January 16, 2005

What Not to Bring to the Inauguration Parade

As a bone-chilling drizzle fell on Washington, D.C., George W. Bush was inaugurated as the 43rd president of the United States, surrounded by both his strongest supporters and his most embittered detractors.

In the crowd, Texans, many conspicuous in fur coats, cowboy hats and rhinestone pins, walked unfazed past homemade signs declaring “Shame” and “Not My President.”

Inauguration 2001

What not to bring to the Inauguration Parade

Attending the Inauguration Parade? Take care not to bring these contraband items.

Yes, I’ll be going this time. And, yes, if the timing’s right I will turn my back. But I will also have my trusted digicam with me looking for any photo opp.

It almost seems like yesterday. January 20, 2001: a cold and damp day. The streets of Washington were festooned with gussied-up ladies and real men in cowboy hats. Not your usual DC fare (the real men I mean).

We were looking forward to our first look at George W. but fears of a less-than-stellar reception along the parade route forced him to unceremoniously pass us by quickly and stealthily: safely ensconced in his secret serviced limo. What can we expect this time?

So many choices for those of us who ponder what the next four years will bring, now that we know what to expect. Last time 9/11, a prolonged war in the Iraq, and with both large numbers of casualties was unimaginable. I can visualize with much more clarity now. Add to the list of what not to bring to this round of festivities: high expectations.

With 12 security checkpoints, I also better leave my regular shoes with their metal shanks at home. No backpacks allowed? Luckily, my winter coat has big pockets. The last four years has taught me to be prepared.

Well, enough of that. It’s a parade! What’s a curmudgeon-of-a-blue-liberal to wear?

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