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Al and Tipper Gore have announced their separation after 40 years of marriage.

Yeah, I was there for the kiss, but I didn’t get a photo. It was still going to be a few more years before I acquired a digital camera. The photos I did manage to get from the Missouri delegation (seated front and center, right behind Tennessee) came from a compact 35 mm job that was supposed to be idiot proof. That is until the back of the camera opened in security and exposed an entire roll of film.

Yes, that’s Al Gore at the podium.

Yes, I was there, live, for the kiss, along with twenty something thousand other people.

It’s interesting that today almost everyone in the media has been replaying that kiss from ten years ago. As if those ten years haven’t passed and the kiss has no meaning because of today’s announcement.

I was standing on my chair, continually harassed by the safety people to not do so while everyone else was doing the same thing during Al Gore’s speech, and I turned toward the New Mexico delegation to photograph the crowd. I snapped this picture as I started to fall. It turns out there was a reason the safety people didn’t want us standing on the chairs.

I sometimes wonder if the past ten years have been a nightmare alternate reality. I wonder what things would have been like if December 12, 2000 had turned out differently.