Saw the inauguration yesterday and cried through a bunch of it, but, man, I loved the speech and the benediction (LOVE that old language that was also entirely inclusive). Was grumpy at the opening blessing. Growl. But... the speech... I was painting while he was speaking and I had to be careful not to let the tears drop on the paper.
Was sore from the Martin Luther King Jr. Day Marade the day before...
We'd found a corner with a drum group set up, eight folks with the open bottom drums setting up a beat as everyone and anyone wandered up and down Colfax, some in search of the beginning, some just wandering by, and some were like an 81-year-old gentleman in a purple Zoot Suit who said, "I'm too old to walk, but I like standin' here juuuuuust fine."
The speechifying and stuff happened at 10 a.m.. The parade reached us at about 10:45. And it was headed up with a pickup from the Stock show, and then followed by a high school drill team and marching band. The drums synched up with the marching band drums, and the kids were so well-trained or perhaps aware of their position, they didn't even flick an eyelash as suddenly their beat doubled in strength.
The two pools of Armed Forces folks that followed left my throat tight with tears. They were huge and filled with all kinds and cuts of uniforms.
After that was the Teamsters' Semi truck running alongside the beginning of the throngs of colored folk that just walked along. We quietly joined into the stream of people. It was mostly black. With the few pale faces of Asians, whites, and others, mixed or not, that all joined in as allies. But it was funny to be the nut in the brownie when I'm so used to being in the raisin in the rice pudding.
Helicopters flew over every few minutes. Camera crews ran around with their giant cameras and people with microphones. There were people on rooftops trying to get pictures from above. It was amazing to watch.
But mostly it was amazing to just be in the middle of it all, just... a part of the stream, with all the singing and talking and conversations around us, and just kind of in the middle of it all. I felt as out of place in the midst of it, in my own way, as I did in the middle of Boulder, but was happy to be tolerated. It worked out, the kids were amazed to be in it and a part of it and at the end of the parade, I pulled Jet out, put him on my shoulders and heard him say, "Wow... look at all of us!"
The estimates were everywhere from 20,000 to 40,000, last year there were 20,000. Some folks say there were 30,000. I can't tell beyond A Whole Lotta People. It's supposed to be the second biggest marade in the nation. Both a parade and a march of the people that simply want to be a part of it all.
My right knee was giving out and my feet hurt, but then we all went to H-Mart, and wandered about and bought good, tasty stuff. *laughs*
Then yesterday was the inauguration and remembering the parade, and all the exclamations of hope and amazement and wonder and the friendliness of everyone that was there. Now it's easier than it used to be. But it's still not done.
I was going to write yesterday, but rule changes on Y!Gallery kind of kicked that out the window. Today I'm mounting all the paintings (yeah more pictures then), and I did manage to edit most of the edits, and have to contemplate the ending a bit more. Giving it more time, I'm hoping the writing gets better rather than overwrought. We'll see. *laughs*