I got up in the dark this morning to drive to Santa Barbara's Arlington Theater for a free viewing of Obama's Inauguration. I finally made it after getting lost yet again - the streetmap of SB still defies me - but I was so glad I went to be part of it. On the way I picked up a nonfat latte with this patriotic sleeve :) (Took a couple more for posterity)
The theater is built in Spanish colonial style, with dim orange lighting via electrc coach lamps, and it was impossible to get any decent shots to show you, but I can convey the sense of noise - big cheers and claps for Carter and the Clintons, boos for the Bushes, and even more boos for Cheney.. Big claps for a shot of boxes being moved into the White House.
Throughout the ceremony, we all stood when they stood and sat when they sat - there was a real sense of everyone watching together.
As for Obama - he looked incredibly tense as he waited to walk onto the platform, and when he screwed up the words of the oath I felt relieved to think that this smooth calm guy might actually be nervous - and then another part of me wondered cynically if that too was choreographed to remind people that he is human. But then his speech swept away my doubts once more - it was so impressive and direct, and I will even go and re-read it to check whether it really was as outward-looking as I remember.
But, as I left, I heard a man say 'Now we will see..' and someone responding 'Yes. But let's just enjoy today'. And that seems to be the mood around here. Today is fantastically uplifting. But now we will see.