N.J. senior stranded in D.C. after Obama inauguration

A 74-year-old Morristown woman?s trip to President Barack Obama?s historic inauguration turned into an even bigger ordeal when the senior became separated from her group. Harriet Coarse was one of many

News 12 Staff

Jan 23, 2009, 2:01 AM

Updated 5,657 days ago

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A 74-year-old Morristown woman?s trip to President Barack Obama?s historic inauguration turned into an even bigger ordeal when the senior became separated from her group.
Harriet Coarse was one of many New Jersey residents invading Washington, D.C. for the momentous occasion. Coarse and her group stood together on the National Mall as the new president was sworn in, but the senior became lost in the sea of spectators while looking for souvenirs.
?I didn?t know what to do, so I just started walking and praying that I would see someone from the group,? Coarse says.
Her group spent five hours looking for the 74-year-old before making the tough decision to board their bus back to the Garden State and let police continue the search. The trip?s organizer says they were worried sick at what possibilities could have happened.
"Maybe she was afraid, maybe she just stayed there, maybe she froze,? says Raline Smith-Reid.
The old gal showed some real pluck and found her way to a train station. After buying a train ticket to Newark for the next morning, she settled in for a night of crossword puzzles. Coarse took her train back and then boarded a bus to Morristown.
Despite getting frazzled by the experience, Coarse is still happy with her 38-hour adventure.
?I still think it was exciting,? she says. ?I?m glad I went, even though I had a little problem.?


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