It’s a cliché to say so, but this was certainly a day that I’ll remember for the rest of my life! Unlike most such days (the JFK assassination, 9/11, etc.) it was historic as a joyous occasion, not a tragedy. Although I couldn’t see the inauguration as part of the millions who were there in person in Washington, I was just so glad that I could still be part of a reasonably large number of people watching on a huge screen in an auditorium: it almost gave me a sense of actually being there, a sense that I wouldn’t have had if I had been part of an audience of six watching on television. It definitely became an experience, not a passive observation. So much is being written about the inauguration today that I don’t think I’ll add any more, except to say that I kept thinking of the last two lines of one of Pete Seeger’s songs, “Talking Union”:
And if you don’t let race hatred break you up,
You’ll win. What I mean, take it easy, but take it!
How appropriate for President Obama. And here we had Pete Seeger with Bruce Springsteen at the pre-inaugural concert, moving us with “This Land is Your Land,” including the two verses that are usually omitted. And the line “take it easy, but take it” was famous as the way the late Studs Terkel always closed his radio show. But Terkel sadly didn’t quite live long enough to see Obama become president. However, the musical Working, based on Terkel’s book of that name, is going to be our spring musical at Weston. Everything is deeply intertwingled, as Ted Nelson says.
The inauguration was surrounded by our Weston Professional Development Day before and afterwards (thank you to the administration for letting us watch it, and more about what we learned in my next post), and we capped it off with dinner at JP Seafood. Of course I had to have the Obama maki: vinegared rice with raw tuna, pineapple, cream cheese, and scallions, all wrapped in seaweed. Quite good, but a bit strange. My theory is that the pineapple represents Hawaii, and the cream cheese represents “No Drama” Obama, and the tuna represents Obama’s serious substance, and the scallions represent… oh well, maybe I’m going out on a limb here. But the whole thing definitely represented change. The five-year-old girl had the next table was eating sushi with salmon roe, but then again this was JP.