It appears that a number of people in different cities across the country showed up at “tea parties” to protests higher government spending and taxes — even to the point of throwing a box of teabags onto the White House lawn. It’s always difficult to know what to make of these kinds of events, or even how to determine whether the events really are spontaneous, grassroots gatherings, or activities coordinated by political parties, as this article indicates, or perhaps a little bit of both. Nevertheless, in this day and age, getting tens of thousands of people off their duffs and out from behind their computers to exercise their rights of free speech and assembly is no small accomplishment.
Kish and I spent the night before at my parents’ home, so that we could leave the not-quite two-year-old Richard there, asleep, when we got up early the next morning to head to the hospital. Kish’s bag was packed, and when the bright new day dawned — April 15, 1988 — we drove to Riverside Methodist Hospital, where William Russell Webner was born. We had his name picked out in advance. He was named William after Kish’s Dad, but we thought we would call him Russell, and we always have. He came into the world quiet and calm, and when we held him we experienced the extraordinary sense of awe and the flood of emotion that every parent must feel when they see their newborn child for the first time.
Today Russell reaches the official age of adulthood, and it is hard to believe that it has been 21 years since that day. They have been 21 fine years, indeed, as we have watched this wonderful and very interesting person grow up from a very shy youngster to an outgoing, intelligent, self-confident, artistically talented adult. What a terrific journey it has been, and how exciting it will be to see what the years to come will bring.
Happy Birthday, Russell!