Tuesday, January 20, 2009
O Happy Day!
Where shall I spend Inauguration Day? That was my dilemma as I sat at a north Florida campground on Monday morning. To my freezing friends, sorry about the FL reference. And rest assured, it's been pretty darn cold here.
I looked at the map, knowing I was headed for Opelousas and Shreveport, LA. I picked out a route to take me across the shores of Mississippi, where I had never been, knowing a few state parks were scattered along the way. What about New Orleans?, I mused, looking at the map and seeing Bayou Segnette SP right next to NO.
As it happened, I landed here last night, and looked online for an Obama Inauguration day event, finding one at the "Zulu Social Aid and Pleasure Club," which in my non-NO state of mind thought it sounded like a brothel. After checking it out, I registered to attend, and plotted my route to include the free ferry (leaving my RV, Tillie, behind in the parking area).
Thanks to kind NO people and the efficient trolley-bus system, I arrived at Zulu early, in time for a front seat by the big screen TV. The room filled as the event unfolded. The energizing excitement at Zulu was dwarfed only by the millions on the Mall.
I couldn't believe my emotional state--sitting in front of a huge TV, surrounded by a crowd of strangers as excited as I was to be together, listening to a full-sentence-capable president extolling each one of us to shake off the sludge of despair and to realize the task of rebuilding our nation's greatness would be a task for all of us. My joy was enhanced as I released despair that I've seen in so many children, teens and adults who lost their place to call home.
Perhaps you'd like to visit the Zulu Club and watch me as I listened to President "Hope" Obama take the reins of this nation. I can tell you that I was feeling the inexplicable emotion that comes when you allow yourself to believe the rescue boat is about to come ashore. It's not over, nor will it be soon enough for the millions of children, teens and adults without homes. But perhaps we can try something new--comprehensively address poverty, involve those affected by the problem in the solution, and not be satisfied with the crumbs from the table usually tossed at the millions of homeless people in this country.
It seems to me that if not now, when?