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Inauguration Adventures

January 17th, 2009 · 31 Comments · Politics, Real-life Adventure Tales


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RAGING   GLORY

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P1000086

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The   D.C.  Dispatches
[Revised Edition]

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1 – Jan. 14th –   Barackstock on Sunday

2 – Jan 17th –  We’re Gonna Sing

3 – Jan. 18th – The Baltimore Report

4 – Jan 19th –  Blissfully Ravaged In Democracy

5 – Jan 20th –  The Day That Could Never Happen

6 – Jan 21st – The Day Everything Changed

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Barackstock on Sunday

Hey Homies of the BrotherHood of all that is Good!
🙂
The “Mission Inauguration” — Shucks-&-Awww Ground Operation has Commenced.

Other than Tuesday’s 11:30 – 1:00 swearing-in coverage, this Sunday’s concert will be your best chance to enjoy the Inaugural jazz without being there.

Here’s what we know  . . .

2:30PM — The Welcoming Event –
We Are One: The Obama Inaugural Celebration at the Lincoln Memorial
Obama & family WILL be there.
HBO is producing.

The Official Line-up so far . . .

Bruce Springsteen
Stevie Wonder
Bono
Sheryl Crow
John Mellencamp
will.i.am
John Legend
Herbie Hancock
Beyonce
Shakira
Mary J. Blige
James Taylor
Garth Brooks
Usher
Josh Groban

Martin Luther King’s son, Tom Hanks, Jamie Foxx, Denzel Washington and Samuel Jackson will be among those reading historical & inspirational passages.

More as it develops  🙂

Brian O’Bama

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We’re  Gonna  Sing

[#2  —  January 17th]

Checkin in from Yasgur’s Farm,
Maggie’s Farm,
Obama’s Farm.

Just got the physical ticket in hand and’ll be right up front for the swearing-in on Tuesday.

Going On The Road in a few minutes to Baltimore for the Whistle Stop tour — the train tracks, Festival Express, my grandfather George the CPR engineer, the Dream Tracks Indian book with Teri McLuhan, the hopping trains in the Peg to get around town — all clicketty-clackin into one.

Barack and Joe ridin’ the rails,
from Constitution Hall in Philadelphia to Constitution Avenue in Washington,

the singed Blue Bomber by you.

and Brian & Mitch are Jack-&-Nealing in the salt-streaked Blue Bomber Cruiser
lookin like it’s burned white through re-entry
from driving like lightning through the salt-dusted blizzard roads,
chasing history’s trains
and America’s future.

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The HBO stage at the Lincoln Memorial is just Gorgeous and HUGE!
This is SO Woodstock —
in the 21st Century.
It’s entirely custom designed and built for this one concert,
with camera booms swooping,
and dozens of Jumbotrons rippling the images across the Reflecting Pool
to America,
and the world,
this one, short, creative human fireworks celebration.

So right.

And now

Lincoln Memorial stage set-up by you.

Breaking News:

This musical spiritual moment will be beaming live into your eyes starting at 2:30 Sunday for free on every HBO station in North America!

This is a visual auditory novel — a large canvas that’s being painted by many of the greatest artists of our time, for one moment only.

As a species, we’ve done some things right.
And there’s Lots of work ahead,
But for a moment,
We’re gonna sing.

surreally,
on Christmas Eve in the Universe,

Brian O’Bamathon

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The Baltimore Report  —  Bama Sightings and Concert Rehearsal

[#3  January 18th]

I saw The Man in Baltimore today!   🙂
woo-woo!!  goo-goo ga’chooo-chooo!
He & Michelle and Joe & Jill all went up the steps at the small old-world town hall square in front of City Hall, maybe 30,000 people, we breezed right in.  You can watch the speech online but he was talking a lot about the history of America and how the great works that prior Americans did need to inspire us to rise to that in our own lives, and collectively as a nation.

Obama waving by you.

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He just came across as so comfortable — staying a long time afterwards shaking hands and just hanging and waving and being very calm and kind to people.

The guy’s in the middle of this Whistle Stop whirlwind and about to start the hardest job in the world in the middle of two wars and a depression, and he’s just buoyant.  He instills confidence.  And earnestness.  And honesty.  And a friendliness.

