One night in Detroit.

The cost of a single ticket to the North American International Auto Show’s Charity Preview, aka the Charity Preview or Car Prom, is $300, of which $290 is tax-deductible. That means the event is only spending about $10 per head, in the form of inexpensive champagne in plastic flutes, which is almost impossible to get. Not that anyone complains — it’s supposedly the biggest one-night money-raiser in the world, and a night when you can wear black tie. Or just fall out in random sparkles and, y’know, whatever floats your boat:


Alan gets a ticket as a reward for having spent nearly every waking hour at work for the past week; he worked all last weekend, left the house Monday at 6 a.m. and didn’t return until 11:30 p.m., and — you get the idea. It was a busy week, and the pregaming started at a local hotel bar, after which we went down to Cobo on the People Mover.

I think it’s the lighting that makes everyone look a little glittery and hallucinogenic. That shade of purple could go on a subcompact, but I think I noticed her because she wasn’t in black. Formal events are starting to look like dressy funerals.


This is my fourth auto show, and second charity preview, and while I spent my time climbing in and out of cars, I was mainly looking for people. I think I’d like this woman; it takes confidence to swig beer out of the bottle while wearing formalwear.




A pickup bed makes a handy place to drop your evening bag for a moment.


But Nance, I hear you saying, what about the cars? Did you see any cars? Of course I did. Here’s the Hot Wheels edition of the Chevy Camaro:


Because once an American male gets a job, someone will try to sell his childhood back to him. And here’s a Mercury Lincoln concept; can’t remember what selection of letters and numbers:


Let’s see what we can see when the open side rotates around on the turntable.


See that thing between the back seats? It’s a refrigerator. There’s a famous anecdote about some executive at one of the Big 3, crowing that the American car industry forced cup-holders upon BMW and Mercedes. Wait until they learn they’re falling behind on the Refrigerator Gap.

Here’s the Cadillac version of the Volt, with the usual furiously changing video wall exploding behind it.


“I don’t care if you always wanted one, Bob, if it doesn’t have hat storage it’s a deal-breaker.”


Finally, the car everyone was talking about. Detroiters care deeply about the Corvette. Yeah, yeah, iconic American muscle car, but seriously. I would drive a Corvette if I were, ohhhh, a Hollywood-based screenwriter surrounded by Priuses and BMWs, but I would do it just to bug people. That’s a lot of money to pay to be a jerk, but it might be worth it.

There are approximately a million other pictures of the new out there, so let’s crop the car out and just take a look at the crowd. Nice gams on the product specialists, eh?


Farewell from the Motor City. My feet hurt.

In bloggage today, a great read for Inauguration weekend from the WashPost — one town (Fremont, Ohio) divided red and blue. It captures the crazy paranoia and depression everyone who doesn’t live in a navy-blue state has seen with their own eyes.

The Obamas at the halfway point: How the change has gone.

Baby farm animal power rankings. I’m on team baby goat.

It’s going to be a crazy week around these parts. If I don’t show up one day, no need to send the search parties. I just have a busy few days ahead.

Posted at 12:30 am in Current events, Detroit life |

59 responses to “One night in Detroit.”

  1. Brandon said on January 21, 2013 at 1:29 am

    Nancy, have you ever been to the Concours d`Elegance?

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  2. MichaelG said on January 21, 2013 at 3:08 am

    I’m sorry to bleed into the auto show thread with stuff from yesterday, but I was late in reading the comments.

    I don’t own a gun and I don’t consider myself an expert on guns. There was, however, a time in my youth when I carried a gun as part of my job and fired it at other people as other people fired their weapons at me. This was in 1966 and 1967 and the weapon I carried was a very early version of the M-16 called an XM-16E1. The serial number was 117872 and that number is burned into my consciousness.

    For many months I witnessed frequently and first hand what these kinds of weapons can do to the human body. It was only through the most extended and lucky of circumstances that I didn’t suffer an injury myself. Without going into detail, I can tell you that gunshot wounds aren’t as you see on TV and that they aren’t pretty.

