If right about now, you could use a taste of 11/4/08, I have a paragraph for ya. I came across it shortly after I'd posted my own thoughts about that phenomenon: Election Night, '08. I opened the Winter edition of the Barnard alumnae magazine. (It had been waiting patiently for a week or three on my living room coffee table.) Right up front was a stunning description by the college's new president, of what she'd encountered in the Barnard-Columbia neighborhood that night.
I'm honored to place it, with permission, right below, directly above my post on the topic. Think of it as an eyewitness report worth saving for your grandkids, as filed by Dr. Debora Spar.
" . . . My kids and I . . . sat glued to the television from the moment the pundits began opining. When the results were called, less than a second after California's polls closed, we heard a spontaneous roar break out along Broadway. Without thinking, my son and I dashed out the door and headed for the street. Outside the gates of Barnard, a huge crowd had already formed. People were screaming and crying, hugging strangers, and dancing along the pavement. Without a leader, without a destination or plan, an impromptu parade started marching -- running, skipping, cartwheeling . . . Police officers entered the crowd and gave high fives to all who passed; night cleaning crews at Tom's Restaurant and the Deluxe literally put down their brooms and started to dance along. When security crews hastily closed off patches of the street, taxi drivers got out of their cars and gleefully joined right in. I've never seen anything like it in my life."
- Debora Spar