(Preamble to the Constitution, signed by Carter, Dan and many others in DuPont Circle)
(The box from which the new President will view the Inaugural Parade)
To recap, we’re getting inauguration updates from two teams of West Seattleites in D.C. — we heard earlier from Stephanie and Hans, and now we have two reports – and more photos – to share from Carter and Dan:
DC is high gear. There are crowds everywhere the events are happening. Metro stop lines are a half to a full block long. Parade route has people parading. The National Mall is busy with activity. Everyone is in a great mood despite the crowds. Smiles abound and the random chatting up of strangers. “Where are you from?” is a question everyone asks.
We have a change of plans regarding how we are going to get there. As of this moment, we are going to attempt the 4:00AM Metro from Arlington to the National Mall. I’m voting for just walking the four miles. Everyone i’ve spoke with is going 4AM or before. They won’t even open the Mall until 7 or 8AM (depends on the source). The media here is warning, if there is 2 million people, you will have a personal space the size of a page of newspaper!
Attached photo is “Give Bush The Boot” game. It was a riot watching people vent with the hundreds of shoes. Ironically, while I was in front of the White House, the Police handcuffed and arrested a young guy for throwing a shoe on the White House lawn. They shut down the street which prevented me from going up to the fence.
Carter also sent a celebrity photo … and we have his report from earlier today, including the inaugural concert details — ahead:
First, the celebrity sighting: CNN’s Anderson Cooper (“in tails!” reports Carter):
Now, the report Carter sent this morning, that we hadn’t gotten a chance to publish yet:
Yesterday was, if nothing, a test if endurance. We decided to attend
the Inaugural Concert Kick-off at the National Mall. As you probably
saw, the stage was at the Lincoln Memorial. Our group decided to meet
at different times. Lesson learned, we didn’t see each other again
until back at our hotel. The temperature started out in the 20’s and
ended in the 30’s.
Despite my arriving at 10:30 AM, four hours early, the performers on
stage were still tiny ants. And they spent most of the time behind a big black box that held the HBO TV cameras and the TelePrompTers. Waiting itself was a test in patience. For four hours, if felt like every one of the 500,000 + in attendance tried to get by me. I was pretty proud of myself when I found out that the folks laying on the blankets next to me had been there since 7AM. We were all trampled, elbowed, stepped on, and shoved the whole time in the run up to the start. Mind you, every bit of abuse dished out was accompanied with, “sorry”, “excuse me”, or “I’ve got to get back to my baby I left at my blanket”. Using the Port-a-potty was not an option because once you left your spot, there was no chance that you could get back. So, I stood in the same spot for six hours until the concert was over.
I befriended those around me and they were from Oklahoma, Kansas, DC, Africa, and Connecticut. All were happy to be there, even if the short people never saw a thing except the occasional elbow in the side of the head. Several people watched only through my video camera viewfinder. Garth Brooks got people going with his three songs, “American Pie”, “Shout”, and “We Shall Be Free”. That exposed the problem with momentum because in between the music performers, an actor would come out to the podium and speak, killing the vibe.
Last night, we all regrouped at our hotel room to watch the whole show on HBO, up close, warm, and with a glass of wine. I don’t know what this says about us but we were all glad we went.
Attached are photos of Beyonce singing “America The Beautiful ” from my vantage point. Also, Dan got a shot of President-Elect Obama’s motorcade making its way to the Concert.
Motorcade photo (Carter says, take note of the license plate – “44”):
We’re guessing this is the one that must have Beyonce out there … somewhere:
More from our West Seattleites in DC, as we get it – and you can catch up via our 2009 Inauguration archive, plus find inauguration coverage/West Seattle event info on this special page. (We’re also hoping to hear tomorrow from West Seattleite Kimber McCreery, who’s ticketed to the inaugural ball and promising to try to contribute coverage. And we want to know how YOU are watching the inauguration tomorrow – if you can, take a pic and send it!)