Obama & Me: Future president left a lasting impression

Have you met the future president? A lot of metro-east folks have.

They shook his hand as he campaigned to be a U.S. senator four years ago and as he campaigned to be president. They met him at a park in Caseyville, a church in East St. Louis, a union hall in Granite City, a school in Belleville. They happened upon him in a hotel dining room in Marion and at a Chicago museum.

They asked him to autograph books and placards. Oh, and could he pose for a picture? Sure, no problem.

Just before the inauguration, we're sharing their photos and thoughts on President-elect Barack Obama.

A prayer for the new president

The Rev. John Rouse, dressed in his black robe, was ready a couple hours before state Rep. Wyvetter Younge's funeral service at his East St. Louis church on a mild January Saturday.

Mourners stopped to chat with him.

Police officers discussed contingency plans. What if president-elect Barack Obama were to show up?

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