So I'm having a little trouble talking about my experience covering the presidential inauguration. Was it life-changing? Amazing? Awesome and once-and-a-lifetime-y? Yes. "Inspiring and I Have a A Dream"-y? Oh, yes. Was it also freezing, crowded to the point of scariness and more than a little frustrating? Well, also yes.
Do I feel kind of uncharitable for not loving every single precious, precious second of historical importance and opportunity? Um, a bit. The energy of the crowd was upbeat, kind, and relatively positive. Friendships were bustin' out all over as people shared hand warmers, blankets and personal space.
I'm also a little hesitant to show you what I did, because, um, certain arrangements that had been carefully crafted since last October didn't exactly pan out as promised. Not only that, people with tickets and the Big Dawg credentials got blocked at security. While I had a journalism miracle in finding one of the local kids I was following in that immense crowd, this was a situation where when life hands you lemons, you don't make lemonade. You hurl them back as hard as you can.
In the end, the work that I did got splashed on the front page in one edition of my paper with a jump into local section. It lead the local section in another edition. USA Today picked up one of my photos up off the GNS news wire, and the Honolulu newspapers ran several photos from the opening ceremonies, one is online. My video clips lead our afternoon webcast, and the video is getting a lot views online.
I got H.W.'s motorcade, an ambulance leaving the Capitol building minutes after this happened, President Jimmy Carter, Jill Biden, and the Obamas behind tinted, bullet-proof glass. He didn't get out of the car during the parade until he was past the point of no return for mere mortals.
You can see all of my photos here.
And as I said before, my inauguration outfit wasn't out of place or even remotely alarming to the Secret Service. See?