I talked to a couple different women who had gone to Martin Luther King’s “I Had a Dream” speech at the Lincoln Memorial in ’63 — and one of them remembered that “scrawny nasal singer with a guitar“.  🙂

Afterwards, the streets in every direction were like a Dead parking lot with happy people selling just about anything you could think of with some image of Obama on it — toy trains, toques, posters, postcards, baby clothes, flags, car window flags, every possible article of clothing from jackets to underwear, every type of glassware for the kitchen, wooden flutes, bobblehead dolls . . .

Baltimore is the third city I’ve been to that was completely jazzed and transformed by the joy, pride and hope that this guy brings to people’s hearts (after New York and D.C.)  You could hear “O – ba –  ma” randomly hollered from car windows.  And groups of strangers starting to chant, “Yes we can,” for no particular reason, and then laughing that they’d all done it together.

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We drove back from Baltimore (where we’d parked at the classic Camden Yards Ballpark) and went straight to The National Mall for the concert rehearsal, joining maybe a hundred people there in the cold sub-zero night.

And who should be playing as we walk (and then run) in but U2!  🙂  Priiiiiide, in the name of love.  And City of Blinding Lights, Obama’s campaign and favorite U2 song, and which the band also played (debuted?) outdoors at the foot of the Brooklyn Bridge in New York City.  Bono’s struttin around like Mick Jagger, and Clayton’s wearing this huge hooded parka that looks so ridiculous, like a Neil Young Road-eye.  : -)

 

 

Then James Taylor came out and did three takes of this beautiful, long Shower The People you love with love, with John Legend, Jennifer Nettles and others really stretching it out vocally into some transcendent channeling chant off the final refrain.  [and P.S. — that 3rd take was even better than the Sunday show!]

Then Garth Brooks ran though a couple takes of a 3-song medley that includes bye bye Miss American Pie, which is just gonna go over so freakin’ well!  The guy’s such a born entertainer.  He has this whole choir of kids that come out and just lift it. There were about a hundred of us in a space designed for millions, but he was just giving it like we were the world.

And then afterwards, I’ve never been much of a Garth Brooks guy, but he came over to where we were standing and talked to every single person, signed anything for them, posed for pictures.  I talked to him for bit, asked him how Don McLean was doing — he said, “He’s doing great.  He’s too stubborn to have it any other way.”  🙂  I told him I’d seen them duet at his show in Central Park, and he was, “Ah boy, you sure hit the big ones!”  🙂  After he’d talked to everybody and his handlers were sighing, “Thank gawd!  Let’s gooo!” just then this whole bus full of people suddenly arrive.  “Hey, Garth!  We’re from Texas!” they’re yelling as the whole herd of them runs up to him waving their cameras.    🙂

Brian & Garth Brooks by you.

Brian  (and Garth)

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Blissfully Ravaged in Democracy

[#4   —  January 19th]     (post-concert)

“blissfully ravaged in democracy”

were the only words I was able to scribble down
after returning home from the wars,
eyelashes singed and clothes still smoldering
from celebrating this democracy and world we live in.

There was a joy that I’ve rarely felt before,
and it came after the concert
biking around the Washington Monument and the Capital Dome
with all the families of America,
whether they were foreigners just arrived,
or descendants of slaves,
whether in new full-length leather coats,
or mama’s cloth rag from the attic,
whether they squeezed the family in the car and drove up from Atlanta,
or flew in from Boston for the day,
everyone was united in their love passion for Democracy  —

and how it’s not something you have,
but something you DO.

And these people and this spirit
is what’s on display for the world to see in Washington DC right now.

Here’s kids running up the steps of the Capital
and jumping for joy that they are where they are,
trading off cameras to send pictures home.

Today, it was all about the kids
in each of us
being ignited.

It’s the families — the fathers and mothers shepherding their herds,
THAT was powerful.
Bono singing Pride, in the name of love,
from Martin Luther King’s stage,
or Will.I.Am’s riffing vocal rap and Sheryl Crow’s grooving on Bob Marley’s One Love,
or Stevie Wonder taking us to a Higher Ground in that climactic jam,
or John Mellencamp’s Ain’t that America? that I kept singing all afternoon
biking through the shining rainbow faces of America,
or the soulful duet of A Change Is Gonna Come by Bettye LaVette and Bon Jovithat Stole the freakin show,         [click on any to see and hear]

🙂

Barack-and-Bettye

{ The Prez  n  The Queen }

or of course Barack’s Amazing speech of beauty, strength and brevity.

