To the Inauguration
Friday, 16 January, 2009
Noon. Dane County Airport. Folks are gathering for our flight to DC. It is obvious from overhearing their conversations that they are all going to the Inauguration. It is also obvious that they all have tickets and I don’t. A brief moment of envy creeps in. I get up and walk over to an older black couple and strike up a conversation. They are from Rockford, IL. The man worked with Obama doing community work. They know him. They show me on the map of the crowd where they will sit.. They have tickets for seats. They are directly in front of the podium where Obama will be sworn in. She shows me how they will get there, what subway they will take. They are so happy. I look at the map more carefully and see where I will stand. In the gray area, far away. But I’ll be there. I get goose bumps.
A bit later, several people ask if I will take a group photo. They all cluster together. Black and white, smiling, filled with hopes, dreams and fears. Most of the other people who have tickets worked on Obama’s campaign. One person I talked with said he ‘just got lucky”. Yet another young man said he worked in Representative Tammy Baldwin’s office.
The boarding call for the “Inaugural Express” rings out. We all file into the plane. The pilot accomplishes a smooth takeoff. Then turns fof the engines and we float to DC.