"I'm still in awe," says Steven Shoob. "I still get goose pimples when I come to work."
Shoob never imagined he'd be going to work in the Executive Office Building, have his own office there, in fact.
"When I was in Americus (at Georgia Southwestern College) I was a revolutionary," he says. "I use the word in the loosest sense." He says he means he was especially vocal in civil rights and anti-war causes. "I never saw myself in a political position, although this is about as non-political a position as you can get. It's all very strange."
Shoob, 26, holds the title of White House staff assistant and says his job is trying to improve the White House mail operation. He says he is "the instrument by which things get done, the implementer."
He was found on his knees in a vacant office next to his, making a large poster showing how the mail flows in and out of the White House.
Shoob has become slightly more formal since he worked in the mail room at the Carter transition headquarters. He's taken to wearing a tie and, of course, he has a large black chair to sit in behind his desk.
His office is tastefully furnished with two comfortable chairs and a small sofa. Since it's an inside room on the first floor, he is able to see only a relatively small patch of sky from his window. Still, it's the EOB, a long way from the first job he held with Carter when he left college in 1971 after his junior year, as a "gofer."
He says he like Washington and may even reinstitute the singing telegram service he began in Atlanta. Shoob writes folk songs, particularly folk rock, "Repo Boogie" being his latest. It has to do with "repossession - what you do as the creditor, is chasing you down the street."
An aspiring actor with some minor roles to his credit in Savannah and Atlanta. Shoob says he began his Atlanta singing service to help support his family - he's married and has a 4-year-old daughter - and to keep his song writing sharp. "I'd write original work, knock at someone's house at a predetermined time with my guitar, and burst into song."
He says he did just this a Jimmy Carter's home last fall on the occasion of the president's birthday.
"The trouble is if someone up here said to come to such and such an address I'd have trouble finding it," he says. So he spends his spare time learning the city and most of his evenings writing music.
Some evenings he goes over to his good friend Chip Carter's house, which is to say, the White House. And Chip goes over to Shoob's place, which he describes as an inexpensive apartment near Capitol Hill.
Chip's house has the bowling alley. And the movie theater. Shoob says he likes to bowl there and has watched "several movies" with the President and his family.
A former classmate of Chip's at Georgia Southwestern College, Shoob says he lived with the younger Carters on Jackson Place NW when he "ran out of money" shortly before the inauguration. He spent most of the transition period living at the rooming house, Hartnett Hall.
Shoob says the cost of living in Washington is still a problem for him. He's hoping his wife finds a job soon. Meanwhile, he's begun riding a bicycle to work. "I have a six-cylinder car that's running on five cylinders," he says.
Shoob sees himself moving on eventually to pursue his interest in music or acting. He says he'll probably to back to Georgia, or, if he gets the break he's looking for, New York. He's begun to think anything's possible.