As I Went Walking That Ribbon Of Highway

[ Posted Monday, January 19th, 2009 – 10:01 UTC ]

Day One (Sunday, 1/18/09)

I start my day in sunny California, where we have had a recent warm spell. Yesterday the temperature hit 80 degrees, we had the windows open, and I walked outside wearing shorts and a T-shirt.

So began my journey to the frozen tundra of Washington, D.C.

Driving to the airport was uneventful, as was the first plane ride, to catch our connection in Las Vegas. Late in the afternoon in Sin City, we make our connection. People here in the desert are dressed in T-shirts and sandals, as am I. I know, having grown up near Washington, that I am going to pay for this later in the day.

As we board our plane for Baltimore, I notice the prevalence of Obama shirts and hats has increased. The bad news is that as we board, the football score is Pittsburgh 6, Baltimore 0.

We have apparently gotten a plane staffed with standup comedy wannabes. The slap-happy jokes will continue until we exit the plane, but even this is bearable, since at the beginning of the flight (every seat filled) the stewardess asks who is going to the Inauguration. Every single hand goes up. We are among friends.

The mood all around is upbeat and cheerful. This continues, even after (later in the flight) it is announced that the Ravens have been defeated 23-14. No Super Bowl for Baltimore, but this Baltimore-bound crowd remains electrified anyway. There’s a Super Bowl every single year, but we are traveling to witness something much bigger than a mere sporting contest. We are traveling to witness history itself.

The landing is a little rough, but afterward (I am not making this up) the stewardess calls for a round of applause -- not for our pilot and crew -- but for Barack Obama. It was not exactly your normal plane ride, in other words.

We land after midnight. I step outside and am reminded why I live in California (instead of where I grew up) as it is 23 degrees Fahrenheit, nine degrees below freezing. My exposed toes turn a lovely shade of blue.

Can even wimpy Californians survive this arctic cold just to witness one man speak an oath? Yes we can.


[From the Lincoln Memorial Concert I missed, Pete Seeger and Bruce Springsteen:]

In the squares of the city
By the shadow of the steeple
Near the relief office
I saw my people
As they stood there hungry
I stood there whistling

This land is your land
This land is my land
From California
To the New York Island
From the redwood forest
To the gulf stream waters
This land was made for you and me.

As I was walkin'
I saw a sign there
And that sign said
“Private property”
But on the other side
It didn't say nothin’
That side was made for you and me!

This land is your land
This land is my land
From California
To the New York Island
From the redwood forest
To the gulf stream waters
This land was made for you and me.


-- Chris Weigant


5 Comments on “As I Went Walking That Ribbon Of Highway”

  1. [1] 
    Michale wrote:

    I have been MIA around here of late.. Been keeping busy with a new store I just bought (I have a complete set of custome OBAMA T-Shirts if anyone wants one... :D) and fighting in the trenches over at HuffPo regarding the Israeli/HAMAS conflict...

    As an aside to Elizabeth, I am up to 8279 comments over at HuffPo and 79 "fans", since March of 08 :D

    Anyways, I just wanted to pop in here, say HELLO and see if CW made it to the inaguration...

    I see that he did indeed make it and I am thrilled to see that!!

    Hasta ya'all...


  2. [2] 
    Chris Weigant wrote:

    Michale -

    Here I am, your representative of the common man in DC! No fancy ball invites, no press passes, just a citizen frozen for hours to see history be made. Particularly galling to me was a liveblog from the HuffPost party where celebrity sightings abounded, where one poster said something like "Where are all the HuffPost bloggers? I haven't met one here yet."

    "Well, maybe if you had given us TICKETS" I wanted to scream, but wisely decided against it...

    Gotta go get bundled up now. It's getting exciting, I have to admit.

    Nine and a half hours left on the Bush Clock.



  3. [3] 
    Michale wrote:

    Stay warm.. I hear it's gonna be around 12 degrees up there..

    Global Warming, my left ass cheek!!! :D


  4. [4] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Chris, I cannot believe you did not have tickets to the HP sad excuse for a party but you would probably not have had much fun there looked pretty boring from what I could see on the teevee.

    If it wasn't for your blogging there, and a handful of others, I wouldn't waste one more second of my time...more often than not, posting there has been akin beating a dead horse...banging ones head against a brick know what I mean.

    But, still - I can't believe it!

  5. [5] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:


    Well, those are some pretty impressive numbers, my friend...too bad they don't compile the deletions anymore. ;-) After all, it's not like they've stopped deleting posts.

    I think you may be in the running for some sort of an award...or something!

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