Archive for January, 2009

21
Jan

Waiting for Crow on the inaugural parade route

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Photo: Police on parade route. They stood shoulder to shoulder along Pennsylvania Avenue as far as I could see. I arrived about 9 a.m. to find the place where I had media access. I was posted about midway on the parade route at 11th and Pennslvania Avenue. The parade spanned Pennslvania Avenue between the Capitol and the White House. On Inauguration Day, I had to make a choice, attend the the swearing-in ceremony or watch for the Crow. It would have been logisitically difficult to do both. I went to the parade to wait for the Crow.

Photo: After about four hours of being outside, I was freezing. I needed some sustenance, some foood, some water. By time I made it inside, after waiting in line for more than an hour, the store was sold out of many items. I bought one of the last tea bags.

Photo: Although I wasn’t on the National Mall for the swearing-in ceremony, we listened to a live broadcast through speakers set up along the parade route. And I watched it on the mobile TV thanks to the woman in red and her cell phone. She came to see Obama walk the parade route. She figured she had a better chance of seeing him there than on the National Mall.

Photo: I got to know this woman, Jane Rutt of Alexandria, Va., after I stood in front of her in my designated media area. I learned she slept in an office building two blocks from the parade route. Her group were standing in line at 4 .m. to go through security. About the time I took this photo, it was about 4 p.m. She and her friends had been there on the parade for 12 hours. Jane said this would probably the closest she would ever get to the president, so she was willing to stand there on the route to see him At 4:21, Jane received a text that President Obama was out of his car and walking. She made the announcement to the crowd around her. They all cheered!

Photo: After waiting for nearly 12 hours on the parade route — most people wanted to see President Obama walk by — he finally arrived near our spot at 11th and Pennslyvania Avenue. But this is all we saw of him because he had already got back in his car by the time he was in front of us. So, all we saw was his car driving by. If you look closely, you can see his daughter on the right side of the window. Jane Rutt, who had waited 12 hours to see President Obama walk the parade route didn’t reveal too much disppointment. “It’s all right,” she said. “It’s a great day.”

Photo: Obama was at the front of the parade motorcade and the parade really had not even begun. But after Obama drove by, it became evident he was a main draw. And when he left, so did many of the parade watchers. The bleachers across the street for me were nearly empty. And the parade hadn’t even started. I was determine to stay. I wanted to see the Crow as much as people wanted to see Obama.

Photo: Finally, the Crows arrived. I any thousands of other people reamained on the parade route after thousands of others left. The parade announcers called us the “rough and tough,” crowd and congratulated us for bearing the cold. I was getting a little concernced because by now, my body was starting to feel a little warm after feeling like a popsicle all day.

Photo: Eighteen women from the Crow Tribe dressed in elk tooth dresses followed the 24 Crow men on horseback.

Photo: As parade marchers went by my parade spot — about the halfway point — they headed on down Pennslvania Avenue towards the White House. After the Crow marched by, I watched a few more entries. Feeling cold and tired, I finally left, too around 5 p.m.

Photo: From the outside in, it was a dramaticly different scene than the one I was earier in the day when people had been crammed like sardines behind the fence in this picture. They were lined up for about two blocks behind the wire fence. And this was just one of the entrances along the parade route. By 5 p.m., the security gates invoked a sense of Armageddon.

Photo: After all day on the parade route, waiting for the Crow to parade by, I joined the masses getting on the train at Metro Center stop. Meanwhile, the parade continued. Actually, it was just getting started because the Crow were slated at the front of the parade, about fourth in the parade line up.