Ross Perot won me over. No foolin, I was a big fan. I even hand-painted a Ross Perot t-shirt and wore it into the Pentagon, where I worked. (My boss was like, really? Lucky for me, I had deadlines to hit, and walking a mile back to where my bicycle was locked up, and biking home to change clothes would have blown half a day of work. Long story short, my boss let it slide.)
Alas (spoiler alert), Bill Clinton won. Ever the trooper, I pulled myself together and attended President Clinton’s first inauguration on January 20, 1993, with my college friends Mary, Pegeen, and about a million others. Tents lined the National Mall, and Tony Bennett and Arkansas folk band Trout Fishing in America entertained the crowds. That day was damn cold.
When the cold got to be too much, Mary, Pegeen, and I walked back to our parked car. On some DC back side street or other, I remember finding a $100 bill on the ground. I kept it far too long (as in years) and then paid it forward many times over out of shame for the prolonged keeping.
And I remember that Mary, Pegeen, and I ran into actress Sara Gilbert on that same back street. She was with her mother and another woman, presumably to attend the Clinton inauguration. A $100 bill AND Sara Gilbert on the same day? What in the what? Naturally, we asked Sara if we could take our picture with her. Naturally, because she’s Sara Gilbert, she scowled. Her mother, seemingly ever-obliging, smiled and posed a smirking, eye-rolling Sara with the three of us. Just four gals out on the town bemoaning the fact that Ross Perot didn’t win the election.
Tragically, I can’t find that picture. I need to follow up with Mary and Pegeen …
And yesterday I saw President Clinton up close, just a couple feet away, at a Get Out the Vote Rally in Fort Collins, Colorado. It was — he was — incredible. Even more incredible than Sara Gilbert and a $100 bill. And that’s saying something.