Sixteen years ago this week, I was a senior in college. I'd been volunteering for Habitat for Humanity in Florida with a group from my college, and on our way back to New Jersey, I asked if the group could leave me off in D.C., where I'd stay with my grandmother and go to Clinton's first inauguration. Granny was too frail (and maybe too conservative) to go with me, but I went alone and had a fantastic time in the middle of all those people. I even ran into a guy I knew. The amazingness of the event was made even amazinger by this coincidence, and definitely contributed to the mood of the day.
So on Tuesday, when my father and I went down to the Mall, I thought about that day, and that old friend (recently re-found on Facebook). My dad and I discussed whether it was more likely or less that I'd run into someone I knew. On the one hand, there were a lot more people there to see President Obama get sworn in. On the other hand, I know a lot more people in Washington now.
I was a little less surprised but not less amazed, then, to run into one of my closer old work buddies on the Mall. She was working, shooting video of people who were selling stuff and also trying to do a cool intro of different people saying, "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable [Although I think we were saying inalienable. I know I was.] Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness." She shot me first, as practice, and my father second, as more practice. We attracted some attention, which brought her her third and fourth subjects. I helped with the camera work (and by "helped with the camera work," I mean, "stood near the camera, mostly not touching it, and did practically nothing").