    The M-16 and it’s civilian clone, the AR-15 fire a round with a very high muzzle velocity. At close ranges, up to about eight feet, (I’ll let somebody else do the exact measuring) an M-16 round will drill a .223 inch hole through whomever is so unlucky as to be standing in its path. Beyond that the now molten lead inside the brass jacket shoves to the forward part of the brass jacket upon impact and the jacket splits open. Suddenly the 223 caliber round has become much bigger and, still spinning, hits the victim with a punch far bigger than its original size would suggest. Hence the phenomenon suggested by Jeff wherein the round might enter one spot on the victim’s body, scythe its way through things and exit (maybe) somewhere far away. The results are lethal and gruesome.

    For me this debate is not an academic one. Yes, the toothpaste is out of the tube at this point and there zillions of guns out there. The fact that there are lots of guns on the street is not a reason to throw up one’s hands and say “Oh well”. If we regulate sales now the immediate effect will be negligible but over time the regulation will tell. We can only start trying to stem the sales of weapons that have no business in the civilian market. The fact that there are lots of them available now and lots on the street now are not rational arguments against trying to stem the tide now.

    I cannot think of a single reason for there to be a magazine that holds more than ten rounds. There is no excuse for any type of fully automatic weapon in civilian life. All weapons should be registered and licensed. Owners should be qualified. Why should lethal weapons, devices that were constructed with killing in mind be different than automobiles? The hell with the NRA. Ask any police chief. He or she will tell you.

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  3. ROGirl said on January 21, 2013 at 6:14 am

    The couple in photo #1 are young Madonna and Guy Ritchie. Couple #2 are blonde Oprah and Stedman. Couple #3 — young Richard Dreyfuss and Alison Janney?

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  4. Deb said on January 21, 2013 at 7:01 am

    Wow. Great pictures. Love the headrest in that Mercury. Me, I’m glad we saved the American auto industry.

    The woman in fuchsia! That tan! You don’t see much of that in the upper Midwest in the dead of winter. (I’m in Eau Claire, Wisconsin, today, where the predicted high is four below, and not a tan in sight.) Wonder what her skin’s gonna look like in 15 years.

    And hey, were all the product specialists in matching Car Prom Barbie dresses?

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  5. alex said on January 21, 2013 at 7:35 am

    The Fremont, Ohio story makes me envious. It would be nice if half the people around here weren’t chumps for Fox News and the NRA.

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  6. David C. said on January 21, 2013 at 7:38 am

    Was it a Lincoln? Ford discontinued the Mercury division in 2011.

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  7. nancy said on January 21, 2013 at 8:07 am

    Yes, David, you’re right. Lemme fix. (I suffer from aging brain, which always thinks “Lincoln Mercury” after a thousand advertisements to visit my local dealer.)

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  8. nancy said on January 21, 2013 at 8:14 am

    One more link for a dreary Monday: The running of the balls, by two of the WashPost’s best feature writers, Monica Hesse and Dan Zak. The Post’s Style section may have suffered the same hollowing-out as other newspapers, but they have always done, and continue to do, the same old stories in new and interesting ways. I wish one of the Detroit dailies would try something like this to cover, say, the Charity Preview. HT: Hank.

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  9. Dorothy said on January 21, 2013 at 8:34 am

    Good one, ROGirl. But if #3 were true, Allison would have at least 7″ on Mr. Dreyfuss. I’m guessing she’d be in heels so it could be close to 10″!

    I spent nearly my entire weekend at the Ice Haus in Columbus watching my nephew play sled hockey. I honestly had never heard of the sport until Cam joined a team about two months ago. It’s a Paralympics sport since the 30’s, the coach’s wife told me when I asked, begun in Norway. To see a lobby area bursting with around 60 kids in wheel chairs or crutches, or maybe just walking differently than the rest of us, boisterous and happy and then on the ice playing HOCKEY for goodness sake – well I just had a blast! I loved that both girls and boys play on the teams. It could be mind-numbingly slow when the first four minutes of each period are played by the “novices”, but then again when Megan on my nephew’s team scored a goal in one game during a power play, the cheers from our section about raised the roof. I felt just a little jolt when I watched the first game on Saturday when I realized the reason why two players on the same team sat in their sleds, but then a little box covered over their mid-section. And there was nothing beyond that. “Oh I get it, they don’t have any legs,” I thought. My favorite moment, though, is when my sister pointed out a pretty girl with long blond hair on the Pittsburgh team. “All the boys like her, they want to just sit or stand near her when they’re not on the ice. Apparently she is beautiful AND swears like a sailor.” “Or a hockey player” I added.

