The time? Nearing midnight Mountain Savings Time, November 4, 2008.
The occasion? A national election of the next President of the United States.
But this locale? Pueblo, Colorado, which might just as well have been Times Square, in New York City on January 1 of a new year and fresh era.
Like at the stroke of midnight in the raucous crowd upon the 'Big Apple's' busy intersection, strangers embraced and laughed.
We were welcoming a second millennium we'd felt had been delayed, dissolved into a twilight zone of world turmoil and a diseased, entangled morass of this country's consciousness.
Smiles were contagious. Cheers resounded. Perfect strangers hugged in ecstacy.
Barack Obama, a Democrat, had just been declared, by a sound projection of definitive count of electoral votes - even before possible tallies west of the Mississippi - the forty-fourth President of the United States of America, by virtue of the electoral college votes soundly attributed to him over those of Republican candidate John McCain!
Such abundance of enthusiasm had not been evident in this Democratic bastion of a borough, called the Rocky Mountain 'steel city,' since the election of John Fitzgerald Kennedy!
The political insults of successive four and eight year Republican administrations had been sorely borne. From Eisenhower through Nixon, then Reagan and two Bushes, it was interspersed all too briefly by a truncated Kennedy Camelot, and later Carter, then Clinton.
The lengthy tenures of the "grand old party" - especially the years of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars, seemed at last avenged. A debt made good at last. A fitting, long anticipated and just repayment too long past due was tendered.
We had now overcome the sting of the election of George Bush in 2000 and 2004 not by popular majority, but by Electoral College plurality, as well as the questionable intervention by the Supreme Court. Many among us complained that the Supremes had acted to effect of disenfranchising of citizens whose hanging chads and absentee ballots would never be counted!
What goes around - at last, it seems - comes around. And turn about finally has gyrated to fair play.
But, far more significantly, this union of states had just elected a liberal, young African-American Senator to the highest office in the land, if not the world!
Throughout the evening, chanting began with every increase in the accumulated votes as reported by NBC news upon a very large, flat, projected television screen: "Yes we can! Yes, we can!"
And, as it turned out, yes we could and, indeed, yes we did!
The sheer historicity of the moment was more intoxicating than the alcoholic beverages served from a pay bar in that red granite Victorian building with its interior of small, porcelain black and white tile and richly ornate oak wainscot, spindles, windows, and doors.