Posted by: Josey | January 21, 2009

Where in the World Were You… During Barack Obama’s Inauguration?

It was one of those days that is now permanently etched on our memories. Similar to other momentous occasions in history, everyone seems to have a Barack Obama Inauguration “Where were you?” story to share with future generations. But so many of those other occasions are unforgettably devastating, whereas this one is unforgettably hopeful and teeming with pride. What a welcome change.

So where was I?

I met two former coworkers for coffee at 11:30am on the 21st floor of the Hilton Times Square Hotel. We were catching up when the restaurant manager turned off the overhead music and turned on the television: CNN with the volume turned up high. When Aretha Franklin took the stage, we were shushed by the people at a nearby table.

At 12:30, one of my colleagues left our table to meet some potential clients at a different table. I told the other colleague that I wanted to stay tuned into the coverage, and she agreed: “Lunch?” So we ordered—a cobb salad for her, an ahi tuna sandwich for me—and we continued our conversation and watched.

Even though we weren’t in Times Square where hundreds, if not thousands, had gathered… but, rather, 21 stories above it… the air had a celebratory energy that just wouldn’t quit. The waiter took our plates, but we weren’t ready to leave.

“Martinis?” she asked. So we stayed. It was our own little Barack Obama is Officially Our President! party. We finally headed home more than six hours after the time we met—but I continued my Inauguration party by staying up late to watch the ceremony over again (thanks, DVR!), followed by the high-energy Neighborhood Ball and wrap-ups with Diane Sawyer, David Gregory and Brian Williams.

So… Where were you?

P.S. Historic Historic Historic Historic Historic Historic… Doesn’t anyone own a thesaurus anymore?



  1. I was watching in my living room with my dog, Beezer. Awesome speech. A dozen worthy moments. But… about the poem? I tried so hard to like it and like her, but…..I did’t. Where was Maya Angelou? I know Gwendolyn Brooks is gone. But, Jack Kennedy had Robert Frost, for gods sake. I guess, I wouldn’t have wanted to follow Obama’s address either.

  2. I was watching at home on my living room TV all by myself–which was actually perfect because anytime I missed something or wanted to hear something again I could rewind and catch it. The best part for me though was that both my kids (kindergarten and 4th grade) watched at school and had discussions about it. Everytime my Kindergartener sees a picture of the President now he says “Oh I know him that’s Barack Obama!” Today I had to tell him that now we should call him President Obama. He doesn’t want to though he says “I like calling him by his first name and his first name is Barack” in that oh so very “d’oh mom” tone.

  3. Hi Josey — I was at school where we had permission to watch the swearing in at 9:00 AM. Not the right time or place for martinis, darn it! Even my 2nd graders stopped talking long enough to watch the entire swearing in and speech. That in itself was pretty amazing to have silence in the classroom. On another note we stayed at the Hilton when we saw you in Feb. so it was fun to be able to picture you in the same place I was a few months ago.
    :-) Hope all is well!

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