Friday, Jan. 20, 2017, after two years of constant election debates, news articles, interviews and exposes, was filled with pomp and circumstance as the 45th president was inaugurated, sworn in and took up residency at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave., Washington, D.C.
The field of 20 from both parties and two-plus others from the miscellaneous parties that shot up to have a voice was cleared down two, and finally it was over. The talk about the middle class seemed to be the main concern — working people, people with hard times and people that lost jobs while manufacturing had left the country for the last 10 years.
In our area of Wayne County — Palmyra — we have seen 227 years of American history. Our connection to the presidents and government officials on the federal level have been Grover Cleveland with his gift of a mirror that was once held in the “Gables” on West Main Street until sometime in 2007 when it disappeared after a private home foreclosure, Ulysses S. Grant with his 150-foot wooden pole at the corner of East Main Street and Fayette Street and Benjamin Harrison, whose replica of the Eiffel Tower stands 150 feet tall on the very same corner.
We have streets like Jackson Street and Washington Street, both named for presidents. We have had many presidential candidates visit our wonderful community throughout the years, such as Grant, Robert Kennedy and Hillary Clinton. There were so many Palmyrans involved in the delegate process, receiving certificates and memorabilia from their day in their own history.
As in so many eras in American history, there is always a surprise, and once again this was an amazing surprise. For some, it is not a pleasant event, but for others it is an event that finally says the middle class, the working people, the upstate New York people have spoken and voted to elect a totally different president, a New Yorker. Someone that was not involved in politics, and is that a bad thing? Well, who can know? Time will tell, and we shall see the results of a totally different type of person.
As a person of history, as a working person, as a realist, to me this day, without doubt, will go down in history as a “Hail Mary” pass, a turn of the norm, an American surprise. Let’s let the chips fall where they may now, and the American people will once again have the opportunity to watch this history unfold. For me, I will be watching the history and be thankful that I am an American. The dynasties of Kennedy, Clinton, Bush and career politics are giving way to a new style, a new set of eyes and a new era. Jump on and let’s ride the history train together.
Author and film director Michael Keene will present his new book, “Vietnam Reflections: the Untold Story of the Holley Boys” from 7 to 9 p.m. Feb. 16 at the Alling Coverlet Museum, 122 William St., Palmyra. All are welcome to this incredible program. We invite all, and especially our Vietnam and all veterans. Come on down and let us honor you.