighborhoods. I recalled to her how the teachers at Lincoln Elementary School had had to walk us home the next day; there was rioting and shooting a few blocks away. That day seemed at once a million years ago and just yesterday.
I got in my car and stopped at Trader Joe's to pick up something quick to prepare for lunch; I was ravenously hungry. Since my doctor wanted to test my cholesterol, triglycerides and blood sugar, I hadn't been able to eat since last night. When I walked back to my car, I noticed that the minivan parked next to my car had an Obama sticker, and also the same sticker pictured at the top of this post. It suddenly sunk in right then: "Hot damn! That's today!"
Today seemed so far off a year and a half ago. I couldn't wait to get Bush and his truly evil cabal out of office. I would have taken just about anybody other than him, including a lot of Republicans.
Since then, things have gotten even worse here in the United States and the rest of the world.
We had our primaries, then our election. In the end, not only did we get a Democrat, as I had hoped, but we got, I believe, the brightest, most creative and compassionate one of the bunch. Godspeed, President Obama. Let's see what you and we can do to get this country back on track.