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  10. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on January 21, 2013 at 8:50 am

    Hat tip, MichaelG. Summed up well.

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  11. Julie Robinson said on January 21, 2013 at 8:54 am

    Thank you, MichaelG, for speaking truth about guns.

    Cars only interest me as a way to get where I’m going, but I would LOVE to have a refrigerator in mine. I’d keep it stocked with Vanilla Coke Zero and Diet Dr. Pepper, both of which suffer if not served icy cold. A tiny little ice maker wouldn’t be bad, either.

    Is anyone staying home today to watch the inauguration? I watched it all last time but today I’ll be chasing numbers around a computer screen.

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  12. coozledad said on January 21, 2013 at 9:19 am

    MichaelG: These idiots say they want those guns to protect them from the government.
    That’s impossible, and they know it. What they might be able to squeak by with is micro-Klans, conducting small scale property-grab warfare against their fellow citizens. I’m thinking of a hybrid of the red scare American Legion plus the Portadown marchers, or Jesse James and his Jeebus babbling cousinfuckers sucker-punching a couple banks.

    In the past, native terrorist organizations have managed to enjoy anonymity as well as legal immunity, and are historically well tolerated by communities in the South. Now they’re armed with rocket launchers, machine pistols, and shaped charges. A local righty blogger, Bob Owens*, feels comfortable enough to suggest that he and his friends can wander the US taking out electrical substations for Ronald Reagan and Jesus because preznit iz black.

    *One can only hope that piece of North Raleigh trash got the appropriate response from the Secret Service, making him think he was about to shit his last.

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  13. Dorothy said on January 21, 2013 at 9:23 am

    Julie I brought my iPad into the office today and I plan to watch as much of the inauguration as I can from my desk. My boss and her 2nd in command are both leaving for work-related travel so it should be very quiet here most of the day.

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  14. Clark said on January 21, 2013 at 9:43 am

    Aimee & I are crazy about goats. Someday…

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  15. basset said on January 21, 2013 at 10:06 am

    Lincoln, Mercury, never thought I’d live in a world where there were no new Plymouths. Or Oldsmobiles. Or Pontiacs. Checkers and Studebakers I can understand, but the big ones seemed like they were going to be around forever.

    Basset Jr. saw a “Bail Out Studebaker” bumper sticker a couple weeks ago.

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  16. beb said on January 21, 2013 at 11:24 am

    During my morning run through the Internet I came across the headline for the latest offering from Nancy’s least favorite columnist, who wonders who exactly was hurt by the Te’o fraud. I didn’t read the article because I already knew who had been hurt by the lie — everybody!

    Anyone who ever spent a moment feeling sort for Te’o tragic love story, will never get that moment back. Everyone who had to listen to their friends, colleagues and co-workers go on about Te’o sad story will never get that time back. Everyone who had to read or hear about that a fraud the whole story was will never get that time back. And everyone who had to go on the Internet and complaint about all the time being wasted will never get their time back. So, yes, Te’o lie was a terrible thing because it caused so many people who waste part of their lives worrying about it.

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  17. beb said on January 21, 2013 at 11:25 am

    Oh, and MichaelG, great comments re AR-15.

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  18. Charlotte said on January 21, 2013 at 11:56 am

    Brandon @1 — Concours! Ugh. My brother was the operations manager responsible for the tents for Concours for almost a decade. It might be fun as a participant, but it was a complete nightmare to work — The PB Golf Tournement was a bear, but the management was good. Concours … it was something of a dirty word in our household.

