Inauguration-bound, they came with their hopes. They came with their dreams.
And right behind them were the street vendors.
No, this wasn't Washington, D.C. Not yet. This was 87th & the Dan Ryan, where the Frazier family of Marquette Park gathered with 96 fellow travelers to hop two charter buses bound for D.C. on a three-day "Road Trip to the White House."
A vendor boards the "Road trip to the White House" charter bus to sell her wares.
Vendors had set up camp at 87th & the Dan Ryan, laying in waiting for hundreds of inauguration-goers traveling to Washington, D.C. by charter buses which departed from the busy South Side mall over the course of four days.
The night before, several vendors told us, they'd made a killing on 10 tour buses chartered by U.S. Rep. Danny K. Davis (D-Chicago), which had left from the Jewel parking lot just after 10 p.m. to drive through the night, planning to arrive just in time for the inauguration.
State Rep. Connie Howard's tour buses -- which also had planned to drive through the night, but arriving just in time to view the inauguration ceremonies on TV screens at a D.C. hotel reception -- had similarly provided an ample souvenir buyers' market the day before, they said.
On the Fraziers' two buses, the vendors made out like fat rats, convincing the South Side family of nine and their fellow travelers that the same merchandise they were being offered would certainly be twice as expensive on D.C. soil.
The question: How many "souvenirs from the inauguration" were given friends and family upon the inauguration-goers' return?