40 years make a big difference

25 Jul
black cellist

black cellist

I played last chair cello in the college orchestra when I was an undergraduate music major and was thoroughly enamored with the black first chair cellist. We could not date within the context of that place and time without getting expelled from school.

Thank God times have changed. Today I saw and heard President Obama speak in person at that very same college campus, and say what you will about his Presidency.  I find it momentous that we have this cultured, elegant person as our first black President and truly believe that he is doing the best that he can within tremendous challenges and constraints that are beyond my comprehension, as I’m not a political scientist or an economist. He’s working really hard. His hair is graying.

Everyone perceives life through the lens of a particular background and experience. Honestly when I vote for a presidential candidate, one of my factors of consideration is whether he (so far only he) seems to love and respect his wife.  Call it woman’s intuition or whatever you like, but I think if a man is able to relate well at that personal level, he will do OK in the White House and on the slippery slopes of international diplomacy.

When I heard Obama’s cultivated, impassioned voice today, I fondly remembered the cellist. It was delicious, one of the best days of my life.

Photo credit: Kenneth Zehir, Goldeneye Art Gallery


Posted by on July 25, 2013 in Uncategorized


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6 responses to “40 years make a big difference

  1. Janet

    July 25, 2013 at 9:46 am

    I’m so glad you got to have that experience! We truly have come a long way in a relatively short period of time in this country. It’s amazing to think what people will be looking back on the same way 40 years from now, disbelieving that we ever held such crazy beliefs in this country.

  2. Ellen Bowers

    July 25, 2013 at 9:52 am

    In terms of the overall span of my life, seeing Obama today balances out the fact that Kennedy was assassinated when I was a teenager. That was so horrible, and today was so wonderful.

  3. Donna

    July 25, 2013 at 9:37 pm

    Thank you for sharing your experience through your “lens” – very well put. I was there, too, among the 2500 people. It was definitely a chance of a lifetime.

    • Ellen Bowers

      July 25, 2013 at 11:42 pm

      I’m so glad you were there! I was hoping you would be. It’s going to take me several days to come down from such a marvelous experience.

  4. jeanine colini

    July 26, 2013 at 3:56 am

    I’m so happy you had the chance to enjoy this event as I know it meant a lot to you. The fact that we had a person of ANY color in the running for the presidency two elections ago, and had a woman in the running for the democratic party nomination, was pretty spectacular. I look forward to the day when ethnicity, race, gender, and sexual orientation are all non-issues. That will be real progress indeed.

    As for the gray hair observation, I’ve seen that in every president in recent years–the visible aging from when they enter the office to four years later. Not a job I’d want!

    • Ellen Bowers

      July 26, 2013 at 9:22 am

      You’re right about the gray hair. So much incredible stress. I saw an exhibit at the Huntington Library that showed portraits of Lincoln during the course of his Presidency. He aged so quickly. The job must be brutal.


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