• Chapter One: A Currency of No Value (PHOTO) #PassageHome

    Washington, D.C.

    Robert Johns is sitting at a long oval table, alone.  There is a group of men and women, all dressed in suits and military uniforms, standing...waiting.  There is a navy blue folder with an embossed seal on the cover and a black pen resting next to it.  Robert Johns, dressed in a dark blue well fitting suit, white shirt, blue tie, is sitting at the table studying the folder, running his fingertips over the seal.
        “Sir. You have to sign it.  The press corp is waiting.”
        “Unless, of course, you are reconsidering...”
        “We are well beyond that point...”
        “We are never beyond the well being of this country...”
        “Gentlemen!” Robert snaps, “I am certain.”

    He opens the portfolio.
        “Changing America is not something you can just pick up a pen and do.  This pen...ink, plastic, metal...was just a pen this morning.  Now with its stroke, we are redefining...reinventing...restoring America.  This pen will be the greatest instrument of change.
         This morning, I bought a newspaper.  I took out a single dollar, a quarter, and a dime.  I held the currency in my hand, feeling the folded corner of the well worn single...the cool smoothness of the coins.  I walked up to the clerk and rather than place the money on the counter, as I always had, I placed the money in his hand.  This pen stroke will ensure that is the last time I do that.  The last time we look upon the eyes of George Washington on the bill which represents his place in our executive legacy.  This ordinary pen of ink, plastic, and metal is about to stroke an extraordinary mark in our lives and in our children's lives and all their children to come.  This is no ordinary pen...no ordinary moment.  This is the moment the penny becomes special, finally, and the dollar, kindling.  With this pen the fires will burn hot with our entire mint, with the stroke of this pen, rendered useless...of no value.  This is the moment we kill currency.  We watch the faces of former presidents and great statesmen curl when the flames kiss their portraits.  This moment is to behold, indeed."

    The room is quiet and still.  All eyes on well composed and well dressed Robert.  Finally one of the other men in the room replies,
        “Yes sir, Mr. President."
    Robert takes a breath and in a sudden movement, Robert Johns, the President of the United States, signs the papers in the portfolio with satisfied flair.  He takes his signature in and then carefully places the pen on the table beside the portfolio.  The clock reads 7:45pm.
        "Now...I'm ready to address America."

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