All that was powerful . . .
But it all came down to families,

of relations or not,
of natural-born Americans
or not,
who recognize how great
voting
and voting for Hope can be.

And we’re all the living proof
we need.

Brian

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The Day That Could Never Happen

[#5  January 20th]     (pre-Ianug)

Brothers and Sisters of the Universe,

The final and official stage of our National Transformation is here —
And all of us are taking The Oath
to be more understanding of others
and to help each other as ourselves.

And masses of Hopesters and Democracy-loving Americans have made it to the mountaintop, running like water through the streets, which are all closed to cars this glorious day.  There’s t-shirt and button vendors lining every riverbank;  giant rows of port-o-potties are winding through the trees like a giant Christo installation;  and packs of police and fatigue-wearing National Guard everywhere are — but never a single arrest is ever made.

The High temperature tomorrow is predicted to be maybe 32 degrees –
so, feel that freeze when you sees
those couple million standing there in majestic dignity (as MLK called it).

After it’s over, Obama and everyone on stage will walk back inside the Capital Building where the new President has lunch with the members of Congress.

As usual for this kind of moment, I highly recommend hitting “mute” as soon as it’s over so you can let it sink in and form Your Own opinions — You saw it for yourself;  the talking heads will still be babbling about it years from now.

At 1:20-ish,  a large helicopter will rise up from the other side of the Capital building and ex-President Bush will fly the hell out of our lives.  It’s a very cool visual moment — the peaceful hand-off of the leadership of the most powerful country in the world.

3:45-ish   the parade begins — as President Obama rides in his new tank Caddy from the Capital Building along Pennsylvania Avenue to the White House.

Live it or lose it.

scrumptiously & surreally,

Brian

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The Day Everything Changed

[#6  —  January  21st]        (post Inaug)

There’ll never be anything like this in my lifetime.

The greatest moment of my life?  Probably.

And I got to spend it all with my best poli-warrior buddy, Mitch!

Mitch & Brian by you.

He always “got it”, and we fully lived Clinton’s election and inauguration — but as great as all that was . . . this was transcendent, beyond words.

It’s changing history —  besides everything else, a major nation electing a minority to lead it — and as it was happening, every single one of the 2 million people I met were Beaming with joy.  In terms of a crowd euphoric, the only thing I ever heard of that was like this was Woodstock in ’69.  And that changed a lot, but this was Woodstock in the seat of power.  Jimi’s Star-Spangled Banner was the prelude, and a scant 40 years later, here’s that scorching soul of new thinking actually overtaking the reigns of government.  As Barack put it in his speech, roughly, “That a man who not long ago might not have been served at a local restaurant could now stand before you to take the most sacred oath in this nation shows how far we have come.”

Rollin in after 9 hours of sub-zero frost I looked like a guy stumbling down off Everest — white parched lips, face scorched red from freezing, but liquid eyes blazing.  And the thing I miss most in the tranquil heat of home are the screams of joy I heard all day long.

So, please excuse if this isn’t polished sculpture — but the levee’s broken and emotions runneth over.  I know you have our own wonderful memories of this day and what it all meant, but here’s a tale of the day everything changed from someone who was there  . . .

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I left the apt. in Virginia at 9:30 by bike.  It was 22 degrees — without riding into the wind.  Starting out in the carless streets of Rossyln and crossing the scary-empty bridge it was like living through one of those end-of-the-world movies.  Not only were there no cars, but all the people were already at “the show” and it was just me and the wind.  I finally got to the last point they’d let me ride by about 10:15, worked the miles of snaking security line, and was inside the gates by 10:45.

My ticket was for the Blue South field which was off center, but after seeing the freeform mayhem once you were inside the security zone, I figured I could wing it, and weaved and excuse-me’d toward the center, and in no time I was right in front of the stage!

And then the whole show goes down, which you saw on TV.  Part of the fun of being there was all the running commentary everyone was making, like me yelling, “Dr. Strangelove” at Dick Cheney in his wheelchair, the comical booing of Bush, the “Na-na, na-na-na-na, hey hey, good bye” chants.  It was all in good fun.  And of course I just loved Aretha singing, “Let freedom ring!”  And that beautiful orchestral piece by John Williams, with Yo-Yo, Itzhak & company elevating us like wind into heaven.   And my new-favorite Reverend Lowery closing the show with the poetry of Amen.  And of course Barack’s speech.  But you saw all that for yourself.

my view of Inaug by you.

