Stories From The Inaugural Audience Listeners Krupali Tejura of California and Walter Dear of Colorado are both lucky recipients of Inauguration Day tickets. How did they snag those hard-to-get tickets — and why was it so important?
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Stories From The Inaugural Audience

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Stories From The Inaugural Audience

Stories From The Inaugural Audience

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LIANE HANSEN, Host:

We had fascinating replies from civil rights activists to high school students who were too young to vote, but still participated by enrolling voters in their communities. Well, today, two of our listeners join us to tell their good luck stories. Walter Dear is in the studios of KSUT in Ignacio, Colorado. Welcome to you, Walter.

WALTER DEAR: Thank you so much, Liane. Pleasure to be here.

HANSEN: Walter, I want to start with you. Now your daughter wrote in to us, and she says that you have pictures with John F. Kennedy, General Ford, Jimmy Carter, Bill Clinton. I mean, how was it you got so close to all of these presidents?

DEAR: Well, I was an editor, publisher for a daily newspaper in Henderson, Kentucky for like 40 years, and I just sort of flocked to the political scene from time to time. My brother Joe, who later became president of the National Press Club called me in the early '50s to over to New York City to hear Ike Eisenhower, then president of Columbia University announce his resignation. Eisenhower had a remarkable facility for avoiding answers to pesky questions asked by newsmen. He would talk and talk and say nothing. Sort of like Alan Greenspan.

(SOUNDBITE OF LAUGHTER)

HANSEN: Now, how did you get your tickets to the inauguration?

DEAR: I pestered our United States Congressman John Salazar and his brother Ken Salazar, and we got four tickets, which is lucky me. So my daughter Jenny and I are going and then two friends from Durango are going.

HANSEN: Well, we want to bring Krupali Tejura into the conversation and to - I guess re-introduce her to everybody. We actually have a clip because she appeared on the "Oprah Winfrey Show."

DEAR: Wow.

(SOUNDBITE OF TV SHOW "OPRAH")

TEJURA: (Singing) O-b-a-m-a, O-b-a-m-a, O-b-a-m-a, Obama was his name-O. He lined with character, he loves...

HANSEN: Hi, Krupali.

TEJURA: Hello.

HANSEN: Oh, I bet you love to hear that tape of you singing.

TEJURA: No.

HANSEN: No?

TEJURA: After I sang that, I was so embarrassed. I did not share that film or tape with - or that story actually after I got back home with anybody.

(SOUNDBITE OF LAUGHTER)

HANSEN: So you don't want to repeat the experience here?

TEJURA: Well, I mean, I could if you ask.

(SOUNDBITE OF LAUGHTER)

HANSEN: Well, could you?

TEJURA: I sure can.

HANSEN: Go ahead.

TEJURA: Would you like me to sing it?

HANSEN: Oh, sure.

TEJURA: OK. (Singing) There once was a man from Illinois who became a state senator. O-b-a-m-a, O-b-a-m-a, O-b-a-m-a, Obama was his name-oh. He'd led with character, he led with integrity, he made the people happy. O-b-a-m-a, O-b-a-m-a, O-b-a-m-a, Obama was his name-oh.

HANSEN: Whoo.

(SOUNDBITE OF LAUGHTER)

HANSEN: Nice work.

TEJURA: I'm not a singer. I'd like to prefix it with that.

HANSEN: So, it wasn't your singing voice that got you tickets to the inauguration?

TEJURA: You know, on the day after the election, I booked a flight to D.C. I knew I was going to be there no matter what, with or without a ticket. It was going to be a full-circle moment for me no matter what. People thought I was a little nuts, but you know, I said, you know I'm going to go whatever happens happens. That same day, I wrote into both my senator, Senator Dianne Feinstein, who happens to be the chair of the Inaugural Committee and you know, the same day that the "Oprah Winfrey Show" called me. I kid you not. I got a message on my cell phone from the Dianne Feinstein's office that said that I had received two tickets.

HANSEN: Oh.

TEJURA: And they had received - I...

HANSEN: Oh, well four years to the day that you got the "Oprah", you got the Obama tickets. Walter Dear, let me bring you back in. Walter, where are you going to be staying?

DEAR: About 15 miles from the mall, and I know that a lot of people think that it's crazy to go because the trains are going to be jammed. There are not going to be enough port of pallis(ph). But I'm just like my new colleague over there in California, we'll just expect chaos, and it'll be fun.

TEJURA: Yeah, the original Obama girl is making it to D.C.

HANSEN: Those are Weekend Edition listeners Krupali Tejura and Walter Dear. They're both coming to Washington D.C. to attend Tuesday's inauguration of the 44th President Barack Obama. Have a great time. Thank you both.

DEAR: Thank you, Liane.

TEJURA: Thank you so much.

HANSEN: Unidentified Woman: Right, first screen scene is right behind me on the Lincoln memorial. He was (unintelligible) for the big show tomorrow, for the opening ceremony. We're hoping he'll come back on. But wait and see. Otherwise, we'll be seeing him tomorrow.

HANSEN: To see Alyssa and Olivia's diary, go to our blog, npr.org/soapbox. You're listening to Weekend Edition from NPR News.

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