I will make multiple posts with pictures, anecdotes, and even home videos of the inauguration in the next couple days, probably starting tonight. For now, I just want to pass along a huge thank you to the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) agents at Baltimore-Washington International (BWI) airport. You guys are AMAZING. The security line this morning was one of the longest I’d ever seen, certainly for an airport of that size. Yet, it moved along so quickly, it barely took more time than a regular line. Every agent I saw or dealt with was professional and courteous. The bureaucrats in charge of the TSA come up with some absolutely inept policies, but the men and women on the ground manage to rise above that. I tip my hat to them today in appreciation for their service.
After passing through security, I went to the BWI Silver Diner, a restaurant with which I am becoming all too familiar. (Why they were planning Christmas music today, I will never know.) An older black gentleman sat down next to me at the bar, and we watched the reply of Obama’s speech on C-SPAN. I turned to him and asked, “Did you ever think you would see the day?” He was silent for a moment, then said no. We were both on the Mall yesterday, and compared our experiences – he showed me his purple ticket and various black-tie gala programs, and I talked about the nightmare Metro crowds he had managed to avoid.
Then he said, bringing to mind the 105-year-old black woman who sat on the Mall, “We’ve come a long way since I was turned away from restaurants. When I was in the Air Force in the sixties, they stationed me in Texas. The restaurants wouldn’t even serve me. So to see a man go through the front door of the White House… It’s very special.”
I asked him what he does for a living, and he said he has his own carbon-capture business in the Los Angeles area. After some more discussion, I said I found it ironic: I’m from Texas, the state that wouldn’t serve him, and yet decades later, here he is working to save my planet. We shook hands and I went to board my plane.