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January 21, 2009



It's so nice to be thinking of THESE kinds of firsts/events to remember. I remember my mother glued to the TV set for the first moon walk and wondering what was the big deal.

I watched the inauguration in our bedroom watching our only TV. Three hankies later...

Roberta Isleib

I spent the whole DAY glued to the tube! Weren't you all wrecks when the Obamas got out of that armored car? I was so afraid some lunatic would ruin the moment, spoil this opportunity...also loved Michelle's gown. Though I don't know how she danced with that big train--it was like a wedding!

Chances are, Obama can't live up to his hype. But he has inspired a coming together and hopefulness that our country and the world haven't seen in a long time.

Hank Phillippi Ryan

Oh, I loved when they walked. I agree, it was a scary moment..but then, they looked so un-scared that it was contagious.

The photo on the front page of the Times is wonderful..

And, okay...I didn't love either dress. Plus it proves you should practice dancing in a dress before you wear it to your husband's inaugural balls. But it's her style that's so much fun. I'm going to get lemongrass green gloves right now.

And look, the market is up!

LadyKillers Admin

What a wonderfully thoughtful piece, Hank. I too was glued to the tube and especially moved when the Obamas danced together--so relaxed, so enjoying each other's company, like a high school prom.

I remember more that anything the moment JFK died. I was a new intern at the BBC when we heard the news. We grabbed camera and recorder and went out into Oxford Street, stopping people to talk to them. In most cases we were breaking the news. It was the first moment when it really struck me what broadcasting was all about.


Hank Phillippi Ryan

Yes, they clearly love each other. That's part of the wonderfulness.

I wish I could have seen you, Rhys. And yes, broadcasting a big story, sharing it, right from the beginning, that's a life-changing event. I instantly went on the air for the Challenger explosion, and Oklahoma City bombing. Last week, the US AIr crash. Lots of others.

It's scary. You know essentially nothing, information coming in from all sides, and yet you are talking in front of who knows how many people who rely on you. A huge responsibility.


I remember that JFK thing, too, from grade school and I literally fall into prayer for the Obamas all the time, beaming them with white light, because that bit of fear for them creeps in. I just love this little first family, like people I know. I even emailed exactly that to them at http://www.whitehouse.gov because they have an email link, and I could! They are so brave, and I want them to succeed like anyone in my own family. How wonderful that I could tell them how proud I am of them.

And, wow, when was the last time someone inspired me like that? Ever?

Happy Day, my kindred spirits! I wish we could have been together to dance in the streets and raise a glass.



It was the most wonderful, perfect day ever. I'm in awe of the organizers and workers who pulled it all off.

What I kept thinking of was what a difference one person can make in the world. It's so sad that his parents and grandparents, and Michelle's father couldn't be here to see what their love and support created.

The speech as president, the way he interacted with everyone at the inaugural balls, and especially the way he danced with his wife :) was all too wonderful for words.

Hank Phillippi Ryan

One of our friends just came home to Boston from DC--they got up at 7am, waited two hours in line to take the Metro to town, waited two more hours to get to the place on the Mall where their tickets were for. They said it was completely freezing even though they're Bostonians and dressed for it.
They loved every second.
Then afterwards, they said it was a mob scene, walking miles and miles to get to a place to get a a place to get back to the Metro. Freezing. And thrilled.
Then they went back to their VA hotel, changed into tux and gown, and went back on the Metro to the balls.
Best visual ever: they said the trains were full of people in formal attire. Oh. Got to love that.


It was an amazing day, Hank, and your choice of Keats is perfect! We need these images and memories and ideas now.

Trains full of formal attire: splendid. Everyone putting their best foot forward, together.

Hank Phillippi Ryan

Yeah, Dana, I love it. I can't get that party-train image out of my head--probably all the women carrying their dainty shoes in bags and wearing furry boots under their chiffon.


Everyone I saw on Tuesday just glowed with hope and excitement, as if they carried the sun inside of them. A magical day, and at a time when we really needed one.

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