EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

January 21, 2009

Senior: Both hype and hope in ceremony

By Brian Messenger

For 77-year-old Charlotte Murphy, watching President Barack Obama take the oath of office evoked hope. The Andover resident called his inaugural address inspiring and said it offered much-needed optimism for the country.

"I think the most important thing he's giving us is hope," said Murphy, whose grandson is in Iraq with the U.S. military. "That's what we need, somebody to say, 'We can do it.'"

Murphy said Obama's inauguration as the 44th president of the United States will be remembered as historic, much like the inauguration of John F. Kennedy.

"JFK was pretty exciting for me, too, because he was a young man," said Murphy. "And he gave us a lot of hope. I don't remember it being anything like this, all the hype about it."

"A young person, this is something they can tell their grandchildren," she said.

Murphy was impressed with Obama's speech, but said she prefers to hear him speak "off the cuff" in a calm and thoughtful manner.

"He doesn't get riled up about things," said Murphy. "I think we need that right now."

Murphy watched the speech with 50 others at the Andover Senior Center. As the television panned across the Washington Mall, she remarked, "I wouldn't want to go stand in the cold."