Today Barack Obama will be sworn in as the 44th President of the United States of America. I grew up in an America that showed little love for politics and its Presidents. That all changed when Barack Obama ran for President. He has electrified our nation in a way never remotely seen since the Kennedy administration. JFK. I’m a member of Generation X and JFK died 12 years before I was born. My generation only knows of inspiring Presidents through history books. Well now we are part of history.
I’ve been saving the following story for my blog for this very day, January 20, 2009. It’s a story I will never tire of telling.
August 24, 2004, Geneva, Illinois
My wife’s family and I were attending a Kane County Cougars baseball game. Before the game started, my brother-in-law, Chris, noticed a certain politician a few aisles down. It was Illinois State Senator Barack Obama. He was running for Senator of the United States.
I quickly jumped out of my chair to be a part of the action. There were no more than 6 or 7 people in the “crowd” including Obama and the Cougar security guard. Do I shake his hand or take photographs? Photography is in my nature so the decision was clear. I snapped away a few photos on my Sony DSC-P5 which can be viewed at my Flickr page (5 photos in all).
My moment’s encounter with Barack Obama had a deep impact. I returned to my seat and confidently said the following to my wife, “He’s going to be our next President.” There was just something very Presidential about him. If you doubt me, just ask Andrea. She remembers. This was State Senator Barack Obama. He wasn’t even a U.S. Senator yet. He was just another local Illinois politician… at the time.
Now it’s 4 1/2 years later and that State Senator is indeed our nation’s President. And he’s the very President that is inspiring my generation, our nation, and the world.