June 27th, 2010
09:00 AM ET

Letter to the President #524: “A nice night ride"

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Tom Foreman | BIO
AC360° Correspondent

Reporter's Note: President Obama will probably never again be able to enjoy some of the simple pleasures of normal life, like a long, private drive to see friends. So I share a bit of that experience in today’s letter to the White House.

Dear Mr. President,

As I write this, I am riding along with my wife after attending an engagement party for some friends up near New York. They are a lovely couple and the hosts were most gracious and generous. If you call me this week, please remind me to send a nice thank you note. I always feel terrible when I forget about such things too long, because then it just gets awkward (“thanks so much for inviting us to your party back in 2007”) and then I delay more, and then I finally have to break off the friendship rather than admit that I just forgot to get stamps.

Btw, what are your thoughts on e-mail thank you notes? I truly understand why some people go that way because it gets the job done in short order, and such notes often express more of the immediate gratitude, but then again there is still something nice about finding real ink on real paper in the mailbox now and then.

We decided to drive up and back in a day because I was on the road all last week. I’ve been in a lot of hotels lately, and my wife kindly did not want me to be bothered with another one. Sometimes it’s just good to sleep in your own bed, even if making that happen takes seven hours of driving.

On the way back, shortly after dark we rolled up on a large fireworks display near the turnpike. We have no idea what it was all about, or frankly where it was even happening. The rockets were exploding right in front of us as if they were rising out of the road for several minutes, and only when we were quite close did the road turn a bit, placing the launch point a little to our left. Even then we could not see the source. Baseball game? Some company’s picnic? An unusually early 4th of July celebration? Who knows? But I must say, sometimes I think surprise fireworks are the best kind, so I’ll accept the mystery in exchange for the nice show.

I would write more, but my wife has grown rather tired driving so I should take a turn. With some luck, she’ll be able to nod off for a while and I’ll take us all the way home listening to music while she dreams a bit. Steely Dan is on the satellite radio singing Black Cow. We just crossed from Delaware into Maryland. GPS says we still have about an hour and forty-five minutes before we are home. I would call and say hi once we made it, but you’ll probably be sleeping, so if you want to give me a buzz later today, that will be fine.



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