    And Nancy — I too am team goat. However, I do not want to own a goat. Waiting on the cattle just downhill from the cabin to calve — Alvin calves early, and it’s always so fun to see the babies. Worried about the wolves though — we’ve had wolf tracks in the yard.

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  19. Brandon said on January 21, 2013 at 12:13 pm

    @Charlotte: Did your brother do last year’s Concours, or no?

    Nancy, have you ever gone? If so, how would you compare it to the Detroit car show?

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    • nancy said on January 21, 2013 at 12:14 pm

      No, never been. I’m not really that much of a car gal. But there are so many around here, sooner or later you stumble across one.

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  20. Bitter Scribe said on January 21, 2013 at 12:16 pm

    The liberal woman quoted in the Post article had it right. Nothing Obama does will ever be good enough for some people, and maybe it’s time the rest of us stopped paying them so much attention.

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  21. brian stouder said on January 21, 2013 at 12:27 pm

    Bitter Scribe: Amen.

    The car prom thing looks pretty cool, since the people-watching alone is worth the ticket.

    Didja notice that the only BIG WATCH I could see was on the wrist of a woman?

    And I think Nancy should give us a Where’s Waldo shot (not specifically identified as such) that includes her. (Not that the cheap-seats opinion should count for much; just sayin’!)

    And Jeff tmmo, Lincoln is definitely worth a choke-up or two (I got misty several times, while our 14 year old cried at the end). And indeed, it’s like they couldn’t decide how to end the picture, and gave it three endings.

    But affecting nonetheless…or else I’m getting weepy in my old age. Les Miserables was emotionally jarring (in a good way!)

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  22. Deborah said on January 21, 2013 at 12:43 pm

    Speaking of weeping, I just watched Obama’s inaugural speech and got choked up at the part where he mentioned Newtown. I thought it was a good speech, not the best one I’ve ever heard but quite good.

    Michelle looks fabulous as usual, and the girls too.

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  23. MichaelG said on January 21, 2013 at 1:00 pm

    I thought the speech was good and mercifully short. I could have done without James Taylor and that blonde who butchered ‘My Country Tis of Thee’ by singing it as a country song. And why can’t we get somebody to sing the National Anthem straight? Why does everybody have to do their own interpretation? It’s not a cover song. I hate that stuff. Sad to say the best rendition I have heard of the Anthem was sung by a foreigner: Luciano Pavarotti at a Giant’s game.

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  24. adrianne said on January 21, 2013 at 1:49 pm

    My Scottish kin at the car show knows that for true sons o’ Scotland, your clan’s kilt is the only formal wear you really need.

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  25. Peter said on January 21, 2013 at 1:57 pm

    Michael G, in my neck of the woods the debate over who does the national anthem better is:

    Jim Cornelison? [HD] Chicago Blackhawks vs Vancouver Canucks Game 4 Anthems – YouTube

    or Wayne Messmer?:

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  26. Peter said on January 21, 2013 at 2:01 pm

    Sorry, didn’t do the link right for Jim Cornelison:

    In all fairness to both candidates: Wayne sang at the old Stadium, which had an awful sound system but a great pipe organ (Barton), and was a little over 1/3rd the size of the new Stadium. Jim has a better sound system and a larger stadium volume which helps his voice but dampens the crowd noise. Also, Jim and the organist have a harder time to be in synch – the organist is a couple of hundred of feet away.

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  27. Sherri said on January 21, 2013 at 2:30 pm

    Peter King of SI has an interesting take on the Manti Teo story in his weekly Monday Morning QB column:

    We still don’t know everything there is to know about Te’o and the phony girlfriend, and there’s been scads written about it already. But for those who say, He had to know, I was reminded of hearing the story about how then-Notre Dame special teams coach Brian Polian (son of Bill) was assigned to recruit Te’o, a great high school player in Hawaii. Polian would leave campus every Thursday afternoon in the fall of Te’o’s senior year to fly to his game. He’d attend the Friday night game, do whatever recruiters do at such games, then fly back to wherever Notre Dame was playing that weekend, sometimes making it in time for the game, sometimes missing the game. But his marching orders were explicit. Notre Dame had to have Te’o.
    And Polian must have done a good job, because Te’o accepted Notre Dame’s scholarship offer. But my point is, imagine being a kid in high school and knowing some poor guy weekly is schlepping thousands of miles to watch you play a football game, then turning right around and flying back — and I’m sure Brian Polian wasn’t the only coach from the mainland doing that. Imagine feeling so entitled and at age 16 and 17 knowing people would take care of any little problem you had to attend their school. He’s certainly not the only one, but I’ve always thought so many of these privileged kids don’t learn to think on their own, or make smart decisions on their own; the decisions are mostly made for them.
    So when something like this phony girlfriend thing comes along, and you’ve got some idiot hoaxer filling your head with lies, how do you know they’re lies? Again — I don’t know what happened and I’m not covering the story, other than how it affects his NFL stock. I think teams, by the way, will send private investigators to sniff around the story so they will have a better handle on it before the scouting combine in late February. We’ll see what they find out.

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  28. Minnie said on January 21, 2013 at 3:11 pm

    Watched the inauguration and teared up, too. Obama looks resolved. That toad Scalia looks like a medieval heretic hunter.

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  29. Charlotte said on January 21, 2013 at 3:24 pm

    Brandon — the Concours at Pebble Beach is a great event for spectators — beautiful spot and if you like the cars, it’s terrific. My brother hasn’t done it in at least 10 years (he left that company about 3 years before he died in 2003). It just became one of those in-jokes for us because the management were such a pain to work with.

    My 2 favorite moments, aside from the speech, which I thought was marvelous — Sasha Obama star-struck by Beyonce and whispering to Joe Biden through the whole song (and Joe conspiring with her). And this one — “Wait a minute. I’ll never see this again.”

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  30. Deborah said on January 21, 2013 at 4:11 pm

    Charles Pierce does it again

    It’s 10 degrees in Chicago, no walking for me today, they have a wind chill warning in the negatives. Tonight the wind chill will be -25. Glad to not have to go anywhere tonight. Making lentil soup right now.

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  31. coozledad said on January 21, 2013 at 4:30 pm

    Minnie: You’re right. Scalia always looked to me like a Holbein portrait of some asshole Swabian burgher.

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  32. jcburns said on January 21, 2013 at 4:39 pm

    We could sign a petition to mandate that all Supreme Court justices wear the same hats. Tuques with ‘SC’ embroidered on them, maybe.

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  33. Jolene said on January 21, 2013 at 5:05 pm

    MichaelG, I’m surprised by your take on interpreting The Star-Spangled Banner. There have been some great versions. Here’s one by Marvin Gaye (possibly the handsomest man who ever lived), and there’s the famous instrumental version by Jimi Hendrix. Anybody else have a favorite?

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  34. LAMary said on January 21, 2013 at 5:19 pm

    I had the inauguration on youtube on the work computer for a while, but I had to keep minimalizing it when people walked by. I’ll check it out more when get home. I also checked facebook early this AM and found that a coworker who is sort of a friend had posted a photo of his newly purchased assault rifle. His comments and the comments of his friends were more than I could take and I unfriended him. I don’t want to know that shit about someone I work with.

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  35. Danny said on January 21, 2013 at 5:21 pm

    Tuques with ‘SC’ embroidered on them, maybe.

    JC, and how about a patch of the Calvin character peeing on the Constitution or some symbol of the other two branches of government?