{That’s Barack delivering his Address, looking to his left.}

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THE PARTY AT THE PODIUM

When the official program was over, the fun started.  🙂  Just as I figured, everyone started to leave.  Once again I was happy I grew up in Winnipeg and could handle a little cold, and I just stepped over the green fence and walked straight to the podium.  Security was over.  The new President and all the ex’s were back inside the Capital building — there was nothing to “secure” anymore.  So I just breezed right the heck up there and started the party.

pointing at podium by you.

Those who were really touched by what happened were still sitting there aglow.  A few others, like me, had shimmied up on the energy waves.  I just kept riding it till I was right below the podium with the music stands and walls of cameras on either side.  It was just a gorgeous party — and it went on for hours.  People from all over the country and all over the world were handing each other their cameras, laughing, and ouing and awing.  And looking out at the crowd from the Capital hill and seeing people all the way to the horizon — what a sight!  What a moment.  There was no one there who’ll ever forget it.

And then of course when the Marine One helicopter rose up from behind the Capital with the now-former President on board, and once again without a shot being fired, the most powerful nation on earth changed it’s leader — and elected a member of a minority “race”.  We gotta be doing something right.

Bush leaving by you.

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I could’ve lived in that party for the rest of my life.  And in fact I think I will.  Everyone was SO happy, beaming, radiating, loving, friendly.  Any which way you turned was another amazing picture.  Straight up at the glowing Capital Dome.  Looking out at the masses of people as far as you could see.  Looking into the blissful faces right next to you.  Looking up at the deep rich red, white & blue flags draping the brilliant white Capital.  The sun coming out from behind occasional clouds in the bright blue sky with the flags flapping against it.  Just overwhelming beauty.

Cell phone access was way-intermittent — messages coming in from Canada, New York City, Pennsylvania, California, and friends in the crowd trying to find me.  So I head on down outta the party to the now vacant Mall, and go to my favorite General’s monument, Ulysses S. Grant majestically on a horse right at the foot of the Capital, looking straight down the Mall — I was just communing with the big guy.  And right in front, the Capital Reflecting Pool is frozen, there’s one person skating on it, and scads of kids running and sliding on the first ice surface they’ve ever seen.

It’s a grounding spot for people to find me, and Democracy-loving road warrior Nadette from New York (the only person I know who made both the election night at Barackefeller Center in NYC and the Inauguration in D.C.) pulls it off, and so up we ramble back to the Podium Party, and Lord knows it’s still goin on.

Brian & Nadette by you.

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And after another hour of New Years Eve hugging and doing unto others, I walked over a few feet to where you could actually look all the way from the Capital down Pennsylvania Avenue to the White House — all cleared off and waiting for a parade.  And then Boom ! — suddenly there’s a roaring stream of blue motorcycle cops to my right.  A loud cheer go up from a crowd far away.  Some flags are marching past.  A band is playing.  “The parade’s starting!”

Everybody said you can’t do both.  It’s either the parade or the Inaug.
But I’m walkin forward.
I ask a cop, “Was that Obama that went by right in front?”
“No, there’s a couple of bands first, then him.”

Oh my God, really?

The whole thing is — I’m still inside the Capital grounds.  Everyone coming for the parade is on the other side of the Avenue.  So I just start walking towards it, skip over a few fences, la dee-dah across a grass field, and I’m right at the point where the cars are pulling out of the Capital!

And there’s the press trucks shooting backwards behind them — there’s Andrea Mitchell reporting from the back of one of them.

Andrea Mitchell by you.

“They’re coming!” I realize.  “I’m right here!”

And then Boom! — there he is!  There’s “the Beast” — the new nuclear-proof Cadillac — and there’s Michelle 20 feet in front of me, there’s the kids sitting facing their parents and all waving and beaming out the windows, and there’s Barack on the other side!  I’m right freakin here!  This is the whole Big Parade Moment that people have lined up for since 7AM.

