Monday, January 21, 2013

Heading to the inaugural ball ... in 1981

Eighties campaigns
Campaign memorabilia (1979-1985)
After going to Ronald Reagan's first inauguration, M and I decided we wanted to go to an inaugural ball, so, after watching the parade and hanging out downtown, went up to the Washington Hilton to see if we could pop into the ball.

These were simpler times, so we had no trouble getting into the hotel, watching people coming, and hanging out in the lobby. We went to the lobby lounge and had a drink (coffee) and some appetizers (deep fried mozzarella sticks). But for some reason the wouldn't let couple of college kids, inappropriately dressed, into the actual ballroom.

After a while, we got tired of waiting around so headed out the side door (that let's you out on T Street (the same location where President Reagan was later shot). Just as we were heading out the door, the Presidential limo pulled up and the door opened. President and Nancy Reagan  were in the backseat and I stepped into the door with my hand outstretched to congratulate him.

I think he was a little (maybe a lot) surprised to see me greeting him as the door opened, but he reached out his hand, but, just then, Secret Service staff grabbed me from behind and firmly placed me well away from the President and Mrs. Reagan.

Ronald Reagan Funeral, June 2004
As I said, those were simpler times when the people could get a little closer to the President (sadly, it also meant that people like John Hinckley could get close to the President).

This inauguration night I'm not heading anywhere near downtown, not that I could get anywhere near the ball!

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