Political Memory

My mother was a proponent of the first returnable bottle bill in Maine. I remember her putting me out in the parking lot at our local supermarket with bumper stickers and telling me to put them on people’s cars. What if they don’t want them, I asked, pretty sure this was sketchy.

They’ll just razor them off, said my mom.

After the bill was passed, we would go to the beach as a family and collect the returnables, and whatever we earned we could spend on candy at Len Libby’s, a local candy shop that is still there in Scarborough, ME.

Yesterday, Keith Gessen wrote and asked a bunch of us to submit a political memory within 30 minutes of receiving his email. This is an excerpt from mine up now on the n+1 site.

Congratulations, President-Elect Obama. When I look back at this day, I’ll remember how I woke up happy to be American in a way that felt (and still feels) completely new.


  1. Alex, I feel better about this country than I have for quite some time. I’m still not convinced I’m going to stay here, but it’s nice to know that the country is at least trying to change direction.

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