Faces in the Crowd: "Granny Gobama"
A recurring feature introducing people who plan to attend the inauguration of Barack Obama.
Name: Lois Jeavons, or "Granny Gobama"
Residence: Ventura, Calif.
Getting to Washington: Jeavons is scheduled to fly to Cleveland on Jan. 10 to spend time with her family there, after which they will drive to Washington together on Jan. 17.
Area Accommodations: Jeavons and family will stay with a friend in Frederick, Md.
Reason for Attending: Jeavons, a long-time Republican, became a Democrat and Barack Obama supporter this summer. Inspired by Obama’s calls for change and hope, Jeavons wanted to dedicate time to his campaign.
Because she uses a walker, however, going door-to-door wasn't an option. Instead, she became "Granny Gobama," starting a blog called 85 And Change! to spread the word about Obama. Now she’s known as Granny Gobama among her blog followers and Facebook friends.
“This whole experience made me feel youthful again," she told washingtonpost.com in an interview. "I think older people have a problem. You can almost feel not needed. This experience made me feel very youthful and very involved."
Her family organized a trip to Washington for the inauguration to celebrate her blog and 85th birthday. At a birthday dinner on Nov. 24, Jeavons found out about the surprise trip after watching a video created by her oldest granddaughter, Brady Dindia.
The blog, which includes posts about presidential debates, photos of Granny Gobama at rallies and video commentary, has had about 5,000 hits, according to Jeavons.
“I just remember my grandmother saying to me ‘I’ve heard of blogs, what are they?’” said Dindia, a 36-year-old graphic designer from Cleveland in an interview.
“She’s been such an inspiration we thought we’d send her to Washington for her birthday to celebrate."
Jeavons also spent about six hours a week calling potential voters -- and even convinced her Republican son to vote for him.
“This whole campaign experience, going to rallies with my granddaughter, it’s a memory I’ll never forget,” Jeavons said.
Jeavons and her family do not have tickets to see the inauguration, but they plan to attend the opening ceremony on Jan.18, watch the inauguration from the Jumbotrons on the Mall and watch the parade.
“To be at this historic occasion at this inauguration at my age -- I’ve seen a lot," she said, "but this is a first for me. I think Obama has opened up a whole new world for me and for everybody.”
-- Brittany Levine, washingtonpost.com
Washington Post Editors
January 9, 2009; 10:10 AM ET
Faces in the Crowd
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