As everyone knows, today's the day that the 44th US President, Barack Obama, will be inaugurated and will take office with more hopes and expectations riding on his shoulders than is, I think, altogether reasonable.
In his Presidential acceptance speech - a tour de force of oratory that was all the more powerful for having followed the ineptitudes of the last incumbent of the White House - Obama said: "Tonight, because of what we did on this day, in this election, at this moment, change has come to America..."
It was, of course, what America - and the world - wanted to hear; and, inevitably, it will be tempting to remember that quote divorced from the caveat that immediately followed: "The road ahead will be long, our climb will be steep. We may not get there in one year, or even in one term - but America, I have never been more hopeful than I am tonight that we will get there."
Wherever "there" is (if, indeed, it is anywhere), one cannot cavil with the sentiment - merely trust that it will be a good long time before disappointment and disillusionment set in; long enough, perhaps, for the beginnings of that promised change...
Meanwhile, as everyone will be focusing on Washington, I'll be in New York, filming an interview for the 'extras' on the forthcoming BluRay DVD of Walt Disney's first full length feature film, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs.
Released in 1937, it was a film that emerged from a depression era even more desperate and devastating than the one that now besets America and the world...
On the wall above my desk, as I write, is a Snow White clock, the face of which is inscribed by the late Adriana Caselotti who was the voice of Disney's heroine.
Miss Caselotti gave me this unique souvenir, twenty years ago, on one of several visits to her Hollywood home which, I am happy to inform you, had a wishing well in the front yard!
"I wish you," she wrote, "a continued beautiful and successful life."
Which seems like something we all ought to be wishing one another on this day of hopes and dreams...
Images: Caricature of Barack Obama by Bob Staake.