I walked today where Barack walked, and felt his presence there.


Interior of the Harper Library of the University of Chicago


Well, not actually today.  Yesterday.  But that wouldn’t really work with the song now, would it?


The academic conference for which I was in Chicago ended, as it does every year regardless of city, around noon on Tuesday.  Typically, I would fly home on Tuesday afternoon.  This year, though, the University travel office made a mistake and had us coming home on Wednesday — and we didn’t catch the error until it was too late.  So we had essentially an extra day.


Accordingly, at noon, my long-time friend Scott Woolley (best man at my wedding and, now, a resident of Chicago for many years [after earning a law degree at the University of Chicago and, later, an MBA from DePaul]) picked us up at our hotel and took us on a tour of Kenwood and of Hyde Park, where he (and Barack Obama) used to live.


My wife and I had already seen the Obama residence, so we concentrated on other things, such as Minister Louis Farrakhan’s home:


The home of Minister Louis Farrakhan


And we drove by the nearby home (or former home) of Muhammad Ali:


Long-time residence of Muhammad Ali


And we had some really good ribs for lunch.


And, at the end, we spent a fair amount of time wandering around what would once have been considered the gem of the area, the University of Chicago — including a lengthy visit to the museum of the fabled Oriental Institute there.


A random scene from the campus of the University of Chicago


Nothing there, though, could possibly compare with the high point of the day:


Caption:  On this site, President Barack Obama first kissed Michelle Obama. “On our first date, I treated her to the finest ice cream Baskin-Robbins had to offer, our dinner table doubling as the curb. I kissed her, and it tasted like chocolate.”


I felt a thrill go up my leg.  I believe that I heard a voice whisper, “Take off thy shoes from off thy feet, for the ground whereon thou standest is holy ground.”


With Scott, my wife and I went to the very Baskin-Robbins in that corner strip mall where the momentous event began.  I ordered a chocolate milk shake.  In drinking it, I suppose I must have felt something of what certain folks in more conventional religions feel at first communion.


I am saved.



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  • http://Facebook Marjorie Crowley

    Some people will take this seriously and think you are supporting the ‘Messianic complex’ of Obama. Some written humor needs the other forms of communication to make it successful, otherwise it’s just ‘corny’.

    • danpeterson

      Oh, I trust my readers much more than that.

  • http://nathanrichardson.com Nathan

    Does any kind of memorial, marker, or monument comparable to this exist for any other president? Does it exist for any president while he is still alive? All partisanship aside, what an odd thing to make.

    • danpeterson

      I thought it was exceptionally odd. If there are similar things for other presidents — especially living ones, and especially monuments that were erected while they were still in office — I’m unaware of any.

      Such a thing seems unbelievably unrepublican to me — that is to say, inappropriate for a society of free citizens, rather slavish and servile.

  • Phil

    I believe the marker was created by local business owners to attract business to the area–it would be a stroke of genius for the Baskin-Robbins owner to create the marker after hearing Daniel “brag” that he went to the very same store–what kind of traffic would it attrack among those who like Obama?

    • danpeterson

      I expect that’s true. I still think it’s disgustingly fawning.