The scene in a Jersey hospital

Inquirer staff writer Jan Hefler reports from Underwood Memorial Hospital in Woodbury NJ.:

1:16 p.m.

Phyllis Carr, 67, of Clarksboro, was in the surgical waiting room at Underwood waiting for her husband to be released from the operating room.

A retired secretary with four grown children,  she thought the speech was “very good.”

“The crowds are impressive,” she said. “I wish him well and I hope he can do what he wants to do. You can’t do anything else but hope and pray for him.” Working in the operating room was housekeeping aide JoAnn Rone, 52.

Rone, who is African-American, darted in and out of the OR to catch portions of Obama’s Inaugural speech.

As she stood by the TV, she marveled at what she was watching.

“I think it’s a beautiful thing,” Rone said. “Even though he’s African-American, it’s not so much about his being a black man or a white man. He’s a man with a good heart who wants the U.S. to climb to the top of the ladder. It is a blessed time.”

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