Not only did I see the swearing-in beginning of this Presidency right up front, but I’m standing on the curb as our new President Obama drives by on his Inaugural trip to the White House!

Michelle by you.

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This was God’s gift.  I had put so much into doing the Inaug right, I had no plans or hope of seeing the parade — and here I am a few feet from the family sedan!

All sorts of other amazing, touching, life-giving moments happened with people of every age and color, it would take a long night of beers just to scratch the surface, but this was The Moment — God’s glowing gold bow on the gift of the Inauguration, after a day of freezing, weeks of planning, months of campaigning, and a lifetime of volunteering in Democracy — and this is the thanks I get!

🙂

Brian joyous glove-free portrait by you.

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Take what You’ve gathered from the day, or let contemporary historians nudge you, but I just wanted to share one person’s experience of participating in Democracy the day history changed.

This will be on postage stamps and dollar bills a hundred years from now.  And no matter where you were, you lived to see it.  Thank your spirit source.

And now the rest is up to us.

Brian O’Bamathon

 

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For how Woodstock promoter Michael Lang used my reports in his book — check out how Obama’s Inauguration was like Woodstock.

For an account of the most jubilant night in the history of New York — check the Election Night 2008 Adventure

For a night in New York that started out just as joyous — check out the Election Night 2004 Adventure.

For the kind of creations that got us across the historic finish line — check out my poem and video for Where Wayward Jekylls Hyde.

For an on-the-campaign-trail adventure — check out the physical altercation I was in the middle of with Al Franken at a Howard Dean rally in ’04.

For my tribute to a great political reporter — check out my Tim Russert tribute.

For a full listing of great reporters and news sources — check out my Political Sources Primer.

For how well these sources work — check out my 2012 election predictions.

… or here’s the 2008 projections — in both, I’m over 98% correct.  😉

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Brian Hassett  —  karmacoupon@gmail.com   —  BrianHassett.com

 

 

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31 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Will Hodgson // Jan 18, 2009 at 1:31 PM

    I’ve been reading your blazing dispatches!
    Are you kidding?
    You got in to the sound check?!?!
    How do you do it?

  • 2 Delores DiGiovanni // Jan 19, 2009 at 8:09 AM

    Thanks so much for all the info …. I’m sharing it with others.
    Enjoy being a part of history!!!

  • 3 Anne Cohen // Jan 19, 2009 at 11:21 AM

    Awesome! Brian, I love these dispatches! Thank you, Thank you!
    I watched the train coverage and the Baltimore stop yesterday (tissues in hand), and everything related I could find.
    Thank you for sharing your exciting rehearsal experience at the Mall last night.
    You are the perfect reporter/correspondent for me! Have a wonderful time sending out and soakin’ in the hope, pride and great vibes. I’m thrilled about Pete Seeger, too!
    Stay safe (and as warm as you can),
    xxoo
    Anne Cohen

  • 4 Levi Asher // Jan 19, 2009 at 12:28 PM

    Enjoying your reports, Brian — it must be great to be there!

  • 5 John Dorfner // Jan 19, 2009 at 3:48 PM

    You got me excited! I’m right there pounding on that dash board to Charlie Parker’s Salt Peanuts with you, brother. Weeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!
    Man, a front seat to this historical moment in American history. I love your poem! It’s right on.
    Simply . . . “WOW!”
    Keep writing all this down. I’m digging the hell out of it.
    I feel like I’m there.

  • 6 Chris Francescani // Jan 20, 2009 at 8:59 AM

    This shit’s AMAZING, Brian!!!!
    Wow, wow, wow! “American Pie!” “This Land is Your Land!” w Seeger and Springsteen?!!!
    Whoa!
    Would you let us write a story based on your eyewitness account of the rehearsal? Let me know.
    F___in’ brilliant, mate.
    Chris Francescani, ABC News

  • 7 Julie Buchanon // Jan 20, 2009 at 9:09 AM

    Mr Obamathon —
    You are so eloquent — can I quote some of this for the DVD I’m making for the busses? I’ll have it scrolling with, say, “Times They are a Changin’” in the background! Or “Oh Happy Day” by Aretha.
    Thanks,
    Julie Buchanon, Democrats Abroad

  • 8 Paul Stern // Jan 20, 2009 at 10:27 AM

    You are The Man!

