Done!

Me standing in front of the White House after my fifteen meeting with President Barack Obama in the Oval Office. Notice the books are missing. They are in the president’s hands.
As I write this in late February, I am working on a complete account of the once-in-a-lifetime meeting. So far it’s about ten pages long. Single-spaced. I’ll post when it’s ready, hopefully soon.
Also, I am waiting for the photos. I had my cell phone and Jen’s camera with me, but I was told explicitly to leave them in my pocket when I got into the White House. There was an official WH photographer snapping candids of the president and me. I’m not sure when his office will develop them and send them out. I’ve heard everything is done with print film so they must be developed the old-fashioned way. And I’ve also heard (from Jen’s aunt and cousin, who met President Obama a few years ago as part of a larger event) that it takes eight months to get pictures back. So hopefully I’ll have them by the summer, and I’ll be sure to post them here as soon as I do.
As always, thanks for reading and I’m very grateful for everyone who helped me on these walks in 2006, 2008, and 2011. Feel free to contact me at highwaytohill.com, especially for information on how to walk across America . Up next : writing the book .
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Just feet away….

Thursday morning I woke up, dressed, and Jen and I walked the final mile to the southwest gate of the White House. We arrived around 11:15 for my 11:40 appointment. Jen snapped this final picture as I showed my ID and passed through the first security checkpoint.
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One last thing to do …

The night before I surrendered the books to President Obama, Jen and I found a small family-run print shop open late to photocopy all the messages which I had just collected in previous four weeks. The first three books, from 2008, had already been scanned by Curry Printing in Worcester.
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The Mad Hatter

(Note that some of these photos from DC aren’t exactly in chronological order).
Jen and I went to dinner at the Mad Hatter with her friend from college, Brad, and my friend from AmeriCorps NCCC, Nadine.
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Merry Christmas from Australia

A better picture of the Australian Embassy. Yes, the man on the surfboard is wearing a Santa hat.
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The Arc of the Moral Universe….

While I was walking over the past month, during the slow times I’d turn on MP3 player and listen to “The Bridge,” a biography of Barack Obama. According to author David Remnick this quote is one of Obama’s favorites. Serendipitously it’s one of the sayings engraved at the Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial. It reads, “We shall overcome because the arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends towards justice – District of Columbia, 1968″
We didn’t see (or look for) the controversial self-aggrandizing quote, “I was a drum major for justice, peace and rightousness,” which will be soon be effaced and replaced.
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MLK and BJ

At the newly-opened Martin Luther King, Jr Memorial.
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