It's not often I reminisce about life before Alaska, but it's with fondness that I remember bits of a day sixteen years ago. A sea of people on the Mall in Washington. Standing on the grass in the cool January air, next to a tree which obscured most of my view unless I stretched to look around it.
Voices heard above the crowds over the speakers as Bill Clinton took the oath of office the first time; Maya Angelou's voice, resonant and steady as she read her poem: On the Pulse of Morning. And after all the ceremony, a helicopter near the nation's capitol. Bush I and Barbara were the passengers. It lifted off and the crowd ran closer, waving and shouting goodbye. It was like the moment in the Wizard of Oz when Dorothy and the Wizard were in the basket of the hot air balloon getting ready to lift off. We could see their faces, it seems, as they rose from the lawn and left Washington.
The process will repeat on Tuesday, but even bigger, with Barack Obama taking his oath of office. Now I wish I could be there to feel the energy that will be a nation in transition. But I'll be watching from here in Anchorage with my friends, celebrating a new era, a better era, positive changes for our country and our world. We're embarking on a great journey, a man of vision and inspiration at the helm. I wonder where we'll end up. I think it'll be incredibly good.