Inauguration in Eighteen Photos and 259 Words

Overheard in DC

Young Boy: But this is too far to walk! I’m tired!

Father: You’ll appreciate this when you’re older, I promise you that.


Mother: Baby, we gonna see Obama. I’ll make you see Obama if I have to throw myself on his car and go to jail. My baby gonna see Obama.

Young Girl with Wide Eyes: You goin’ to jail?


Yesterday we could barely sleep and we bounced around early in the morning, donned coats and hats and scarves and mittens and Vaselined our faces to keep from freezing and prepared to go.

Whether we walked or biked or Metroed in, most of us ended up walking through the third street tunnel. Surreal.

We ignored the barriers around the mall. Helped ourselves, and each other, over them. We found spots crammed in among the crowd…

sitting on Port-a-Potties…

hanging out in trees…

in groups, alone, or in pairs.

All trying to get a glimpse of the Jumbotron off in the distance.

We were chatting and laughed until we heard speeches. Then, silence fell over us. More than one million people. Silent. Listening.

Trying to blink back tears.

But failing.

Intently listening to President Obama speak to us.

And many of us—even some of us “non-believers”—prayed together. Muttering quietly, “Our father, who art in heaven…” and ending with, “Amen.” Our heads bowed.

And when the clapping and cheering and chanting and singing and booing started in the front, we heard it in the back. The sound coming toward us and finally over and behind us. A wave of emotions.

And we left the Mall a mess. (Come on, people.)

And we stared at the insane, naked body-painted woman. (And yes, she was naked. Not a body suit or thong in sight.)

And in the shining sun,

we headed home.

Packing the Metro stations,

and the streets.

Under the leadership of our new president: Barack Hussein Obama.

One thought on “Inauguration in Eighteen Photos and 259 Words

  1. Comment from: umma2kimchilovers [Visitor]
    I love this post. I never thought this day would come or I would live to see it.
    BTW, it looked pretty cold how did the naked lady tolerate the cold? All I can think of is frost bite when I look at her.
    01/21/09 @ 18:33

    Comment from: admin [Member] Email
    It was cold. The wind chill was 20 deg or something insane like that. (I just checked the weather history. At 12:52 it was 30 F with a wind of 19.6 mph.) I was covered the whole time and even had some no-freeze stuff on my face and still got windburnt. I am thinking drugs.
    01/21/09 @ 18:38

    Comment from: Gori Girl [Visitor] ·
    Lovely pictures & post. I had to be go into work yesterday, as we have some major deadlines, but the whole office stopped at noon to watch & witness. What a wonderful day.
    01/21/09 @ 19:12

    Comment from: pattiblaine [Visitor] ·
    I love this, Amanda! Thanks for sharing your experience with us 365ravelers. And I have a kinda deep admiration for the painted lady. Was she at least wearing socks? Poor popsicle of a thing. :)
    01/21/09 @ 19:23

    Comment from: admin [Member] Email
    She was wearing boots. You can’t really see them in the photo, though.
    01/21/09 @ 19:29

    Comment from: Terri D. [Visitor] ·
    Thanks for this, Amanda…beautiful post. You, however, owe me a replacement box of tissues. xoxo(thdx3 from KR).
    01/22/09 @ 06:23

    Comment from: Su-Jin [Visitor]
    Great pics!! We went to an inaugural ball and had to stand for 4 hours in a totally packed room, but it was all worth it when the Obamas finally showed up around midnight. The weekend was just really amazing all around.
    01/22/09 @ 10:56

    Comment from: Mom [Visitor] ·
    Wonderful pictures and reflection. I love the movement in your photos and text. Good job, kiddo.

    01/22/09 @ 14:14

    Comment from: Robbin [Member] Email
    Thanks for capturing this….
    01/24/09 @ 12:16

    Comment from: Wandering Girl [Visitor] ·
    Good Man looks great! New haircut? Really chic and suits him very well.
    01/26/09 @ 13:16

    Comment from: admin [Member] Email
    Ha ha ha! Yes, Good Man got a haircut. He looks like a Korean marine. It only look chic because he’d just taken off his hat!

    Maybe we should get one of the Gaysians to teach him how to use gel…
    01/26/09 @ 15:32

    Comment from: Kelli [Visitor] Email ·
    I was the painted woman….and yes it was freezing. The 2 coats, blankets, scarves etc. I had to keep me warm in between photo ops didn’t quiet do the job. No drugs were involved, just a plain love of my country and wanting to do something commemorative. This piece was done by a very famous body painter Justin Drew. Check out for more of his work. Great job capturing this event!
    05/27/09 @ 14:47

    Comment from: admin [Member] Email
    Great job, Kelli! I have Raynaud’s Disease, and believe me–I would need drugs. Like honest to God calcium channel blocking drugs.
    05/27/09 @ 16:32

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