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  36. coozledad said on January 21, 2013 at 5:23 pm

    Jolene: The Pogues should have done this, but here’s a green leotard version:

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  37. Deborah said on January 21, 2013 at 5:24 pm

    The beautiful poem by Richard Blanco that he read at the inauguration today (I tried to link to it but couldn’t)

    One sun rose on us today, kindled over our shores,
    peeking over the Smokies, greeting the faces
    of the Great Lakes, spreading a simple truth
    across the Great Plains, then charging across the Rockies.
    One light, waking up rooftops, under each one, a story
    told by our silent gestures moving behind windows.
    My face, your face, millions of faces in morning’s mirrors,
    each one yawning to life, crescendoing into our day:
    pencil-yellow school buses, the rhythm of traffic lights,
    fruit stands: apples, limes, and oranges arrayed like rainbows
    begging our praise. Silver trucks heavy with oil or paper — bricks or milk, teeming over highways alongside us,
    on our way to clean tables, read ledgers, or save lives — to teach geometry, or ring up groceries as my mother did
    for twenty years, so I could write this poem.
    All of us as vital as the one light we move through,
    the same light on blackboards with lessons for the day:
    equations to solve, history to question, or atoms imagined,
    the “I have a dream” we keep dreaming,
    or the impossible vocabulary of sorrow that won’t explain
    the empty desks of twenty children marked absent
    today, and forever. Many prayers, but one light
    breathing color into stained glass windows,
    life into the faces of bronze statues, warmth
    onto the steps of our museums and park benches 
    as mothers watch children slide into the day.
    One ground. Our ground, rooting us to every stalk
    of corn, every head of wheat sown by sweat
    and hands, hands gleaning coal or planting windmills
    in deserts and hilltops that keep us warm, hands
    digging trenches, routing pipes and cables, hands
    as worn as my father’s cutting sugarcane
    so my brother and I could have books and shoes.
    The dust of farms and deserts, cities and plains
    mingled by one wind — our breath. Breathe. Hear it
    through the day’s gorgeous din of honking cabs,
    buses launching down avenues, the symphony
    of footsteps, guitars, and screeching subways,
    the unexpected song bird on your clothes line.
    Hear: squeaky playground swings, trains whistling,
    or whispers across cafe tables, Hear: the doors we open
    for each other all day, saying: hello, shalom,
    buon giorno, howdy, namaste, or buenos días
    in the language my mother taught me — in every language
    spoken into one wind carrying our lives
    without prejudice, as these words break from my lips.
    One sky: since the Appalachians and Sierras claimed
    their majesty, and the Mississippi and Colorado worked
    their way to the sea. Thank the work of our hands:
    weaving steel into bridges, finishing one more report
    for the boss on time, stitching another wound 
    or uniform, the first brush stroke on a portrait,
    or the last floor on the Freedom Tower
    jutting into a sky that yields to our resilience.
    One sky, toward which we sometimes lift our eyes
    tired from work: some days guessing at the weather
    of our lives, some days giving thanks for a love
    that loves you back, sometimes praising a mother
    who knew how to give, or forgiving a father
    who couldn’t give what you wanted.
    We head home: through the gloss of rain or weight
    of snow, or the plum blush of dusk, but always — home,
    always under one sky, our sky. And always one moon
    like a silent drum tapping on every rooftop
    and every window, of one country — all of us —
    facing the stars
    hope — a new constellation
    waiting for us to map it,
    waiting for us to name it — together

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  38. beb said on January 21, 2013 at 6:14 pm

    I think the argument over whether to sing the national anthem straight or to interpret it depends on the singer. Marvin Gaye can produce a great interpretation, others not so much. So unless you are a great singer best to do it straight.

    I like JCBurn’s suggestion that all Supreme Court justices should be required to wear the same hat. But I’d suggest the square flat thing people wear at graduations, something to say “I R Brainy.”

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  39. coozledad said on January 21, 2013 at 6:45 pm

    Why the beats were never asked to give the inaugural poem:

    From “I can guarantee you I will be wrestled to the ground” by J. Ferlin Mastrioanni

    From the tangle of legs and arms and rafters and crossbeams and lubricants and gels of biospheric chaos
    I was born as a nation is born to stalk the sidewalks and foyers of fucking pastry boutiques with the pubic disaster of my beard telling the hairs on the freshly washed necks to surrender their attention to me, Mr. Febreeze no handtowels left in the men’s room fart oblivion.
    You think this jacket needs to be washed fart fart earwax? Well who are you to stand on the dishrag bag of my flag and harsh my drag, oh beautiful
    Oh beautiful.
    I need a quarter to get me a sandwich.

