The official blog of the 2009 inauguration in Washington DC through the eyes of Andrew Spear, Kristin Majcher, and Johnny Simon. 

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Monday, January 19, 2009

Valerie Long, Newfoundland, Canada

Photo by Andrew Spear
This is the first in a series of personal accounts from people we've talked to in the capitol.

At Sunday’s concert, concert I noticed Valerie Long dancing around with a Canadian flag in tow. She seemed pretty interesting, so we chatted with her for a while about what someone north of the border would be doing at the Inauguration. Like Andy and I, it’s her first visit to D.C. ever.

Why did you decide to come down?
I had to. It’s history in the making. I’m all the way from Newfoundland, all the way on the East coast. Celebrating my 50th birthday here was a gift, and it’s an opportunity to be a part of the world changing.

When did you leave?
I left about 5 a.m. their time this morning, and flew, checked into the hotel, and just came here. When it’s 10 p.m. here, it’s 11:30 in Newfoundland. We have our own time zone – a half hour to ourselves.

Would you say that most Canadians are excited about Obama?
Canadians have been smiling, laughing, and crying tears. Watching [Obama’s speech] yesterday, I thought “I’ll have my own tears, here.” We’re with you. We all feel that this is the opportunity for the world to change.

What are so many Canadians supporting him?
We’re his first stop. His first official visit is going to be to Canada and he knows that he has the north with him. We will forge a good working relationship and friendship because he understands that we’re smart and intelligent like he and Michelle are.

What do you think about the atmosphere here?
We just checked into the hotel, and said" let’s get right over to the Mall." And we walked in, and Stevie Wonder welcomed us, and then Bono. Who could ask for a better welcome?

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Andrew Spear

Andrew Spear
Andrew Spear is a Midwest-based photographer currently studying photojournalism at Ohio University's School of Visual Communication. A junior in the program, Andrew is also a staff photographer at The Athens NEWS, in Athens, Ohio. He splits his time between Athens and Cleveland, his hometown. Please click the image to view Andrew's portfolio. (Photo courtesy of Matt Eich)

Kristin Majcher

Kristin Majcher
Kristin Majcher is a junior studying magazine journalism at Ohio University's E.W. Scripps School of Communication. Currently a staff writer at The Athens NEWS, she has also worked with The Post (Athens, Ohio) and Cleveland Magazine. She splits her time between Athens and her hometown of Cleveland.

Johnny Simon

Johnny Simon
Johnny Simon is a Midwest-based photographer currently enrolled as a senior photojournalism major at Ohio University in Athens, Ohio. His work has been regcognized by the Southern Short Course in News Photography, NoTxt Magazine, the Corcoran Gallery FOCUS on Photojournalism and his adoring parents. Please click the image to see Johnny's portfolio.
All content © 2009 Andrew Spear, Kristin Majcher, Johnny Simon, and The Athens NEWS.

No reproduction without permission of the authors under penalty of law.