Area resident speaks highly of inauguration experience

By NICOLE GUGINO

OBSERVER Assistant News Editor

It may have been President Obama’s second inauguration Monday, but it was still very exciting for Beth Guzzetta, her son Lee Ricotta and her niece Kyra Delano who won two tickets to the event.

“It was wonderful,” Guzzetta said Wednesday after returning from Washington D.C. “It was amazing. There were so many people but you felt safe. You could feel the crowd was happy and proud.”

She said there was a giddiness to the crowd despite high security measures.

Guzzetta won two tickets to President Obama’s inauguration ceremony through Senator Charles Schumer’s Office. She had intended on giving the tickets to her niece and son to get closer to the festivities, but was surprised by a random act of kindness.

“I only had the two tickets but when we were in the line everybody was chitchatting about how they got their tickets. The next thing I know someone is holding another ticket in front of my face. She told me to take it because she didn’t need it. I asked how I could thank her and she said, ‘You just did.’ I never saw her again,” she explained.

So, with three tickets in hand the trio prepared to move to their designated yellow section. However, as fate would have it, they didn’t make it to their section.

“We didn’t end up getting where we needed to go though because they didn’t filter out the people who did not have tickets for the section. So us and a lot of other people didn’t end up getting to our section but no one complained,” she explained.

Guzzetta said this turned out for the better because they were able to see Obama up close as his motorcade passed.

“We were near a police woman and she said Obama’s motorcade was going through so we needed to move and this was the closest we would get to the president. We were right in the front when the motorcycles and cars went by. I lifted Lee up on my shoulders and we saw the car with the camera and then we saw the president waving. I joked with Lee saying he was waving at him and I’m sticking to it,” she said.

By the time the inauguration ceremony started, 6-year-old Lee was getting tired.

“We went to stand and Lee was tired so he fell asleep at my feet. … When he woke up I put him on my shoulders and it happened to be a quiet moment in (Obama’s) speech when he shouted, ‘Mommy, I see him!’ and the people around us clapped,” she recalled.

She said it was a great experience for all three.

“It was a wonderful experience. I wouldn’t trade it for the world,” she added.

After the ceremony, Guzzetta had planned to visit the monuments, but said it was too cold.

They arrived back in New York early Tuesday morning, and Lee was surprised to discover he had become famous at his school for being pictured in the OBSERVER.

“Lee has rock star status at school now because he had his picture in the paper. We got back at like 1 a.m. on Tuesday so I brought Lee into school a little late and his principal came out and said she saw him in the paper and his teacher did a presentation on it,” Guzzetta explained.

Guzzetta lives in Perrysburg with her husband David Ricotta, daughter Richelis and son Lee.