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Inauguration Watch: A cold morning at the U.S. Capitol

By mpal
Monday, January 19th, 2009 at 8:18 pm in Uncategorized.

Reporter Meera Pal is currently living in Washington, D.C. and keeping an eye on Inauguration events. 

11 a.m.: It’s a balmy 30 degrees at the U.S. Capitol when I meet up with Tim Farley, St. Mary’s College Director of Community & Government Relations, along with his son, Vincent, 14, and two of Vincent’s friends, Cristophe Carjuzaa, 15, and Jack Delehanty, 16. The three boys are talking about how cold it is; none of them are wearing gloves, and Cristophe doesn’t have a jacket. 

11:10 a.m.: The five of us walk over to the Cannon House Office Building, where Farley plans to drop off several letters from SMC President Brother Ron Gallagher to Congressman Jerry McNerney, D-Pleasanton, Congressman George Miller, D-Martinez and Congresswoman Ellen Tauscher, D-Alamo. 

11:30 a.m.: Farley and friends are still waiting in line, along with several thousands of other people who are braving the freezing temperatures to pick up Inauguration tickets. The line is moving, but getting through security slows things down. Still, everyone appears to be in good spirits, talking about President Obama.

11:45 a.m.: Some distraction and excitement when Jack is interviewed on camera by a photojournalist from the Chicago Sun-Times newspaper. 

12:10 p.m.: On their way into the Cannon Office Building, the group is surprised to see Rep. John Lewis, the last remaining speaker from the historic March on Washington and the last remaining of the Big Six leaders of the Civil Rights Movement. Lewis is gracious enough to stop and take photographs with those who ask.

12:15 p.m.: Farley and the three boys finally enter the Cannon Building, thrilled to be out of the cold and warming up. He takes them to McNerney’s office where, Communications Director Andy Stone greets the group. Just as Farley is about to leave, Congressman McNerney walks out of his office. He greets the group, and Farley extends an invitation to visit St. Mary’s College.

12:30 p.m.: Farley leads the boys to the basement of the Cannon Building and to the tunnel system, which the teens find fascinating. A series of walkways, escalators and ramps leads visitors to the Rayburn and Longworth buildings.

12:50 p.m.: Shortly before 1 p.m., Farley and the group are off to the cafeteria in the Rayburn building, which is actually known as one of the better dining establishments. We part ways and talk about trying to connect tomorrow, Inauguration Day.

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