History: February 2009 Archives
Like the Fraziers, many of the 103 travelers on the "Road trip to the White House" came with their families.
Others came with best friends.
However, for some, like Tamii Harris, 47, of Park Manor, the inauguration of America's first black president was important enough to go it alone.
Tamii Harris, 47, of Park Manor, shows off the official inauguration t-shirt distributed by the tour group operator to her travelers on a "Road trip to the White House."
"From the beginning, I wanted to go, and everyone else was flaking out," Harris said.
"I'm going because I owe it to myself. I owe it to Obama. I owe it to my mother and grandmother and Rosa [Parks] and Corretta [Scott King] and all the other women whose shoulders I'm standing on," she said.
"I want to be able to tell my own children and grandchildren I was there."
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.
Ecstatic and exhausted.
Fantastic and fulfilling, but freezing.
They'd ridden a charter bus back to Chicago after going to Washington for President Obama's inauguration. Afterward, the 103 Chicago area participants in this particular "Road Trip to the White House" bubbled over trying to describe the experience -- and how they believe it will help shape their futures.
As they returned home -- with memories and souvenir buttons decorated with Obama's visage and emblazoned with the words "I was there" -- and settled back into life in Chicago, they talked of what they'd witnessed and spoke with a sense of ownership of their new president.
Among them was Linda Vaughn, 65, of East Chicago.
"She's the primary reason I'm here," Vaughn said of her 8-year-old granddaughter Chynna Vaughn.
Linda Vaughn, 65, of East Chicago, is the third woman from the left, with the gray and purple head scarf. Her 8-year-old granddaughter, Chynna Vaughn, is on the right, wearing the black sweater.