Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Inauguration Day

I remember the last time I felt excited about an Inauguration Day.

I voted in the fall of 1992, by placing an X on a paper ballot, at the local power company in Oxford, Mississippi (where we had moved so my then-sig other could get a master's degree). The state went Republican, of course, but I felt like my "X" by Clinton's name had played a part in a change for the good.

On Inauguration Day 1993, I had swimmer's ear. As an employee of the University of Mississippi, I had full gym privileges, so I swam laps a couple of times a week. And gave myself an ear ache so bad I cried and whimpered most of that Monday night. I must have had a mid-morning appointment, because by the time I saw the doctor and got my prescription, I listened to the ceremonies nearing the climax on the radio. I listened to Maya Angelou read her powerful poem, and I heard President Clinton take his oath as I sat in my parked car behind the library.

Today, I'll head to my job at a public library early so I can watch the whole ceremony on TV before starting my 12:30 - 9 p.m. shift. It's been a long time since I felt optimistic about the chances that our country can do good and be good. Optimism feels good.

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