Reub's journey

17 June 2012

I saw the First Lady

 I saw Michelle Obama today despite living in a small town in Oregon, a sparsely populated state. As you see here, the security was high...well actually these guys were watching the porta potties in the corner of the football field where OSU's commencement was held, and Mrs. Obama was the guest speaker. They took their job seriously.

Because there was quite a bit of time, I took a bunch of pictures. There were bagpipes! Bagpipes always get to go first. Bagpipe players are usually older folks, so I have wondered if they are slowly going extinct.

There were 35,000 people there, twice as many as last year. The first lady drew a crowd. And as you see if you look up, there really was a bit of extra security. There were a bunch of guys up there.  Kinda close to the edge.

The man in front of us had nice toenails. Orange and black are the school colors.

This was a really happy day for about 3,000 young people.

And their families.

Pomp and Circumstance. So proud!


Security guy again. Those looked like super awesome binoculars. I wished I had a pair...

...because Michelle was very far away. After receiving a well-deserved honorary doctorate in public health, she gave the commencement address. She is a very good speaker, and the crowd was silent when she talked.

Three things for the graduates to remember: Work with what you have, and don't fret over what you do not have. Do not measure your success by what others may think. Do not leave things unfinished with people you love. Her speech was heartfelt and well-received.

I was a good listener, but I couldn't help looking back at the security guy.  For a minute we scrutinized one another. See? Happily, I am a completely innocent person.

Afterwards we rode bikes home and John got a Father's Day phone call from our youngest child. It was a good day.


  1. What a nice historic day for you both. Commencement speeches have so many expectations. I admire those that can really say something. That guy on the roof was checking out that other guys nail polish! Can you imagine how much pressure there is that whenever you go anywhere there are tons of security with weapons protecting you?

  2. A glorious day!

    I love Michelle Obama. Don't leave things unfinished with those you love ... what does that mean?

    I live in a city full of security guys, in a neighborhood of stepped up security at all times. It's definitely a police state. I used to resent it, but the individuals, even the dudes with dark glasses and machine guns, are really nice to me. It's part of life in DC.

    Glad you had such a nice day! Thanks for sharing.

  3. i bet her speech was wonderful. as a political figure, she can see the big picture. as a mother, she can see the smaller one with big hopes for the future.

  4. Laoch: Graduation is always a big deal in a college town, but this one was extra big.

    Tabor: Her speech wasn't preachy and big-minded, just very natural and wise; it was a great talk.

    Hey you're right! The security guy might have been looking at those toenails! His binoculars had enough power for it!

    Reya: She said this about "unfinished" things:
    "If you're in a fight with some one, make up. If you're holding a grudge, let it go. If you love someone, tell them...'liking' them on Facebook doesn't count. Nor does following them on Twitter. What counts is making the time to be there in person." She spoke at length about her father, who died of MS when Michelle was in her 20s. (It was Father's Day, after all.)

    twg: It was a very nice speech; her approach was warm and wise. No mention of her husband whatsoever, so not a highly politicized thing.

  5. What a fun experience. She is a very engaging personality for sure.. I'm glad you were able to see her and share.


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