Strangers no more

Published 11:28 pm Friday, January 23, 2009

By Staff
Locals revel in Obama inauguration festivities
Managing Editor
Beside the resplendent Washington Monument under brilliant blue skies and braving frigid temperatures, Washington resident Ann Cherry realized a dream this week.
She and nearly 50 others from the Washington area boarded a bus late Monday night and headed to Washington, D.C., for the inauguration of Barack Obama. Cherry, a retired music teacher and lifelong Democrat, wasn’t disappointed.
Cherry’s busmate, Dorita Boyd, who lives near Bath, said the inauguration lived up to her high expectations.
Cherry, Boyd and the other spectators around them — which included some from Greenville — watched the event via jumbotrons near the Washington Monument.
The two local women rejoiced that the event, which drew more than a million spectators, seemed free of negative incidents.
Obama’s acceptance speech, though not as eloquent as some of his others, Cherry said, nonetheless thrilled both women.
Said Boyd: “The whole crowd was as quiet as can be because everyone was listening attentively. You could have heard a pin drop.”
Cherry felt the new president judged his circumstances carefully and delivered the speech most appropriate to the occasion.
Both women remarked on a phenomenon during the event that struck them as humorous: When now ex-President George W. Bush’s face showed on the jumbotron, a “rolling thunder” of boos echoed throughout the massive crowd. According to Boyd, people also simultaneously sang “Hey, hey, bye, bye.”
But according to Boyd, who periodically spoke by cell phone with friends back home, nobody watching the event on television could hear the boos.
Overall, Obama’s inauguration buoyed Boyd’s optimism.