January 22, 2009

Inauguration of a photoblog

Dakota Hamlin, 7, right, and friend Arlo Fowells, 4, watch their candle flames flicker while shielding them from the wind in the final moments of the Inauguration Day candlelight prayer service held on the steps of City Hall Tuesday, Jan. 20, 2009, in downtown Athens.

I didn't have the option of covering the Inauguration of Barack Obama Tuesday, but what I did have is a shiver of the moment here in Athens, Georgia. As cozy as this photo looks the experience wasn't anything close. In fact, it was torturous. It was below 30-degrees (flipping freezin for us bama gals) and I somehow didn't even think to take a coat. I had to give myself an internal pep talk to not bolt for the indoors before the candles were lit at the end.  I couldn't soak in the sugary sweet notes of 17-year old boy wonder Fredric Creamer, or even reflect one portion of a second on the inspirational words of the various prestigious speakers. Once the wicks were lit I worked quickly to get a shot, my fingers so cold I could barely fire the shutter. I scrambled for names I needed before the crowd scattered. I made the trek  back to the paper bracing against the gusts of wind. I edited my pictures quickly for the early Inauguration special section deadlines. Later I watched  on tv the replay of throngs of people crying, rejoicing, hysterical, serene, and an array of other emotions brought on by the historic day. 

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