A bump on the inaugural journey for Basalt students | AspenTimes.com

A bump on the inaugural journey for Basalt students

Contributed photo Embarking on a trip to see history are Christopher McDonnell, Grace Sinclair, Alex VanAlstyne, Chris Walker, Kelli Kovach, Noel Chiarelli, Lyss Rouseve, Helen Lietikow, Jake Kissel, Chandler Crymble, Seann Goodman, Tory Schiller and Andy Delany.

ATLANTA ” The pre-planning to attend the presidential inauguration in Washington, D.C. was a journey all in itself. In between sports, school and test dead lines, we had to raise funds and take the time to learn about the event.

On Saturday, we boarded an Aspen-Snowmass tour bus and drove to Denver. We spent the evening in a Denver hotel, deliberating over which student deserved the honor of our only ticket to the inauguration.

Choosing one student to be among the 26,000 others who will be on the Capitol steps was not an easy choice. We chose between Andy Delany and Lyss Amador Rouseve.

Our final consensus was that Lyss should be given the honor because of all the hard work and energy she has put in to our school and community.

This morning (Sunday), we rose with the sun to board our flight to Atlanta from Denver, then our connecting flight to Washington, D.C. from Atlanta. When we arrived in Atlanta we raced down the halls, whizzing by people, trying to get to our next gate. Unfortunately they had already boarded the plane and shut the main cabin doors. We were STUCK in Atlanta, Georgia!

As it turns out, it’s not that easy to rebook 13 people on the next flight to what will soon be the busiest city in the nation, Washington, D.C. So we’re staying the night here in the wonderful city of “Hotlanta”” the home of the blues, collard greens, candy yams and peach cobbler.

While it would have been incredible to be amongst the writhing masses in Washington, D.C. and be a part of the energy there, it has been just as an important experience to see some of the energy even here in Georgia.

When we told our hostess and waitress at the restaurant that we were going to the inauguration, their excitement for us was overwhelming. We talked with them throughout the meal, and they were jealous of our good fortune in being able to welcome President-elect Obama to the White House. They gave us crayons, and we created Obama pictures on the butcher paper tablecloths.

Our waitress, an African-American ex-hair-dresser-turned-waitress from the deep South, saw our trip as being so important that she ran to get scissors and cut out sections of the paper so we could all keep the pictures that we had drawn.

The manager even came to our table to take pictures of our drawings.

“I would put them up on the wall if the owner would allow me,” he said.

This interrupted journey is making us further realize the extent to which this change means to the nation, not just our small valley.

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