Where Were You?

Obama inauguration marked with a toast
A gathering at Marsha Chamberlin's apartment toasts the new president.

Toasting President Barack Obama at a gathering at Marsha Chamberlin's downtown Ann Arbor home just after the swearing-in ceremony.

When people ask “Where were you when Barack Obama was inaugurated?” The Chronicle will say “At Marsha Chamberlin’s home.”

Chamberlin, president of the Ann Arbor Art Center, hosted a small gathering at her Liberty Lofts condo to watch Obama’s inauguration on CNN.

The dozen or so women raised a toast to the new president after he was sworn into office. Someone in the group gave this toast as well: “To the Constitution – welcome back!” They laughed when the TV camera showed George Bush during Obama’s inauguration speech, looking more than a little uncomfortable. And when the band played the national anthem at the end of the ceremony, everyone in the room softly sang along.

There was a sense of history, in many ways. Chamberlin had hung a flag from her fourth-floor balcony, saying she’d never felt like flying one before today. It was the flag from the funeral of her husband’s father, a World War II veteran.

The wind blew a flag hung on Marsha and John Chamberlins Liberty Lofts balcony, marking Barack Obama

The wind blew an American flag hung on Marsha and John Chamberlin's Liberty Lofts balcony, marking the inauguration of Barack Obama.

Section: Govt., Neighborhoods

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  1. January 20, 2009 at 10:19 pm | permalink

    I wish I could afford a Liberty Lofts condo!!! :)
    I was in my classroom with my kiddos…I had them look up certain words in the oath so that they’d better understand it. We had a great time…all my kids want to be president now :)

  2. By Bob Martel
    January 21, 2009 at 1:10 pm | permalink

    I took down the flag in front of our office building shortly after Bush was elected. I’m thinking of putting it back up!

  3. By Spencer Thomas
    January 22, 2009 at 12:23 am | permalink

    I was just across the street and down, in the “Primo coffee building”. In our 3rd floor conference room with most of my coworkers, watching the inauguration through a computer projector.

  4. January 24, 2009 at 10:35 am | permalink

    I was watching on PBS in CITI’s Argus Building conference room, simultaneously instant messaging with my son (in the same room), daughter (in Houston), and niece (in Miami Beach).

  5. By Sarahbear
    January 24, 2009 at 5:28 pm | permalink

    I watched in the newsroom, with the rest of the editorial department, and many of the employees from other departments who came up to watch. After it was over, everyone just went back to their desks. I was the only one who clapped. What I really wanted to do was jump up and down and say “America,” slapping fives with everyone within arms reach.

  6. January 25, 2009 at 8:30 am | permalink

    I was at the AADL on the 4th floor board room where they had CNN on the big screen. Afterwards I headed to ABC to have some (as President Obama described it) “bitter swill” to celebrate the day.

  7. By MarkAA
    January 25, 2009 at 2:40 pm | permalink

    I was at my desk at work, glad I live in a country that can hand over the reigns of government every four years and not have a revolution or coup. That is enough for me to be happy about even if the candidate I didn’t vote for is in the Oval Office.