Listening to the inauguration at the same spot, four years later: From “American Carnage” to “The Hill We Climb”

Listening to the inauguration at the same spot, four years later: From “American Carnage” to “The Hill We Climb”

1/20/20. 11:53a.m. The Water Towers in Washington Grove, Cobb’s Hill. The ice is not thick enough for walking. Note the hole in the slush marking the spot where my lower leg got very wet and cold. [Photos: David Kramer]

1/20/20. 11:53a.m. The Water Towers in Washington Grove, Cobb’s Hill.

I remember exactly where I was at noon on January 20th, 2017.

As seen in Shawn Dunwoody joins our conversation with “Psalms of the Glackx.”, I spent the of the last few hour of the Obama Administration at Sasso Cafe on Park Avenue with public artist Shawn Dunwoody, deciding we’d rather have a coffee than watch Trump’s inauguration on tv.

Sasso 1

Shawn Dunwoody 1/20/17 at Sasso Cafe on Park Avenue. From Shawn Dunwoody joins our conversation with “Psalms of the Glackx.”

Afterwards, I walked to the Washington Grove trails behind Cobb’s Hill where I listened to Trump’s inaugural address at the Water Towers on my SONY hand held radio. I remember thinking the speech was dark but well crafted, perhaps authored by Steve Bannon. Trump’s use of the phrase “American carnage” sounded very much like a Bannonism. In a Bushism, former President George W. Bush supposedly remarked of the speech: “That was some weird shit.”

On Wednesday, I went back to the same spot with my SONY hand held radio where I heard Youth poet laureate Amanda Gorman’s inaugural poem: “The Hill We Climb.”

After the Capitol riot, Senator Lindsey Graham said, “Trump and I, we’ve had a hell of a journey. I hate it to end this way. Oh my god, I hate it.” Talker could say something similar. Since the very first one on January 14th, 2016, Why Peter Wehner will not have to not vote for Trump (I was wrong),Trump and Trump-related articles became a magazine staple, a hell of a journey. No doubt Trump will again grace our pages, but he’s bound to fall on the punditry worthy pecking order. (See all Trump and Trump related articles.)

Today, we offer a selection of Trump and Trump-related greatest hits. The criteria is that each article required a field trip.

The Bug Jar on Monroe Ave March 14th, 2016 On seeing my first Trump supporters outside the Bug Jar

Scottsville Road across from the airport April 10th, 2016 Next stop Albany. On the road with the Trumprenuers



Jessica Rowe and David Kramer from Next stop Albany. On the road with the Trumprenuers

The Art Museum of Rochester on Monroe Avenue April 18th, 2016 A Trumprenuer on the road at Trumpmania 


Anthony Rotolo and David Kramer from A Trumprenuer on the road at Trumpmania

Monroe Community College April 19th, 2016 Talker interviewed by Channel 8. Knowledgeable supporters back Cruz’s gold standard

Six 7-Elevens throughout Rochester October 22nd, 2016 Rochester 7-Eleven coffee drinkers narrowly favor Clinton 101 – 97; most are independent 

The Visual Studies Workshop on Goodman November 5th, 2016 A Fake Election at the Visual Studies Workshop

David Kramer [Photo: Ray Ray Mitrano] From A Fake Election at the Visual Studies Workshop

Near City Hall. The intersection of Church and State Streets December 25th, 2016 Trump’s Brand of Christianity is a Threat to the First Amendment

Washington Square Park January 22nd, 2017 In Washington Square Park remembering the first March for Woman’s Lives, April 1989

Washington Square Park January 29th, 2017 On the rally in Washington Square Park. Would Einstein Be Welcome in America Today?

The Wegmans in Pittsford Plaza Feb 5, 2017 Singing resistance in the produce section in Wegmans

Washington Square Park April 1st, 2018 Trump resigns; squeezed out of White House

Alex White (left) and Maddy from Trump resigns; squeezed out of White House

Parcel 5 in downtown Rochester January 18th, 2019 Zelensky did not announce investigations. Did the whistle blower save Trump’s hide?

McQuaid Jesuit High School in Brighton May 16th, 2020 10 Reasons President Trump Should Wear a Mask

Brown Square Park, 251 Verona St. August 28th, 2020 The 2020 Republican National Convention and William Jennings Bryan’s speech at Brown Square, August 26th, 1896

The Timeline at the Vietnam Veterans Memorial of Greater Rochester in Highland Park Oct 6, 2020 Letter to the Editor: Joe Biden has honored thousands of military members

1872 Cafe on 431 W Main Street and Empire State College on Westfall Road Oct 30, 2020 At Empire State College, I voted for “?”

David Kramer from At Empire State College, I voted for “?” [Photos: Evan Bala and April Franklin]


The electoral year in review. Getting Trumped.

About The Author

Welcome to Talker of the Town! My name is David Kramer. I have a Ph.D in English and teach at Keuka College. I am a former and still active Fellow at the Nazareth College Center for Public History and a Storyteller in Residence at the SmallMatters Institute. Over the years, I have taught at Monroe Community College, the Rochester Institute of Technology and St. John Fisher College. I have published numerous Guest Essays, Letters, Book Reviews and Opinion pieces in The New York Times, Rochester Democrat and Chronicle, the Buffalo News, the Rochester Patriot, the Providence Journal, the Providence Business News, the Brown Alumni Magazine, the New London Day, the Boston Herald, the Messenger Post Newspapers, the Wedge, the Empty Closet, the CITY, Lake Affect Magazine and Brighton Connections. My poetry appears in The Criterion: An International Journal in English and Rundenalia and my academic writing in War, Literature and the Arts and Twentieth Century Literary Criticism. Starting in February 2013, I wrote for three Democratic and Chronicle  blogs, "Make City Schools Better," "Unite Rochester," and the "Editorial Board." When my tenure at the D & C  ended, I wanted to continue conversations first begun there. And start new ones.  So we created this new space, Talker of the Town, where all are invited to join. I don’t like to say these posts are “mine.” Very few of them are the sole product of my sometimes overheated imagination. Instead, I call them partnerships and collaborations. Or as they say in education, “peer group work.” Talker of the Town might better be Talkers of the Town. The blog won’t thrive without your leads, text, pictures, ideas, facebook shares, tweets, comments and criticisms.


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