Over the years, the party has grown from a handful of friends posing for a picture in Starbucks, holding up cups in honor of MLK, to more than 60 people at our house this year, including lots of families. This year was extra special, because in addition to celebrating MLK Day, we were also celebrating the second inauguration of President Obama. It was impossible not to feel good about the perfect intersection of persistent striving, high-minded ideals and concrete ceremonial reality---Obama being sworn in for another four years.
The party was great. People arrived early with little gifts and sweet treats to offer. There was baklava. There were apple tarts and zucchini cookies; pigs-in-blankets and potato puffs; dried apricots and gingerbread muffins---and even a quiche.
Thanks to the perks of Pandora, the music varied wildly ranging from Carly Rae Jepsen to Dave Brubeck, and then to disco. Kids ruled, with the majority being between the ages of 9 and 11, but there were toddlers, and even a 14-month old in the mix. There were a lot of writers roaming around, as well as a couple of high-level editors, a wine-maker, an artist (who sold us two pieces, including an astonishingly moving depiction of MLK, Jr. and a picture of our youngest daughter), some lawyers, and lots of talented people who dedicate their time to various community-based causes. The coffee flowed with ease, the hot chocolate was drunk within the hour and a few people were not shy about opting out of the coffee and heading straight for the Red Zinger. The theme of the evening: diversity---in every sense of the word.
Right before we attempted to take a group photo (that effort turned into an epic fail, though we did get some interesting shots of various people toasting MLK or just hanging out), we decided to take time out to read quotes from Dr. King and other like-minded individuals about equality, tolerance and freedom.
“I refuse to accept the view that mankind is so tragically bound to the starless midnight of racism and war that the bright daybreak of peace and brotherhood can never become a reality.”—MLK, Jr.
“Whoever debases others is debasing himself.”----James Baldwin
“Intelligence plus character—that is the goal of true education.”----MLK, Jr.
By the end of the night, people were getting really amped from coffee and chocolate and (healthy) sweets. We turned up the music---and a whole gaggle of girls born in 2002 rocked it out to disco hits that peaked in 1972. Another year, another celebration. Thanks to everyone who shared this event with us.