Monday, May 31, 2010

Photo of the Week: Welcome Home, Mr. President

Bartholomew Photo

We have been running to and from the windows since last Thursday, reacting to the sound of helicopter rotors as the President came and left his hometown this Memorial Day weekend.

We watched the helicopters come by our condo Thursday evening, then return to O'Hare, flying west into the setting sun.  Early Friday morning I saw them swing by again on their way to pick the Commander-in-Chief up for his trip to Louisiana.  Back they came that night.  Their final trip was this afternoon as they took President Obama back to O'Hare for the return to the nation's capital.

In addition to watching the comings and goings from the air, I also got to sit in traffic on Lake Shore Drive, about a quarter mile from McCormick Place, as the motorcade dropped the President off at the landing site.  Traffic was stopped in both directions, so I had a chance to listen to sports radio for 15 minutes, sitting in the sunlight at the beginning of a beautiful day with the car's engine off and the windows rolled down.

It couldn't have been much of a vacation for him.  He spent most of Friday on the Gulf coast, observing the increasingly alarming environmental disaster that is reaching the end of its second month.  Today he ended up in the middle of a severe thunderstorm at the Abraham Lincoln National Cemetery, standing in the middle of a downpour, urging people who had waited for hours for the ceremony to take to their cars for their own safety.

Still, for us Chicagoans, it was great to have him back in town.  We all stood a little taller this weekend.  We know who we are . . . we know who he is . . . and we know what we can all become if we can just start looking around for someone we can help rather than spending our time and energy, trying to find someone whom we can blame.

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