Sic semper tyrannis

“Biden just won Pennsylvania.” It was Saturday morning and I was sitting by the fire.

“Get dressed,” I said. “We should go out and blow our horn.”
With Nancy driving her electric Chevy Bolt, we heading towards Albuquerque.  

In fifteen minutes we exited at Central Avenue. 

Nancy was honking the horn.  

“No one is here,” she said as we headed into the heart of downtown, past Skip Maisel’s,

the Indian trading post with silver dollars embedded in the sidewalk entrance.

“Blow the horn,” I said.

“Maisel’s has been closed for a year,” said Nancy.

She was right. The window displays were empty. We drove west towards Old Town, a  homeless man lying in front of a bank looked up and waved. 

We made a uturn heading back east on Central. 

 Albuquerque sits in a valley on a great fault created over the ages by the Rio Grande river, and other than the few are flat blocks of downtown which, all streets leading into town from the east and west are on a great slope. We were heading uphill towards the University of New Mexico when I saw them.

“There they are!” I yelled. “Blow the horn.”

Driving west into downtown, coming right at us were two pick up trucks with blue banners flying, behind them two more cars with their lights on. We could hear their horns in the distance.

Nancy made the next turn heading back east.

“We’ll never catch them,” she said.

Behind us a car began to blow  their horn. Then the car in front did the same. 
“We have a group!” said Nancy, blowing the horn. People walking up

the hill began to wave.

One of the cars was flying a blue banner from their car, and reaching into my pocket I pulled out my well used hankerchief. “It’s purple!”  

With my purple hankerchief now flying out the window we headed down the hill, a caravan of three cars,

all honking horns. Seeing a woman walking up the hill, I looked  at her waving vigorously.

She looked back, waved her arms and began to dance. A smile cracked across her face. The nation was smiling. We had brought down a tyrant. 

     An hour had passed since Nancy and I had first arrived. More cars and trucks began to fall in line on Central, blowing horns, waving signs and banners. On the street couples were jumping with joy, smiles across their faces, waving back, dancing.

      Driving east we passed through Nob Hill, a neighborhood with the only art movie house, numerous places to dine, people seated outdoors or waiting in line to be served, a walk from the University. We passed a woman on the sidewalk with a homemade sign reading, “The return of Decency”. Nancy pulled into an empty parking spot on Central, and I got out with my two-pound camera held in my right hand. What had begun with a blowing horn was morphing into one of the greatest celebrations of human happiness I have ever seen. The smile that broke across the face of the woman walking up the hill was breaking out across every face I saw.     

    Photographing a moving object is a pan, you move the camera with the subject. It’s like moving a rifle to track a moving target. My target was the cars going by me, the faces of the people, often young women, hanging out the windows, or standing through the skylights. 

      Central was now lined with cars in both directions, all waving flags and blowing horns. One old utility truck driven by a mechanic passed with large black sprayed letters on its side, “Fuck Trump”. Another car was flying a huge Mexican flag. There were Black drivers with Black children in the back, all waving, all smiling. Drivers with dogs in their laps. Others were in open pickup trucks, Latino children standing up in the back, all waving. A tyrant had been brought down, not by a coup and not by a knife but by a vote. 

  “This is going to go on all night,” I said to Nancy. Let’s go home.”
   Later that night on Central, Sharon Chischilly, a Navajo photojournalist, lifted her I-phone as Ashkia Trujillo, a young native, jumped from his car, pulled off his red Bull’s hat in triumph and danced in the street, yelled a loud “hoop!” and got back in his car. Ashikia’s IG handle is “Self Made Warrior”. Sharon posted her little film on IG (@sharonchischillyphoto) where so far seventy- thousand people have watched it.  

Open link for “SNCC” 

This was written by that great activist and SNCC veteran, Dottie Zellner:

I was getting out of the shower and I heard Wolf Blitzer announce that CNN was calling the election for Biden. I heard a quiver in his voice. About 15 seconds later a tremendous roar went up in my neighborhood.
Continuous screaming, shouting, dancing, waving, in the street, cars honking their horns.
On the bus to Columbus Circle to go to what had been previously called as a Protect the Vote protest (but quickly morphed into a celebration), I said, “YES!!!!” in a loud voice and all the passengers immediately clapped and cheered.
I never saw anything like this except maybe when the Dodgers won the World Series in 1955, and then there was no screaming,shouting or dancing, just a lot of . . .smiling.

One Response to “Sic semper tyrannis”
  1. Neil Delete says:

    Hey Danny, thanks for this lovely post.

    Sharon’s IG is @sharonchischillyphoto (there’s a “c” missing in your text).

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