My first full day in DC was cold. The hotel concierge took this California boy under her wing, instructing me to add layers before I headed out to the celebration at the Lincoln Memorial. I walked alongside a frozen Potomac river, and as I approached the Capitol Mall, roads and bridges were closed to traffic, crowds increased, and security was heavy.
In fact the security here is impressive. National guard members from around the country in full camoflauge gear stood every twenty feet along the Mall, there seemed to be thousands of volunteers providing help, and snipers occupied the building roofs.
One of the day’s highlight was attending the pre-inaugural concert on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial. I was standing about midway along the reflecting pond in front of the Memorial. I couldn’t see the steps of the Memorial but could watch the show on the large screens. I’ll never see so many performers again. Bruce Springsteen, Bono, Garth Brooks, Stevie Wonder, Mary J Blige, and Josh Groban were among the performers. The songs American Pie and Shout brought the crowd alive (even my wife was dancing).
But the number one highlight of the day occurred in the hotel bathroom. How can I delicately say that I got to use the facilities next to Alan Greenspan and even say Hello?
As I write this I am standing in line at the Rayburn building which houses congressional offices. We are in a three-hour line to pick up two inauguration tickets from Congressman Radanovich. It took 30 minutes to walk from the front of the building to the end of the line but we are meeting some interesting people. I am going to close now because I want to join those behind him who are talking about the Blue Dog democrats, whose origins are from our neck of the woods.