Mark and Patricia Joseph of Baltimore awoke on Inauguration Day to find one grandson pictured in Barack Obama's arms on Page One of The New York Times and another high-fiving the president-elect on the cover of The Wall Street Journal.
The Josephs have two grown daughters who, with their husbands and children, participated in the National Day of Service at Calvin Coolidge Senior High School in Washington the day before Obama's swearing-in.
One of the husbands, Jason Scott, had hired Michelle Obama about 15 years ago to head the Chicago branch of the nonprofit Public Allies. The Obamas recognized Scott as they were greeted by the crowd at the school, and Obama picked up Scott's nearly 10-month-old boy, Jedi Scott.
One of Jedi's cousins also got into the act. Theo Weiman, 3, high-fived Obama. Twice. Theo missed the president-elect's hand the first time.
Only the back of Theo's head, arm and hand are visible in The Journal, and he is not named in the photo caption. But Jedi, facing the camera and gazing into Obama's eyes, was named in The Times.
The Josephs have heard from family and friends around the world, said Mark Joseph, who was president of Baltimore City's school board from 1975 to 1980 and before that was a deputy city housing commissioner and development director.
Says the proud grandpa: "My line has been, 'Well, we're going to have to wait to see how well President Obama does, but he certainly has an eye for spotting young talent.' "
Didn't watch, but hated it
"Ehrlich to Obama: Lousy speech, not that I watched."
That would have been the headline if Bob Ehrlich had written his latest op-ed piece for the New York Post. He penned it instead for The Washington Post, which ran it yesterday under, "Post-Partisan? Not Really."
In the piece, Maryland's ex-governor claims that Obama's inaugural address contained "class-warfare rhetoric," as in, "The nation cannot prosper long when it favors only the prosperous."
Maybe I'm a little slow on the draw, but I'm not waving my pitchfork yet.
Ehrlich also says Obama sent Americans on "a collective national guilt trip" by stating that we "can no longer afford indifference to the suffering outside our borders ... [nor] consume the world's resources without regard to effect."
Oh, the guilt, it's killing me! But it's nothing a little Prozac and talk therapy can't take care of. Certainly no need to change American lifestyles or anything. That'd just be silly.
"Toward the end of his speech, Obama referred to 'the price and the promise of citizenship' - as though it were a patriotic duty to ante up more of your hard-earned dollars," Ehrlich writes. "His infamous exchange with 'Joe the Plumber' was no accident; our new president was serious when he said he planned to share the wealth of producers and wage earners."
Invoking Joe the Plumber - way to sound post-partisan!
Perhaps the most interesting part is Enrlich's admission that he did not actually watch Obama's speech. Somewhere between 1 million and 2 million people braved transportation nightmares and frigid temperatures to witness it in person. Millions tuned in on TV. Bob Ehrlich took a pass.
Too cold, I assume, for a conflicting tee time. Why didn't Ehrlich watch? "To help divorce myself from the pageantry, I read the inaugural address rather than watch Obama deliver it," he wrote.
Ehrlich wanted to make sure he wasn't swept up in the moment. Mission accomplished.
The principal's office
If little Sasha or Malia Obama gets sent to the principal's office someday, Stephen Barker of Stevenson just might be the guy who has to call 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. for a conference.
Barker, head of Ruxton Country School in Owings Mills, will serve as the interim head of Sidwell Friends School for a year, starting in July.
The school's current head, Bruce Stewart, retires June 30. His successor, Thomas Farquhar, is under contract at Bullis School until July 1, 2010. Barker, 60, will fill the job in meantime.
I asked Barker, who plans to move to Washington and who was Sidwell's interim middle school principal five years ago, whether the presidential pupils will make the job exciting.
"By its nature it is exciting, but it's also kind of normal for that particular school," he said.
By that, he meant, "It's Washington."
Connect the dots
More bad news about Bob Ehrlich's rug: coffee stain. The custom carpet Ehrlich ordered in 2006 was only recently installed in the State House, and somebody has already spilled a cup of joe on it. The stain is along the side of the rug, near the wall with the portraits of Ehrlich and Parris Glendening, said Jeremy Rosendale in Gov. Martin O'Malley's office. (Coffee spiller's ID unknown.) Rosendale said they're working on getting the spot removed. Let's hope the $37,500 price tag included Scotchgard. ... Baltimore's zoo has been forced to put down its annual summer gala. The Maryland Zoo in Baltimore announced yesterday that it was canceling Zoomerang! after 25 years. "[I]t is a very expensive event to stage and we felt that, in this economy, it was time to give Zoomerang! a rest after many wonderful years," interim zoo President Don Hutchinson said in an e-mail.