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Mother, son miss Obama, but trip worthwhile

Category: RV, Inauguration
Source: Cleburne Times-Review, Texas
Publish Date: Tuesday, January 20, 2009
Summary: Keller’s 80-year-old mother, Sallie Keller of Baton Rouge, La., proved the deciding factor in the families road trip to D.C. driving an RV sporting a sign in the back window bearing the legend “Driving Moma 2 C Obama.”

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By Matt Smith/msmith@trcle.com

Although Burleson resident Glen Keller never saw President Barack Obama in person, he said he’s thrilled to have traveled to Washington D.C. for Tuesday’s inauguration.

“Wow!” Keller said describing his reaction to Obama becoming the 44th president. “As real as it’s been since Nov. 4 and all, it was nothing like actually watching him being sworn in. It’s pretty overwhelming.

“And not just meaning Obama as a person, though not to take anything away from him, but just in how far we’ve come as a people.”

Oddly enough, Keller, who had planned on watching the inauguration on TV at home in Burleson wound up watching the event on TV in a parking lot five blocks from the White House.

“We watched on the TV in the RV,” Keller said. “We went walking yesterday to try to find a spot, but my mother wasn’t up for more walking today.”

Keller’s 80-year-old mother, Sallie Keller of Baton Rouge, La., proved the deciding factor in the families road trip to D.C. driving an RV sporting a sign in the back window bearing the legend “Driving Moma 2 C Obama.”

Sallie Keller, her son said, remained convinced that Obama, or any other black, would never win the presidency in her lifetime. At least until Nov. 4.

The day after Obama’s victory, Sallie Keller told her son she wanted to be in D.C. for the inauguration. Keller and his wife motored to Baton Rouge on Thursday to pick up his mother and niece before traveling on to D.C.

They saw the sites and huge crowds, Glen Keller said, but no Obama.

Glen Keller got as close as he could to St. John’s Episcopal Church Tuesday morning in hopes of catching a peek at Obama, who attended services there before his swearing in ceremony.

“There were too many people, and I couldn’t get close enough to really see anything except crowds and some vehicles pulling out,” Keller said.

Despite missing seeing Obama in person, Sallie Keller said she wouldn’t trade the experience for anything.

“I just can’t explain it; it’s hard to explain,” Sallie Keller said. “A black president of the United States of America! I remember polls asking if this would ever happen and some people said it would be 100 years.

“I had tears in my eyes with all the rest of them [during the swearing in]. I remember when blacks couldn’t vote, and that was in my time. And now, a black president. It’s just hard to explain.”


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