That’s one of the ways Inauguration Night wrapped up in West Seattle – with revelers dancing to the sound of the West Seattle Big Band at the WS Democratic Women-presented Inaugural Gala at The Hall at Fauntleroy. West Seattleites in DC are reliving their memories – that includes Stephanie and Hans, who are sharing their take on The Big Day, along with photos:
Well, it was looking a little sketchy on the Mall today — cold, and I do mean cold. And cell phones were bonking where they should have been tweeting. =)
But all in all, I couldn’t have asked for a better time. My run of luck from the day before kept on going (clearly, I should be betting my fortune at the tracks tomorrow). Because of the kiddo, Hans and I didn’t get out of the house until about 8am. My intrepid (and long-suffering) brother drove us to the metro, and from the outside, things looked pretty good. We grabbed a morning paper and headed up the escalator, hoping for a train . . . which was there, but sadly, crammed full of people and not moving. Hmmm. That seemed like a sign.
So, back down the escalator (a couple bucks poorer for the pleasure) and into the car. My brother was doing a little math on the fly, but seemed reasonably confident, dropping us off near the Arlington Memorial Bridge. And lo! There were the huddled masses, yearning to be warm and walking (like George Washington!) over the icy Potomac. To tell the truth, it was pretty sweet. Flanked by the river on two sides, with the silent and empty memorial behind us. The bridge was windy and frigid, but the atmosphere was anything but! As we entered the park, we were greeted by ridiculously cheery volunteers and the sounds of the inaugural concert . . . especially apropos — Stevie Wonder, “Sisters, keep on moving . . . till we reach the higher ground.”
Best of all, that plan I’d concocted in the middle of the night . . . the one about stealing my child’s diapers “just in case”? Yeah, that was a non-starter. The porta potties were abundant and accessible. And it wasn’t long before I was sipping hot coffee beside the frozen reflecting pond. And, of course, grinning from ear to ear.
We weren’t as brave as some — by the time we reached the Monument, the place was nose-to-nose. And, being the high point, several degrees colder. We stuck around for a photo of the crowd and then hoofed it back to our previous, less peopled stake out. Of course, by inauguration time, the crowds came to us. Felt like the biggest party on the planet. And the coldest one.
Hans ducked out a few times to run some sprints, but made it back in time for the swearing in, rosy and blue at the same time. My skin had a fabulous marble-look to it by that point.
And then we were on the road again — “Amen, Amen, Amen” ringing out behind us. As we made our way back, we spotted Marine 1 giving FORMER President Bush a last flyover . . . right above the spot where his plastic likeness was being repeatedly deflated and inflated again for the pleasure of the departing crowds. =)
It was, in every way, awesome.
Earlier in the morning, walking into the park, Hans had said, Ya know, baby will be glad you did this. (I had nearly forgotten about her, so, of course, I felt bad all over again. While she was having a lovely time with her Aunt and Uncle.) But I think what’s significant is how hopeful and proud, I am. It was amazing to see Obama’s excitement as he took the oath; to hear the earnestness and energy of his words. And surrounded by so many people, so invested in the success of this shared vision . . . what a privilege. Now, in the days ahead, as the high wears off, I have to refocus. What are the burdens I’m willing to carry for myself, for my country and for baby’s sake?
Time to make it real. =)
Thanks to Steph and Hans for sharing their stories and photos from DC! We don’t need a big occasion for you to share YOUR story – if you or someone you know is doing something you think others need to know about, just e-mail, call, text, tweet, etc., any time – all the contact info’s here.