Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Nenad goes to Washington

Barack and Michelle Obama dance in style. Photo by Nenad Bach

It started early morning of January 19th 2009 on New Jersey Turnpike. First sun beams. Baggy eyes. 2.5 hours of sleep that night. 5 hours of driving to Silver Spring MD. I don't like to stop, anywhere when I am driving. In the car and out of the car. No stops, unless I need to. Traffic was excellent.

Sunoco Gas station. All got excited about my trip to Washington. Croatians for Obama button worked.

Nenad Bach and Steve Rukavina. Croatians on the Hill.

Nenad Bach, left of my hat, Library of Congress. Photo by Joe Foley.

Steve Rukavina, Joe Foley and Nenad Bach, at Alaska Tea Reception

Marta Mattox, James Sterling "Jimmer" Mattox, Steve Rukavina and Nenad Bach

Steve Rukavina, Marta Mattox and Nenad Bach. Marta is Croatian from Texas. Full of creative energy. With a Croatian pin. Marta was very active during the war and as Steve and I talked about, many Croatian Americans did help locally in their own communities. Many not credited properly for the help, as the credit wasn't the reason, but still... I truly appreciate all of you who helped us when we needed it.

Nenad Bach, Congressman Keith Ellison and Steve Rukavina. We were lucky that day. The line in front of Longworth Building was cca 2 hour line. Some instinct and quick reaction made me jump to the entrance, where man that we stood next to in line was talking to Keith, mentioning Tom Rukavina, a state legislator (Steve Rukavina's cousin). Everybody knows Tom. On that note, Steve and I were invited to Keith's offices. He mentioned as well that he has Croatian roots as a reaction to Croatians for Obama button. So we didn't need to wait in line for the tickets that we didn't need anyway, but would miss Alaskan Tea reception. (photo by Dustin Brandenburg)

Nenad and Keith, more relaxed. Keith has Croatian roots. And friendliness.

Minnesotans support each other.

Washington Halls. One after another. offices, people, tax money at work.

Steve Rukavina, Tom Begich and Nenad Bach. Tom is a fellow musician, who impressed me very much with his knowledge of art and politics.

January 20th, early morning. Silver Spring Metro station. We stayed at Steven's friend Susan Heltemes. Thank you Susan for your hospitality.

Memorabilia Metro ticket, for the time spent in Washington D.C. I still have from 2-4 rides.

Debbie saw our Croatian Americans for Obama button and said, I am Croatian too. That button turn heads all the time. You wouldn't believe how many Croatians were at the inauguration.

Jesse Jackson, gave up on waiting in the "purple line", brushed shoulders with me. Not encouraging for the rest of us. We barely made it on time, due to our keen sense of orientation and completion.

This is famous Purple VIP ticket. Somebody was offering $10 for the ticket, after the inauguration. I kept mine.

The day was beautiful. Excitement in the air.

Steve and I got here together, although from time to time we were separated by masses of people. Ceremony is in progress. Kind person took photo of us. We are standing on newspapers, to avoid direct contact with frozen ground. At 12:04 Barack Hussein Obama was sworn in as our 44th president. 1.5 million people watched it live. No arrests. Day to remember.

Another bunch of Croatians from Virginia, Minnesota, who talked to us because of the button. They knew Steven's cousin Tom Rukavina as well. Woman's name is Kim Stokes. They are Croatians who never visited Croatia. Yet.

Inaugural Ball opened its doors at 6 PM on January 20th, 2009

Commemorative photos have been taken by people before or after you.

This is how the Presidential Ball ticket looked. If you can see on the bottom, there is a bar code. They scanned tickets as we were getting in. This time organization was much better, than Purple Ticket line.

The most famous Croatian American politician Congressman Dennis Kucinich, with his brother Frank. L-R. Nenad Bach, Congressman Dennis Kucinich and Frank Kucinich. I scored the movie Freedom from Despair that Dennis was interviewed for and also I agree with the Ministry of Peace, as oppose to Department of Defense. Department of Peace should and will exist one day. If we put that much money into progression of peace, World Peace would be already achieved. Photo by Elizabeth Kucinich.

Nenad Bach, Congressman Dennis Kucinich and Elizabeth Kucinich

Nenad and Dennis. Dennis was friendly, natural and intelligent. Proud Croatian American whose radical positive ideas are yet to come to the main stream. Photo by Elizabeth Kucinich.

Joe and Jill Biden. Eloquent and elegant.

Everybody Loves Joe. We Croatians certainly remember his support during our tough times. Joe was always, from the beginning on the right side. First Catholic vice-president ever.

I said elegant. If you didn't believe me, see this photo. All photos by Nenad Bach, unless told differently.

Sheryl Crow, was entertaining us, with singing teasing comments like "Dear President, would you be my man". Sheryl's good as always.

Barack spoke to us. Michelle with proud look. Who wouldn't be.

Obama was eager to go to work tomorrow. And he did. Ordered closing of the Guantanamo Bay, plus much more.

I was privileged to watch all of this from a close distance. See how they move together in rhythm.

Joe and Jill were elegant, but the First Lady and Barack didn't lack it either. Love that calm elegance.

Waiting for the meeting with the White House official for NDECC - National Democratic Ethnic Coordinating Council on January 21st. This administration is not wasting any time.

Here we are from all over the world.

This is what we used for making buttons. Thank you Dino and Marcie.


Sunday, January 11, 2009

Mick Hanson's Studio in Brooklyn, New York

Brooklyn, New York. January 11th, 2009. Sunday. Cold New York day. When I arrived home at night, it was 18 degrees (12 below freezing). Mick Hanson and Nenad Bach. Friendship for decades. Working on a new album, project. Saga of long awaited "Everything is Forever" may end in 2009. Always a pleasure and creative outcome with Mick. Time well spent. Music is our joy and way of life. Story continues...