    (Crowd gasps briefly, boos.)

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  40. Prospero said on January 21, 2013 at 7:18 pm

    I personally thought Jose Feliciano’s Anthem at the ’68 Series was about as good as that obscure Cardinal Puff song is ever going to get, But if you can get your hands on the Rainbow Bridge soundtrack to the movie Jimi never made, you can hear the most beautiful version of the Star Spangled Banner ever waved. Nothing like the Woodstock one, all stately harmonies and otherworldly sustain, and it should really be the official legal version. This is surely the one they should play at the Olympics:

    Well done, Ranger. That is patriotic.

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  41. Prospero said on January 21, 2013 at 7:27 pm

    Some lunatic fringe GOPer tried to get a law passed that people could be imprisoned for singing the anthem in manners he does not approve of. Ain’t that America? He’d probably like to make God Bless the USA by Lee Greenwood the actual anthem.

    Cooze, shouldn’at be “sammich”?

    Jose Can You See?

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  42. Sherri said on January 21, 2013 at 7:28 pm

    BTW, thanks for all the “hot veggie milkshake” recipes from last week. They’ve been a big help as I recover from jaw surgery. It’s really been soup weather here; we’re trapped in a temperature inversion, so it’s sunny and warm in the mountains, but cold and foggy down here. It’s really annoying to go a week without rain in the winter, but still get no sunshine! Worse, not even just gray, but fogged in and thirty degrees. And the only thing that will clear this out is rain. It’s a good thing this place is so gorgeous in the summer…

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  43. Deborah said on January 21, 2013 at 7:29 pm

    Richard Blanco was born in Cuba and also happens to be gay. I think his poem for the inaugural is quite moving and appropriate. My boss from the design firm where I retired from is also Cuban born and gay and an enormously talented creative person, so I can relate.

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  44. Prospero said on January 21, 2013 at 7:32 pm

    And somehow, I didn’t know that the Feliciano was the initiative of the inimitable Ernie Harwell.

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  45. coozledad said on January 21, 2013 at 7:39 pm

    Prospero: Ferlin lost “sammich” when he was editing the poem to make it less of “a Saxon whore shitting in the woods”.

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  46. Prospero said on January 21, 2013 at 8:07 pm

    cooze @45. Aha!

    Gorgeous photographs. If you haven’t seen Beasts of the Southern Wild yet, waste no more time.

    Plea deal Aaron Swartz was offered.

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  47. Deborah said on January 21, 2013 at 8:12 pm

    Cooze and Pros, You know, I usually find your antics funny and endearing, but making fun of this inaugural poem, i’m not amused. You guys should be ashamed. Reminds me of high school.

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  48. dull_old_man said on January 21, 2013 at 9:00 pm

    Nancy, I don’t think the Corvette is a muscle car. It is a sports car.

    Muscle cars were relatively affordable, family-type cars with oversize engines. Chevelle SS, Charger, Duster (says me), Camaro, Torino, GTO–muscle cars. I had a soft spot for some of the Chevy IIs.

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  49. Minnie said on January 21, 2013 at 9:10 pm

    Coozledad, I debated whether late medieval or early Renaissance for Scalia.

    Were you and Pros making fun of the Blanco poem? If so, y’all are too subtle for me. I thought your were making fun of ’50s into early ’60s literary excess which informed my adolescence.

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  50. coozledad said on January 21, 2013 at 10:01 pm

    Minnie: Spot on. The beat generation pretty much elided both my adolescent heavy metal sensibilities and post Nabokov “shit don’t stank” alcohol fueled snobbery*. One day it might occur to me they are not, in fact, merely the wise and foolish virgins foreshadowing the arrival of Jim Morrison. Until that day, I must leave them on love’s highway bleeding.

    Scalia occupies the historical penumbra of dogmatic cruelty that informs both the middle ages and the rennaisance, so it’s a tough call. I can see him as an ultramontane friar with a cabinet of hand-forged sadomasochistic toys;
    but he’ll always be “Moribund the Burgermeister” to me.

