I was there, oh yes. And it was wonderful. I stood next to an elderly woman from Englewood watching Obama give his acceptance speech on one of the big screens. As he spoke, she began into a church-like call and response.
"I didn't win this. You won it," said Obama.
"Yes, that's right; we worked so hard," the woman crooned.
"We have a lot of work to do."
"You got that right. A lot of work."
We chatted, and she told me of the shooting that had just happened right around her corner. "These kids today, they are so mean! There is such a meanness in them!"
She'd raised 7 adopted children. Jennifer Hudson had practiced for the church choir with her granddaughters in her living room. She lived now with one of her grandchildren, she said, gesturing to a huge young man nearby.
As my friend and I left to head for the train, I turned to the woman. "I have to give you a hug."
She gave me a warm, hard hug. Her head came up to my shoulder. There was a lot of hugging that night, some singing, and a lot of cheering, laughter. And so, so many smiles.
Finally, a classy president again. Amen.