Six Lucky Memphians Journey to Obama

In less than one week, history will be made.

The country will witness the inauguration of the first African-American President of the United States, and tentatively, millions of people are expected to witness this special occasion in Washington. Since November 4th, 2008, supporters of President-Elect Barack H. Obama have been making plans to attend this inauguration.

However, some have found great difficulty in achieving this journey.

One of many roadblocks faced with going to see the former Illinois Senator being sworn in to the Office of President is finding somewhere to reside. Currently, the hotels closest to the White House are booked solid, and those that are not will run you as much as $650 a night. Right now, homeowners (and some renters) are taking advantage of this historical moment and are opening up their homes for the week for a small fee. Craigslist currently has dozens of options available for the week as low as $100 for a basement rental and some even exceeding $7,000 for a two bedroom suite.

Should you find yourself fortunate enough to find a place to stay during this eventful week, Travelocity currently has a Flight & Car package from $689 per person. However, if you leave Washington D.C. before Monday January 19th, you only have to pay about $337 per person.

Of course that would defeat the purpose of going there…

..Unless you want to see a very good “before” picture.

Well once you figure out whatever course of action you plan on taking to get into D.C., you have a lot of activities to keep you occupied. WMC-TV has an entire section dedicated to all that is Obama and his trek into history. Near the bottom of the page, you have quite a few handy links to let you know what is going on from January 18th through the 21st.

Also in the mix of the events will be six members of Magnolia First Baptist Church on 1518 S. Cooper Street. Mrs. Carolyn Goodwin-Willett, Director of Kiddie Kollege Childcare Center, and five other members of Magnolia are part of a caravan heading to our nation’s capital.

“I said I was going to dance with Obama, and I will! And I’m wearing my wedding dress!” she says emphatically.

Don’t worry; it isn’t the traditional white gown. I promise.

A former member of their church who now resides in D.C. knew of an African-American gentleman who was sponsoring Senior Citizens and others from all over the country to come to D.C. to be a part of the Inauguration and its events. (It only set him back about a million dollars. Look up Earl Stafford in AARP Magazine). However, they won’t just be passing through; they will stay in a luxury hotel—J. W. Marriott to be exact.

If you ever feel the need to lie in the lap of luxury at that very hotel after the Inauguration, be prepared to spend between $369 and $400 per night.

A bus will be picking the travelers up around 12am on January 18th and stopping to pick up more along the way. Mrs. Goodwin-Willett and her five church members will have a chance to attend a prayer breakfast and a Martin Luther King, Jr. luncheon on January 19th, view the Inauguration from the hotel and the Inaugural Parade from heated tents from the rooftop, and attend the Inaugural Ball that evening.

For those who won't be so lucky to attend, several stations in the Mid-South will be airing the Inauguration that day. WREG & WPTY will be showing 420 minutes of the Inauguration and events beginning at 9am that day, WMC will begin their coverage at 9:30 am and PBS will begin at 10am. For those who want to see the Inauguration on a larger scale can view it from 10am until 2:30pm at Malco Paradiso. All you have to do is go to to get your free tickets.

Whether you are the “Magnolia Six” or working until six, something special is going on in our country. This is bigger than anything many of us have seen before in our lives. History will be rewritten soon, and trust me when I say this—the Mid-South is ready.


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