    *I was a sucker for Brautigan. All that empty sonority= Dylan Thomas with really bad herpes knocking out haiku.

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  51. MichaelG said on January 21, 2013 at 10:04 pm

    Jolene, I can certainly appreciate your thoughts about Marvin Gaye (although I don’t have anything to say about his being the most handsome man ever) and Jimi Hendrix. It’s a matter of personal taste, I guess and I’m a traditionalist. I didn’t like Gaye’s interpretation. I must confess, however, that I’ve liked the Hendrix instrumental for many years. I did not like the Beyoncé version today. Perhaps it’s as beb noted that talent and quality of work have a part. Too many of the covers are pure crap with no merit whatsoever. It’s been so long since I’ve heard a good, traditional version that maybe I’m simply starving for one. That blonde woman whose name I didn’t catch is a classic example of a singer’s ego or something causing her to slaughter a fine traditional song when she abused ‘My Country Tis of Thee, Sweet land of Liberdee’ indeed.

    Dull old man, I spent a considerable amount of time behind the wheel of a 1968 Chevelle 396 Super Sport back in ’68 and very early ’69. Whew! What a rush to slam that thing through the gears with my right foot planted on the floor, speed shifting all the way. The grin would last for days.

    I love the sound of a 12 cylinder Ferrari, the ripping sound of a highly tuned ALFA, the Teutonic roar of a highly tuned Porsche, the scream of an F-1 car hitting a bazillion RPM but there is nothing like a huge American V-8. I can remember back in the day standing in the pits at Laguna Seca when a very pissed off Denny Hulme slammed into that brutal orange McLaren M20, jamming it into gear and departing the pits sideways without even fastening his seat belt. I’m sure he bent the gas pedal. The sound was visceral, the ground shook (I hate to say ‘literally’ but you could feel that thing through your feet and feel the buffet in the air) and you felt as much as heard that car. Only the dead failed to feel goose bumps from that engine.

    The all-conquering Porsche 917/10 broke McLaren’s dominance that year. It was probably the greatest racing car ever but with its twin turbos didn’t sound like much of anything.

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  52. Bill said on January 21, 2013 at 10:51 pm

    The national anthem arrangement used by Beyonce today seemed very similar to the one used by Whitney Houston at Super Bowl XXV in Tampa in 1991. It was just after the start of the first Iranian war. There were metal detectors and purse searches at the stadium for the first time and tensions and nationalism were very high. The Houston version was superb, much better than Beyonce’s. It’s my favorite.

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  53. Crabby said on January 21, 2013 at 10:57 pm

    Canadian jazz singer Nikki Yanofsky does a pretty good traditional Star Spangled Banner and O Canada.

    Western swing group The Quebe Sisters Band does a version I like.

    More of the Quebe Sisters Band

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  54. Crabby said on January 21, 2013 at 11:08 pm

    (Oops, put too many links in my post)

    Canadian jazz singer Nikki Yanofsky does a pretty good traditional Star Spangled Banner and O Canada.

    Western swing group The Quebe Sisters Band does a nice version

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  55. Kirk said on January 21, 2013 at 11:14 pm

    Which side won that Iranian war?

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  56. Jolene said on January 21, 2013 at 11:52 pm

    Chris Cillizza, a WaPo political reporter, put together an inaugural playlist. Check it out.

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  57. Brandon said on January 22, 2013 at 2:51 am

    Brandon — the Concours at Pebble Beach is a great event for spectators — beautiful spot and if you like the cars, it’s terrific. My brother hasn’t done it in at least 10 years (he left that company about 3 years before he died in 2003). It just became one of those in-jokes for us because the management were such a pain to work with.

    @Charlotte: A friend of mine went last year, and he loves cars. They say it’s not the Super Bowl of car shows, but the Olympics. (My condolences for your brother.)

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  58. Liz Vogel said on January 26, 2013 at 10:06 pm

    Parasol! Bless you, NN.

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