Inauguration day minus one. Here in snowy New Jersey, excitement is mounting. My cousins Bob and Elayne went to Washington on Saturday morning. They aren't invited to any inaugural events, but are just going to take in the atmosphere of renewal and hope. Someday, they will be able to tell their grandchildren that they were there. The agency where I work is opening up its largest conference room at lunchtime so that we can all watch Obama's speech together. In these lean economic times, they are even springing for soda and cookies, though we will have to bring our own lunches. I live in a seniors community, and there is a big sign by the gate that they will be showing the inauguration speech on a big screen at the clubhouse. Despite the snow on the ground, and the fact that everyone could watch it at home, I bet they get a good turnout. I can't remember the last time anyone cared so much about a presidential inauguration.
Today I went to see my mother, who suffers from severe dementia. "I saw Obama on television yesterday," she said, "He speaks very well." Obviously, you have to be a lot worse than seriously demented to not know the difference.