I spoke with Elizabeth Eckford this morning about her attending the Barack Obama inauguration as a special invitee along with other members of the Little Rock Nine. Over the weekend, I’d mentioned a Washington Post article about the invitation to the Nine and Eckford’s quote that she couldn’t afford to attend.

Eckford, who lives in Little Rock and is a Circuit Court employee, asked me to pass along to all those who’ve expressed an interest that she won’t be going regardless. “I can’t be in very large crowds,” she said. She emphasized that she was honored to be asked and that she was deeply appreciative of all those who’d expressed an interest in helping since the Washington Post article appeared.

Understood. My own experience is that the crowds are enormous, fearsome even on the Metro at inauguration time. And cold? Don’t get me started.