January 17, 2009

Bristolites ready to party as Obama takes charge

When President-elect Barack Obama gave his speech at the Democratic National Convention in Denver last summer, 25-year-old Marcus Mrowka was watching.
On Election Night, the Bristol native stood in the crowd in Chicago listening to Obama address his historic victory.
And Tuesday, when Obama takes the oath of office in the nation’s capital, Mrowka will again be among the throng.
“It continues this ride,” said the 2001 Bristol Eastern High School graduate. “That’s why I came to D.C. and got involved in politics.”
Mrowka is just one of a number of Bristol residents and natives who plan to be on hand to witness Obama’s Inauguration. Though he lives there, most of the others are heading south this weekend to join the festivities.
“It’s the place to be,” said Democratic city Councilor Craig Minor, who’s taking the train with his wife, Laura Minor. “This is the most historic event I’ll ever see, probably.”
“I have to agree with you,” interjected city Councilor Mike Rimcoski, a Republican who’s going to watch on television.
Breeann Redman, a 16-year-old junior at Eastern, is also going to Washington for the festivities.
“I’m very excited, just to see this history even happen is so exciting,” she said.
Auctioneer Tim Chapulis said he knows what it’s like.
He said he stood in “an ocean of people” to see President Bill Clinton’s Inauguration. He liked it so much he returned in 1997 to see the start of Clinton’s second term.
The crowds were packed in “all around the Capitol,” Chapulis said. “There’s not a car in sight. Just people.”
He said he attended one of the inaugural balls at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts where he got to see the Clintons. But he also eyeballed many other famous faces, even O.J. Simpson’s defense attorney, Johnny Cochran.
“It was great. It’s so full of history there,” Chapulis said.
Bruce Lydem, a former City Council candidate, said he’s heading to Washington, too, hoping to stand there “at the crossroads of history.”
Lydem, a union official, said that Obama’s status as the nation’s first black president makes the change so special. It’s “a part of history,” he said, and he’s excited to have the chance to participate.
Mrowka, who works for a union, said he used to listen to the stories of great leaders that his parents and grandparents remembered. He said he thought “maybe we’re not going to get one” in this generation.
But now, he said, he sees hope.
“We definitely have someone who fits the times,” Mrowka said.
He said that after seeing and hearing Obama a number of times, including some campaign rallies last year, he knows how inspiring the next president can be.
Obama has a remarkable ability to “move people” with his words. “It’s inspiring,” Mrowka said.
“For him to light up a crowd, I’ve just never seen anything like it,” Mrowka said.
Minor said he wound up with two coveted tickets to get up close during the Inauguration thanks to U.S. Rep. John Larson, the East Hartford Democrat who represents Bristol.
Minor said that he mentioned his plans to go to the event to Mayor Art Ward during a municipal conference in Cheshire one day. The mayor told Minor he’d just turned down the tickets from the congressman and “without breaking a beat” offered to try to land them for Minor.
It worked out.
“It helps to have friends in high places,” Minor said.
It’s also good to have friends who live in Washington, he said, so he and his wife have somewhere to stay.
Redman is staying at the Hilton Hotel as part of the Presidential Youth Inaugural Conference, a five-day educational event that includes attendance at the Inauguration and one of the balls. She’ll also get a chance to hear from such political leaders as former Secretary of State Colin Powell and former Vice President Al Gore.
Redman said she’s eager to meet some “important people” and to see history unfold in front of her.
Mrowka said he’s got his tuxedo and he’s ready to have a good time at the ball, which will be his first.
He said he’d like to see Barack and Michelle Obama at the ball, one of a handful the new president will attend during the evening following the swearing-in.
That’s why he’s going, Mrowka said.
“It’s not for the cheese cubes,” he added.

PS: I'd love to hear from anyone with Bristol ties who is in Washington or has some connection to the festivities during the next few days.
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Copyright 2009. All rights reserved.
Contact Steve Collins at scollins@bristolpress.com

17 comments:

Anonymous said...

This is alll about race, not substance...how pathetic.

Anonymous said...

Did you ask Tim Chapulis why he's not going to Obama's inaugural?

Anonymous said...

This is our first black president! Does anything else matter? We finally have a president with black skin. Let's party!

Anonymous said...

Doesn't anyone work anymore? That's where I'll be.

Anonymous said...

January 17, 2009 7:43 PM:

Obviously not the core Obama supporters.

Tim Gamache said...

While I did vote for the man,I do have a little trouble with this whole "rock star" thing.Only if he can bring an end to the stagnation partisan politics has caused in DC will it have been worth my vote.We'll see.I guess.

Anonymous said...

It seems like a waste of money in this poor economy. It's fun and all, but that money could be spent on people who are needy. In fact, it's almost a slap in the face to them.

Anonymous said...

Didn't the Dems clamor for Bush to tone down the inaugural hoopla four years ago? My, how things change. All you need is your man to be the one elected, and all of a sudden it's okay to ignore the financial mess and party it up.

Reality Hurts said...

4:44 - hurts when it affects you, doesn't it? At least we know that this President was truly elected and not stuffed down our throats.

Anonymous said...

Hello, 6:20, election fraud!

Anonymous said...

My goodness!
A happy event...a momentous occasion..and Bristol bloggers can only bitch & complain!
I hope the Bristol folks at the Inaugural continue to send us first hand information of this wonderful event.
Isn't it great that a 25 year old is able to participate....go Marcus!

tyrany of the majority 51% said...

Talk about being "stuffed down our throats"!

Let's hope Community Organizer Obama has something to back up all the hype. My guess is that he will rely heavily on others.

Others Also said...

8:29 - it's called "delegation" meaning trust with others - something that we have been missing for the last 8 years.

AnonymousWestconnStudent said...

Talk about being "stuffed down our throats"!

Let's hope Community Organizer Obama has something to back up all the hype. My guess is that he will rely heavily on others.




HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA

Cause the President with a MBA relied on such great people in his White House.


Steve,

I have a friend (sic) of mine (but not from Bristol) going to the Inaugural. I'll see if I can get some words for her if you want.

Anonymous said...

After the hype, what do you have? A nice package, a lot of arrogance, but what else? I hope there's something more, because we're going to need it.

Anonymous said...

8:29 I've never known of anyone who ran a country on their own.
Maybe you counld tell me

Anonymous said...

4:15 you sound like you are living in a different world. Who made it about race humans and their stupid, who have got to leave with that consequence humans. So i ask you, what have you don in the last years of yoour life that ensures the future won't be about race?????