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My alien registration card shows  January 19, 1974 as my date of entry. On that date I began my Rip Van Winkle existence. Unlike the Dutchman of lore, I was conscious for at least most of the ensuing years.

The fatherland, never forgotten, became a place to admire, to criticize and most of all, to observe. The view from here has always been clear, and the vistas spread wide open with the coming of the Internet, Youtube and Google Earth.  Being far enough away from the trees to see the forest gives a feeling of liberation that I imagine the eagles must enjoy.

In 1974, I left the dark world of Richard Milhouse Nixon only to watch a series of mediocre or malevolent men lead the nation through continued malaise.  Now, at last the clouds are beginning to lift, giving the shores a white glow that radiates across the wide Pacific. At this moment, thirty-five years on, I like what I see on this eve of change – the first glimmer of hope.