In the fall of 2007, after President Obama had secured the nomination as the DNC candidate, I decided to take our son, Duncan out of school for a day trip to Indianapolis. Senator Obama was scheduled to speak at the Indy Fair Grounds that day, and I wanted Duncan to be a part of what I perceived to be of remarkable historical significance.
At 9:00 this particular morning, I called the Jr. High school and asked the administration office to have him meet me out front in thirty minutes. I told them it was important family business, and that he will be absent for the rest of the day. He was surprised when he saw me outside in my employer’s new ‘Aggressive Red’ Pontiac Solstice convertible. “Hop in, son, we are playing hooky today!” His huge smile was worth the truancy deception.
It’s about a two and a half hour drive from our small southern Indiana town to the Capitol city. The weather could not have been more suitable for a road trip in a sleek, sexy red sports car.
We arrived, parked and got in line for the 1:00 speaking event. I bought him a t-shirt that read “HOPE” and as he was putting it on a young lady came over and asked him if he wanted to help register folks to vote. He was shy at first, but once he got going, he was very inefficient in his efforts.
When it came to our turn to enter the fairground gates, he turned in his registration forms and pens, and we found our way up toward the front of the crowded stadium. Senator Obama gave an inspiring speech, and it seemed at times, he was speaking right to us. Regardless, of your political views, this was a significant time for a mom and her only child.
When we left the stadium, we went downtown to a restaurant one of the campaign volunteers had suggested to us – very bohemian and worth the visit. Next, we headed to the Indianapolis Children’s Museum and spent the rest of the afternoon there. I highly recommend this to anyone visiting the Indianapolis area.
As we were coming out of the building, the sun was just kissing the horizon. When we entered the ramp of the freeway, the lights of the city had just started creating a magical glow over the skyline. At that elevation and at that particular moment in time, Duncan turned to me and asked, “Mom, is Indianapolis like the ‘New York City’ of Indiana? I had to chuckle because I love the way this young man thinks! I said, “I guess you could think of it as such.” He smiled and said he was going to live here someday.