At 8:27 yesterday morning, there were five people in line outside Courtroom 2 in the U.S. District Courthouse. Jury selection in the trial of D.C. Mayor Marion Barry was scheduled to begin at 10.

Ruth Worthy, 72, had left her house in Northeast at 4:58 a.m. and was first in line at 6 a.m. Dorie Ladner, who arrived at 7, is a native of Mississippi who lives in the District and has known the mayor since they worked together in the civil rights movement in the 1960s. She was there, she said, "to bear witness." David Ewing, 23, is a law student spending the summer working in Washington. Annette Samuels, Barry's press secretary from 1981 to 1987, was there, along with a woman who preferred to remain anonymous.

A few minutes before 9, there were six. By then, they had been told by court personnel that they wouldn't be allowed in the courtroom during the first day of jury selection. Still, they waited.

"At least I'll see the two sides enter," said Ewing, who just finished his first year at Vanderbilt Law School. "There will be a lot of people, a lot of fanfare," he said.

By 9:30, Ewing got his fanfare. There were lots of people and a lot of noise in the corridor outside the courtroom, but most of the people were reporters and most of the fanfare resulted from their rushing around, notebooks drawn, bumping into one another and asking, "Are you a spectator? Are you a spectator?"

Looking for a few Guardian Angels? They were there, too, about 15 of them, demonstrating in front of the courthouse for Barry's resignation.

By 9:45 a.m., Worthy was getting tired. She had been there since 6, but she didn't want to sit on the chairs far down the corridor, away from the action. "I'm here to observe what happens," she said, staunchly standing her ground in sky-blue running shoes. "He was the guardian of the city, and he hasn't lived up to the kind of ethics we would hope for from a leader. I feel very sorry for his addiction, but I would prefer he not be mayor."

Ladner, an emergency room social worker at D.C. General Hospital, was there to support the mayor. "I'm supportive of him because of friendship, common struggle, common interests," said Ladner, who took the day off from work to come to court. "I think the 'buppie' {black, upwardly mobile, professional} class feels they've arrived without struggle, but the way for them was paved by people like Marion Barry. Hopefully, he will get due process."

Former press secretary Samuels was not granting interviews. "I have nothing to say," she said, skittering away in jeans. "I'm just watching what's going on."

Ewing, the law student, wanted to see a test of what he had learned in class "on a real life basis . . . . Basically, I think Jay Stephens is just another Rudolph Giuliani {former U.S. attorney in Manhattan} in the making. He's doing this for his own political aspirations," he said. Did that mean he was sympathetic to the mayor? No. "I'm looking at this legally," Ewing said.

Sometime between 9:34 and 10 a.m., Barry lawyer R. Kenneth Mundy and prosecutor Richard Roberts slipped into the courtroom, but no one seemed to notice. After all, everyone was waiting for the mayor.

By 9:59 a.m., the six spectators were relegated to the hallway across from the elevators. Each time the doors opened, several dozen reporters and spectators surged forward. At 10 sharp, out stepped the mayor; his wife, Effi; his mother, Mattie Cummings; and a small entourage. The mayor looked briefly toward the waiting throng, smiled and proceeded in the other direction, toward the courtroom.

That was it. No hordes of people, no fanfare. The spectators stood in the hallway, looking forlorn. The reporters looked pretty much the same.

Ewing, the law student, gave a summary statement:

"Well-planned. Solemn mood. The mayor looked in good spirits," Ewing said. "It must be tough, going into court and defending yourself or admitting guilt. I mean, even Michael Milken broke down in tears."