Safely back in Texas, let me dwell for a moment on some memories of the last few days-- images of a great trip to New York capped with a return to Texas for Ethan’s 9th birthday Sunday.
You have to know how cool-- beyond cool-- it was to fly up there and guest host the Rush Limbaugh show for two days. Part of that is self-evident, but you also need to know how additionally special it is because of the welcome I get from the people I am privileged to work with when I do this. So let's establish that if I had come up here to do some radio and done nothing else, it would have been great.
But as it so happens, my joy is compounded by the company of my wife and son on this trip. Next time we have to complete the family circle by clearing out some work days for Regina. From climbing rocks in Central Park to exploring the FAO Schwarz toy store to picking a Greenwich Village street to hunt for a restaurant, this trip was a tonic for the soul.
And that's before we even get to the 9/11 memorial.
I had visited it before, when I spent two days in New York between Iowa and New Hampshire election coverage in January. It was cold and cloudy and incredibly moving. This time was different. It was warm, sunny and even more affecting because Lisa and Ethan were with me.
There is something about bringing your family here. There is something about bringing a child here, particularly one born just a year or so after the attacks. Ethan will turn 9 this weekend, and he is just old enough to start understanding what happened here-- not the intricacies of terrorism, but the broad basics of his country under attack and what we have done since to respond to those attacks and hopefully prevent them in the future.
It is at once a somber and uplifting experience. Water rushes into enormous square fountains at the spot of the North and South Tower footprints. It is an honor to walk this hallowed ground, and it is inspiring to look to the south and see the new One World Trade Center tower rising from what were once the ashes of mass murder.
I can say all day long that every American should visit that spot, and make the cliché suggestion that 9/11 images should air somewhere every week, if not every night. But a war-weary country cannot be dragged back to the righteous indignation we properly felt so briefly after the attacks. Our enemies will fight with boundless energy for centuries. We got tired after a couple of years. My continuing prayer is that we do not need another 9/11 to remind us of what we are up against.
Okay, time for some uplift. Our NY trip was magnificent, and if there’s anything I want to put in your head, it is the magnificence of Central Park. There is nothing like it in the world. Such a vast pastoral space plunked in the middle of one of the highest population density cities on Earth. Just incredible. We go all the time, and from the restaurants to the neighborhoods to the people-- yes, the people-- it is always a delight.
And it is always great to come home. We landed Saturday night with a busy list of duties before Ethan’s birthday the following day. We had done most of the cleaning and prepping and logistics work, so it was really just a matter of making sure the cake was ready (Angry Birds) and the balloons were ready (Party City) and Domino’s could have eight large pizzas ready to go for pickup at the appointed time.
The weather was great, the kids went nuts in the pool for an hour, chowed like hungry wolves and then sat down for the talents of my buddy Christopher Lyle, the magician we had seen several times at a nearby restaurant. Five minutes at tableside are nothing compared to what this guy trots out for a full hour show, or 45 minutes, or whatever time you want him to fill. And if you wisely secure his balloon skills as well, your day is complete. “Balloon animals” is but a fraction of his craft-- the guy does balloon people, balloon monsters, balloon concept art (ask for the ball striking the bowling pins)-- it defies belief. As it should with a magician, right? Anyway, the weekend was just great, and now here we are in the midst of a week filled with some anticlimactic primaries, Trayvon martin case developments and stories I’d be all over if I had a radio show.
And on that subject, I ask your patience. The status quo remains the same (as status quos tend to do, or they wouldn’t be status quos)-- anything is possible and all options are open. I am restrained from fully examining some of those options until next month, so hang with me here and I’ll have details on my next exploits as soon as I can offer them.
Meanwhile, back soon with topical material and maybe a photo album of some stuff going on in my world. God bless all of you, and thanks for hanging in there with me.