The traditional presidential inauguration parade was scaled back dramatically this year in Washington, D.C., because of the coronavirus pandemic.
So in Delaware, Newark resident Amy Roe wheeled her 1955 pink-and-cream Ford Crown Victoria around northern New Castle County to commemorate fellow resident Joe Biden’s ascent to the White House.
Roe, an environmental researcher, is a longtime Biden supporter. She met him in person once, more than a quarter-century ago, when he was well into his political career as one of Delaware’s two U.S. senators.
“I was shopping for tile at Home Depot when I was maybe 22 years old and he was there shopping too,’’ Roe recalled. “And it was very overwhelming even, even back then.”
Roe said she might have driven the vintage Ford to Washington for the inaugural if not for the pandemic. But even back home she wanted to celebrate in style, riding for Biden and new Vice President Kamala Harris with campaign signs and red, white, and blue bunting draped on her vehicle.
She had planned to drive to the state capital of Dover but with the prospect of protests there, she decided to avoid any chance of finding trouble or contracting COVID-19 and remain upstate. (The protests she feared in Dover never materialized.)
WHYY met up with Roe in historic New Castle — Delaware’s original capital. She said her one-vehicle procession drew a positive response.
“Lots of very excited people waving out of their windows and beeping their horns,’’ she said while a couple took photos of her car in front of the former New Castle courthouse.
“It’s a huge deal for the nation but it’s also very important for Delaware,” Roe said. “That our guy Joe, I mean he’s one of us — has made to the presidency. It’s incredible.”
Roe was joined by her rescue dog Stuart, and both sported glasses with American flag lenses. Her driver and husband Peter, a University of Delaware anthropology professor, sat silently at the wheel.
After the stop in New Castle, they were heading home but first planned to stop at Capriotti’s sub shop for a Bobbie, the restaurant’s signature turkey-and-cranberry sandwich.
“It’s Joe Biden’s favorite sandwich and that’s what I’m going to have for dinner,’’ Roe said. “I’ll swing by to pick that up and show off my car a little bit and hopefully raise some spirits.”
All hometown pride aside, Roe said she prays that after what she called four “traumatic and high-anxiety” years under former President Donald Trump’s leadership, that Biden can calm the political divisions and tensions “and steer us on a better path.”
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