It is not that the President-elect's forebears and my family share the same surname that makes me feel a strong affinity toward the new Commander-in-Chief and his First Lady. Nor is it the fact that I've lived in the same South Shore community for 36 years and sent my four kids to the same public school that Michelle Obama attended (Bryn Mawr Elementary) that I closely identify with the Obamas.
Also, it is not the fact that my eldest son followed her to Whitney Young High School, or that my oldest daughter followed Michelle's footsteps through Bryn Mawr's gifted program, eventually attending Duke University and Northwestern Law school.
It is not that young Barack Obama honed his skills as a Community Organizer -- serving the Altgeld Gardens public housing community where I had lived during my formative years -- that I so strongly identify with him and Lady Michelle.
It's the pizza! When I heard that this new world leader's favorite dish was Italian Fiesta pizza, it all clicked. There is an Italian Fiesta pizzeria right here in the 'hood. Just a few blocks away, and not far from where Michelle grew up. I'd venture to wager that it was her favorite before Barack grew to savor it.
I imagine that one day, after one of those juicy kisses from Michelle's lips, he asked "What's that I taste? Hmmm, oregano...basil...something Italian! You been eatin' pizza, girl? Gimme some!" Now he can't stop eating it! Neither can I. A ground beef with mushrooms, green pepper and olives...
There are many good reasons to feel a closeness with the Obama's, and there's likely more to be discovered as time goes by. Stay tuned.
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