Texas couple marks anniversary at Obama inauguration - again!


by Marvin Hurst / KENS 5


Posted on January 22, 2013 at 9:57 AM

SAN ANTONIO -- Rudolph Coleman has come to terms with the other man in his marriage. His wife, Vivian, is obsessed with President Barack Obama.

"Yes, very much so," he said.

Vivian became fixated on Senator Obama when he ran for his first term as President of the United States. As an Obama volunteer and devout follower, she got three chance encounters to meet him in San Antonio.

"When I met him it just changed everything," Vivian said.

In fact, she recalls him being just like family the first time they met. That's why a handshake just wasn't enough.

"I told him I have to have a hug," she says.

The Coleman's followed Obama's victory all the way to the nation's capitol. In January 2009, they signed up for a chartered bus going to see the inauguration of America's first African-American president. Vivian had always watched the presidential pageantry.

"It's something I've watched for years whether (the president) was a Democrat or a Republican," Vivian said. "It's just something I like to watch."

This time she wanted a front seat to history. It took the bus two days to get them to their hotel. The excitement of the swearing-in had the Coleman's up bright and early on January 20, 2009. Security was a beast but the San Antonio couple were determined to get to a good view of this event. More than one million other people had the same idea.

They finally got in place by the inaugural parade. The two watched the presidential motorcade move in an almost surreal manner. Rudolph says his heart was pounding as the doors to the president's limousine opened.

"By me being taller,  I was able to look further down," Rudolph said. "And I was surprised. 'Oh my God Vivian! They're getting out the car and walking down the street in the parade!'"

It was a moment they had not expected. Waves from the president and First Lady Michelle Obama toward their direction became almost too much to process. That image still brings tears to Vivian's eyes.

"I cried for about two hours," she said. "I couldn't believe what I had seen."

Rudolph says the thought of an African-American president was just not something they expected to ever see. Vivian's elderly mother who died after the 2009 inauguration never wanted Obama to run. She feared someone would try to hurt the president.

"I told her we can't be like that," she tearfully recalled.

As they traveled back to San Antonio from presidential festivities, the Colemans realized the Obama euphoria caused a memory lapse for both of them. They had completely forgotten their wedding anniversary.

"We didn't even think about the anniversary until we got back home," he said. "The whole time we were traveling. The whole time we were there. We didn't think about the anniversary part."

Four years later, the Colemans were back in Washington D.C. for another inauguration. The two will hit the streets again shoulder-to-shoulder with complete strangers assembled to watch history. It also gives Vivian an opportunity to see the other man in her life.

"This is the icing on the cake for me," she said. "This is his legacy---that he was able to win a second term."

They will celebrate their 41st wedding anniversary after Obama's big day, compliments of their children.