Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Flag from the Kennedy Inauguration

January 20, 1961

It seemed as good an excuse as any to cut classes:
The inaguration of President John F. Kennedy
was going to take place just 70 miles from my college,
and on a Friday,
so it all added up to a Road Trip.

I piled a few friends into "Golden Rod"
my yellow/black '53 Mercury hardtop coupe,
and drove through the snow
to get to Washington DC just in time for the show.

While all eyes were turned toward Kennedy
as he delivered his inaugural speech
(click here to read it)
I had my eyes on the very interesting flags
lining Pennsylvania Avenue.
What a perfect memento of
this great moment in history.
So I "liberated" it.

This flag adorned my college dorm rooms,
and my bachelor pads thereafter,
until the arrival of
"She Who Must Be Obeyed"
whose choices in matters of decorating the marital home
did not include this great flag.

So it was consigned to my empty childhood room,
where my younger brother "liberated" it from me,
and in his care it had remained for some 35 years,
so long that I had completely forgotten it.
Until, just a couple of years ago,
he told me quite casually:
"I have something for you".

It was like meeting an old friend.

And so, this great flag,
with so many memories of my early years,
now hangs proudly on the wall
in Mikie's Fun House.

In the fullness of time,
and after enjoying the flag and the memories
I returned the flag to the then-current mayor of D.C.
admitting my crime, and the circumstances,
without fear of retribution because I was sure 
that the statue of limitations had expired.

He was kind enough to send me this letter:


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