A year ago, the day after President Obama’s inauguration, my best friend and I went down to the Mall to check out the aftermath. Work crews swarmed the Mall trying to restore it to its pre-inaugural condition, an amazing feat considering the nearly two million people who had been there the day before.
We stumbled upon this MSNBC ice sculpture cast aside though not quite melting:
We got a couple of close ups of the Capitol, from near where I had been standing the previous day:
And, of course, we ran into Nancy and Udean’s Christian Tours outside the Smithsonian National Museum of American History.
But the *best* part of all was inside the American History Museum. We got there late in the day, not long before closing, and after spending a little while visiting Julia Child’s kitchen, we decided to swing by the First Ladies exhibit to check it out and see whether or not Mrs. Obama’s portrait had been hung yet. The museum closes promptly at 5:30, so naturally we did not enter the First Ladies exhibit until approximately, oh, 5:28. Such was our good planning and fortune, however, because what we found was a really remarkable scene. The exhibit was full of people, mostly African American women who were trying to get their pictures taken beneath the portrait of Michelle Obama which was, indeed, already hanging in the gallery. Here it is:
The security guard was doing the best job she could to a) make sure these women were not disappointed and b) make sure we all got the hell out of there so they could lock up! In an effort to keep the line moving, the security guard was standing next to Mrs. Obama’s picture and intoning: “Snap ‘N Slide, Ladies! Snap! N! Slide!” All while snapping her fingers and rotating her arm at the elbow. It was fabulous. People were literally snapping and sliding as fast as they could, slipping past the smiling guard and out the door. We watched this scene for a few minutes and then left the museum ourselves. It was an extraordinary sight. Everyone was in a great mood; people were so happy to have their pictures taken beneath Mrs. O‘s portrait. Even the guard seemed like she was enjoying herself, although the long line of excited visitors made it obvious she was going to be late leaving work that day.