"I have watched every inauguration since I was a girl on TV, and I always found the ceremonies impressive and I have always thought the event is important for all Americans to see," she said. "But this inauguration is so special and so historic that I decided I had to see it in person.
"When Barack Obama was elected, it took my breath away," she said. "I never dreamed the day would come in my life that a black person would be elected president.
"And I still have a hard time believing," she said. "They say seeing is believing, and I want to see this event in person so I can really believe it."
Shannon said it's not like African-Americans haven't had their heroes, stars or role models.
"We've had famous scientists, like George Washington Carver, and great singers like Billie Holiday, and wonderful athletes like Michael Jordan and Tiger Woods," she said. "But a black who is president of the United States of America? I just never thought that would be possible, not for a long, long time."
Inspired by Obama's background
As proud as she is that a representative of her race will be residing in the White House for the first time, Shannon insists her delight over Obama's victory is about more than his race.
"He just happens to be a very smart man, and his wife, Michelle, also is very smart," she said. "He also seems to be wise and caring. White or black or whatever color, he possesses traits that can make for an outstanding president."
Shannon also finds Obama's background inspirational.
"He was raised by a single mother and his grandmother, and he lived in different states and even overseas," she said. "He has a wonderful story."
Shannon's own story has been almost entirely played out in Danville. She was born and raised here and was married, raised her children and widowed and worked here. She also went through segregation here.
"Like a lot of African-Americans my age, I recall having to sit in the balcony at the movie theatre, getting served after white people were served at restaurants and stores, going to a blacks-only school and getting shoved off of sidewalks by whites on the way there, and drinking from water fountains that were for us," she said.
She later went to work many years at Philips Lighting in Harrodsburg. She retired from there six years ago and has worked the switchboard at Farmers National Bank since then.
Even shough she is in the twilight of her life, Shannon would still rather look forward than backward. Obama definitely gives her something to look forward to.
"Martin Luther King Jr. was the leader for many of us blacks 40 and 50 years ago, and now Barack Obama has picked up his torch, but to lead all of the American people, not just black people," she said, noting that she will be observing King Day on the Washington Mall on Monday where the civil rights leader delivered his "I have a dream" speech in 1963.
"My five children have given me 10 grandchildren and three great-grandchildren, and I believe that President Obama will help create a country that will be wonderful for them to live in," she said.