I call my parents as I walk to the dinning hall tent. I ask them if they watched the address. My father caught glimpses of it at the grocery store he works at in De Pere, Wisconsin; my mother has been watching clips of it on television since she got home from work; my younger sister watched it with her high school English class. I told them the reason I felt so good was because that, in my life, I have never experienced such a positive defining moment in the history of our nation.
I go to the kitchen, where my teammate, Walker, has prepared a dinner of stuffed peppers.
After dinner, I walk down First Street, a winding asphalt road through the middle of a marsh, to the home of Beth and Larry Randall. Beth and Larry own and run the Pearlington Recovery Center. Beth is lounging in the front room of the house with a pale-skinned girl with stringy black hair and a boy with a goatee. The room smells strongly of smoke and wet dog. Beth introduces the black-haired girl, who is named Tracy. Tracy was previously in the AmeriCorps NCCC, but is now moving to Pearlington. Tracy asks me if I want a beer. Before I respond, she yanks a bottle of Bud Lite out of the refrigerator, uncaps it, and shoves it in my hand. I walk into the living room and turn on the television. Beyonce is singing "At Last" while Barak and Michelle Obama dance with each other.
"This is a fantayland!" I exclaim.
Nicole, who is also watching the Neighborhood Ball, agrees: "It doesn't seem real."
Beth invites a neighbor boy, Dakota, over to the house to talk to Nicole about AmeriCorps. Dakota is a tall, blonde, 16-year old boy wearing white sneakers and khakis. He is interested in joining AmeriCorps, and Nicole tells him about it. Beth's son, Adam sits on the steps leading down to the living room. Beth bursts into the room and lies on the couch.
"You peel out of that driveway again I'm gonna beat your ass with a shoe," Beth yells at Adam. "I'm gonna beat your ass with a shoe."
Beth announces that she has a box of brownies. Nicole goes to the kitchen to bake the brownies.
9:57 The brownies are done baking.