Reprinted from yesterday's late editions.
Every well-run house should have a neighborhood saloon nearby. It should be the kind of place you can go to relax after a day at work and have a drink with a couple of friends and tell lies to each other.
The Class Reunion, a restaurant on H Street, was that kind of place for a lot of people who worked in the White House, and Tuesday night they decided to put on tuxedos and get together for a farewell party. Bob Dahlgren, who handled the scheduling during the Ford campaign, came up with the idea for black tie and said, "Why not, here we are in a saloon we have been drinking in for a long time and now we are in black tie. It's a study in contrast. We decided to go out in style."
Deputy Director of Communications Bill Rhatican said, "The President was invited but I don't think he'll show up."
To prove that the crowd of 150 to 200 people who drifted in and out were not all Republicans, a voice from a non-partisan newsman rose above the din saying. "You know how you guys lost the election?" And no one bothered to listen.
Gail Duncan, a non-partisan actress, talked about the bar. "I feel comfortable here, it's not a single's bar, one of those places they talk about in gossip. It's comfortable being here. I can sit and feel no one will bother me."
Waitress Ann Garrett, a Republican, just to stop the tears, preferred to talk about a sweet racoon who moved into her house. Garrett felt the loss of her customers was very sad and then she thought about not seeing them again. "The kindest, most gentlemenly men I ever waited on," Garrett said. "Tips were good. Losing them has nothing to do with tips. They were just gentlemen to wait on."
A reporter for The Boston Globe who covered the White House sipped a beer and said, "I'm here because I like these guys. They're a good bunch."