  • 9 Lee Noonan // Jan 20, 2009 at 10:33 AM

    Hey Brian … you’re more American than any of us!
    I thank you with all my heart for being there for me, for us all.
    And for keeping me/us in the loop of the feeling … something not able to be transmitted, even free on HBO.
    Keep Obama safe. He’s in your hands.

  • 10 Richard Mirabelli // Jan 20, 2009 at 3:22 PM

    I really appreciate these dispatches. I feel that I’m there with you. I suspect Obama will walk and not ride in the car during the parade. My guess anyway. So, watch for the secret service guys if you are on the route and keep your hands where they can see them. Just advice from someone who lived in DC.
    Have fun, but you’re probably doing a lot of that already. Take plenty of pics too, so we can all get a glimpse of your experience.

  • 11 Pat Russell // Jan 20, 2009 at 6:17 PM

    Yo! Bro –
    Thanks for the heads up –
    WOW – you are there – wow!
    you rock!
    much love in the age of aquarius,

  • 12 Phil Hopkins // Jan 20, 2009 at 11:23 PM

    Dude,
    Great reporting. Awesome. Ralph just sent me your link! Good God, man! Well done!

  • 13 Julie Buchanon // Jan 21, 2009 at 12:21 AM

    Beeeeeutiful!
    Our buses to DC are about to be Barack ‘n’ rollin’
    I’m gonna pass the poem around on all 3!
    You are a GIFTED poet!

  • 14 Delores DiGiovanni // Jan 21, 2009 at 8:11 AM

    Hey Brian,
    Great photos, you certainly had a great seat! Enjoy your day in D.C.
    Again, thanks for taking us along on your ride. Your dispatches went as far as Washington State.
    Peace out …

  • 15 Ben Kleiman // Jan 21, 2009 at 10:09 AM

    Hey Brian,
    Wall-to-wall media coverage in Canada on the Inauguration.
    In Kenya they’ve been dancing in the streets for the past 4 days.
    Sounds like an awesome experience. We’ll have to talk when you get back to T.O. — You experienced a significant historical event firsthand.
    Rock On
    and thanks for the updates!

  • 16 Megan Reese // Jan 22, 2009 at 8:14 AM

    Amazing! Is all that I can say!
    The day was simply ecstatic and perfect for our times! I’m proud to be an American, which is NOT something that comes out of my mouth very often!
    Of course your magnetic energy would have you be in the places you were for this event — again, it’s only perfect!
    Thank you for sharing your inspiring words with me. As I have said many times before about your writing, it’s like I’m right there in the experience with you and it keeps me sucked in!
    You HAVE to write something about your life and all of your experiences…call it, “B the Adventureman”! And then maybe a super hero movie could be made after the book!
    OK, maybe not the movie – but for sure the book!
    Keep it rockin’ and rolling!
    Love,
    Megan

  • 17 Chris Francescani // Jan 22, 2009 at 8:18 AM

    Hey man,
    After reading all your reports, I feel like I was there!
    GOOD FOR YOU!!!!!!!!
    So glad you had such a bracing, thrilling experience.
    Chris Francescani, ABC

  • 18 Kerry Mertlick // Jan 22, 2009 at 9:19 AM

    I SO LOVE IT!!!!
    The top picture is my favorite!!!
    It’s Soooooooooo like you to get right to the front of all the action!!!
    xoxo

  • 19 Sandra Baldwin // Jan 22, 2009 at 9:31 AM

    Brian —
    You are brilliant!!!!!
    Your written word made me able to imagine what is was like to be on The Mall, hearing the sounds and feeling the feelings of the day.
    I watched everything I could but nothing was as intense as what you describe.
    I encourage you to send this to all the newspapers, CBC, Toronto Life, … whatever you can think of to get your wonderful talent more exposure.
    You were born to write.
    Thank you for bringing it all home.
    Love,
    Sandra Baldwin

  • 20 Paul Stern // Jan 22, 2009 at 10:22 AM

    Great job, Brian.
    Feels like the 60′s came back around again to catch up with you.
    Thanks.

  • 21 Levi Asher // Jan 22, 2009 at 11:28 AM

    Hey Brian — so glad you had a great experience.
    I looked for you on TV. Yes, America is back and strong.
    My favorite moments: when George Bush had to sit there and take it while Obama quoted scripture correctly calling his policies “childish” …
    and watching Dick Cheney complete his transformation into Dr. Strangelove for all to see.
    Oh yeah, and the hope for a smarter, more caring, more responsive new leadership in the world. A great day.

