Thursday, January 22, 2009

Camera catches co-chairs

I once read a great little book, From Beginning to End: The Rituals of Our Lives, by one of my favorite essayists, Robert Fulghum. Many of you will remember him as the All I Really Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten guy. From Beginning to End was about rituals. Now, I'm not always the most organized person, but in some ways I can be very ritualistic - especially in the pre-dawn hours or when it comes to reading daily news.

One of my most rigid early morning rituals is reading The Peoria Journal-Star online. When I opened it today, I found a photo* I have to share with you. The photographer, Susan Walsh, a staff photographer for the Associated Press and president of the White House News Photographers’ Association, captured her subjects so well. Former Congressman Ray LaHood's confirmation hearings have begun for the post of Secretary of Transportation in President Barack Obama's cabinet. LaHood and Illinois Senator Dick Durbin are two of the three co-chairs of the U.S. Abraham Lincoln Bicentennial Commission, along with Harold Holzer, a leading Lincoln scholar.

Walsh's photo seems to capture the cameraderie of the two, who though from different parties and different parts of the state, can come together for a common purpose in which they both believe. As a Lincoln buff, I'd like to imagine Walsh caught them just as Durbin leaned over to LaHood to say, "Boy, Ray, I'll bet you can't wait until these hearings are finished, so we can get ready to go to Lincoln's birthday party, the biggest bash in 200 years. We're going to have a blast!"

May the photo and thoughts of the upcoming celebrations put a smile on your face, too.

* The photo may load a bit slowly. Be sure to wait for it. The smiles on the commission co-chairs' faces are worth it.

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