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Being a part of a historic inauguration enough for retired educators

By Steve Huffman
shuffman@salisburypost.com
The Rev. William Turner said even if he doesn’t lay eyes on Barack Obama during his visit to Washington, D.C., in two weeks, the trip will have been justified.
“Just the idea of being in the area where history is taking place is enough,” said Turner, minister of Tower of Power United Holy Church on East Cemetery Street.
Turner and his wife, Patricia, both retired educators, will be traveling to Washington for the presidential inauguration of Obama. They’ll be traveling aboard a Christian Tours bus that they’ll be meeting in Mocksville.
The bus tour leaves Jan. 19 and returns Jan. 22. The inauguration is Jan. 20.
The Turners have two daughters who live in Washington, but they won’t be staying with them. As part of the tour they’re taking, the Turners will be housed in a Washington hotel.
Turner said he and his wife stayed with their daughters over the Christmas holidays and didn’t want to wear out their welcome.
Besides, he said, with the hotel not far away, if the weather is inclement or if the crowds prove too much, returning to their room to watch the proceedings on television will remain an option.
“There won’t be anything wrong with watching on TV,” Turner said.
Turner is vice chairman of the Rowan County Democrats and said he campaigned wholeheartedly for Obama over the past year.
Asked if he was a big Obama fan, Turner replied, “Oh, indeed, I am. The person for whom I’ve been rooting got the nomination.”
Turner said he and his wife have traveled via Christian Tours a number of times in the past and always found the trips pleasurable. He said when he first checked with the company about bus tickets to the inauguration, they were told they were sold out.
So Turner asked to be placed on the company’s waiting list and before long he got a phone call telling him a pair of seats were available.
“So we jumped aboard,” he said.
Turner spent 40 years as a teacher, both in the public schools and at Livingstone College. His wife spent most of her years in the classroom at Knox Middle School.
Turner said he’s heard the words of warning concerning the masses that are expected to descend upon Washington for the upcoming inauguration.
If you go through life not doing things simply because people try to scare you away with tales of possible calamities, you’ll spend a lot of your life missing out, Turner said.
“I said, ‘You just have to be prepared,’ ” Turner said he told naysayers.

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