  • 22 Whitney Gilmore Hauser // Jan 22, 2009 at 11:50 AM

    Thank you, Brian! Thank you!
    Your commentary and insight has been a gift for more than a year. Your unique perspective on both election night and the Inauguration are the big red bow on those presents.
    Like everyone, I’m still processing it all.
    Safe travels, Brian — looking forward to more from you!

  • 23 Ken Adderson // Jan 22, 2009 at 2:04 PM

    You need to write a book on this entire Obama ride, from start to the inauguration, using all your reviews, comments, emails, your website and your thoughts. It’ll be great and you’ll have publishers lining up to sign you.

  • 24 Dan Kaufman // Jan 22, 2009 at 2:59 PM

    Awesome, Brian
    Thanks for sharing your experience with the rest of us!
    I’m remembering what occurred yesterday, and I’m smiling a genuine smile or three.
    It’s a new dawn and a new day and a new life. Obamanos!
    Peace!

  • 25 Randi Oakes // Jan 22, 2009 at 3:19 PM

    Dear Brian:
    Thank you soooo much for sharing your past few days with all of the expat American/Canadian folks who share your ideals, hopes, desires, peace and fulfillment … and some “shit-eatin’” grins that just won’t go away.
    I so enjoyed being a witness to your witnessing.
    Thank you!

  • 26 Zoe Artemis // Jan 22, 2009 at 3:56 PM

    WOW!
    Brian, I’ve loved reading these dispatches from you these last few days ….. your enthusiasm is infectious and I’m thrilled that you got to see the Obamas close up. What a great story!
    love ya,
    Zoe

  • 27 Holly George-Warren // Jan 22, 2009 at 5:21 PM

    Hi Brian,
    Thanks so much for the amazing account of an amazing day!!
    I just finished writing a book with Michael Lang, so I’ve forwarded your missive to him, Chip Monck, and others who put on Woodstock in ’69.
    And cool pix!! You & Garth look like pals….
    Keep up the great life!
    best,
    Holly George-Warren

  • 28 Sloy & Nic // Jan 22, 2009 at 7:01 PM

    Great big gorgeous pics, Bri! — you are beaming!

  • 29 John Cassady // Jan 22, 2009 at 9:47 PM

    Outstanding descriptions! As always.
    What a day, huh?
    Thanks for the “blow-by-blow” and for your ongoing energy for being there and reporting it to your friends and fans.
    Bless you, my brother.
    I say — “It’s a Brave New World!”
    All the best,
    John Cassady

  • 30 Ken Adderson // Jan 22, 2009 at 9:53 PM

    Brian, you are amazing!
    Now, I say this to you, in all my best wisdom ….. YOU SHOULD WRITE A BOOK ALL ABOUT THIS RIDE !
    In fact, I’m surprised, as many, many others have said who read your great words, that you are not already a noted writer.
    Your writing talents are truly amazing, top of the class and I strongly suggest to you, to send some of your work to several media people and publishers.
    I have been told by many others the same about your writing.
    You have a gift that should be shared by the world.
    My personal favorite photo — Brian in front of the Capital Bldg., arms outstretched, smile as wide as the Mississippi. Love it !

  • 31 Rick Medland // Feb 2, 2009 at 8:32 AM

    Holy Geez – Brian,

    That’s pretty cool!

    You’re like this Nemesis Incarnate of Hunter S. Thompson,

    Anti-Gonzo, not the wild, cynical, drug-dosed madman, yet sharing that acuity,
    But positive and love filled and after eight years of being nearly undone,

    How you now move like a bumblebee and land like a butterfly – with fluidity.

    Positive travels and sharing the joy,
    Of watching the man grow out of the boy,
    Seeing a country mature at last,
    and fulfilling it’s future by,
    confronting it’s past.

    Thanks for reporting,
    your words from the front.
    Not from the kill, the trench
    Or the hunt.

    But there in the lines,
    Of those so audacious.
    To embrace a Hope,
    That’s so brave
    And so gracious.

    Thanks for sharing your journeys Brian – it’s a blast to read thru it!

    Peace!

    Rick Medland

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