Anthony Atwood’s Inauguration Journal – Day 7
THURSDAY 08 – JAN09: Late this cold afternoon, I have been dismissed and am trudging along a downtown city street to reach the metro subway station in order to take the tube back to Arlington. Of a sudden there are police sirens, and the deep-throated growl of motorcycles with sidecars. A motorcade of law enforcement takes over the street, and nested among the vehicles are a half-dozen recently-waxed shiny dark SUVs that pull up across the street. Bringing up the rear of the motorcade is a fire rescue paramedic truck. All this is trailed by a bus with passengers who look like what reporters must look like. Police on bicycles in riding helmets and athletic gear glide up to the curb, and we pedestrians stand by.
Like a country-person I know enough to keep my distance, and wonder numbly what this combination might be about. Well, who do you think? The Washingtonian passersby, folks way more cosmopolitan know: “Obama!” they shout in welcome, and before you know it, the president-elect has bounded from a vehicle and entered the building.
A polite pleased crowd gathers at a respectful distance, patiently blowing frost and smiling to each other. Myself, I finally reach the realization this is likely to be the most important photo I’ll ever get, if only my numb fingers can find my cell phone/camera. I root around through overcoat and book bag, find it, and wait. After what seems an eternity on the cold afternoon sidewalk, there is a sudden hint of activity. The president-elect emerges, bounds back into a vehicle, and they are off, gone as suddenly as they came. Thank goodness, I got a picture.
Without interpretation, someone looking at this picture will only see some blurry cars pulled up along a nondescript street with poor lighting and nothing recognizable to be seen. It is the best picture I’ve ever taken, and I wouldn’t trade it for the world.