Yesterday it was buses, not limousines: The participants in the unaugural social drama had to get where they were going fast, and together. The family of George and Barbara Bush, 130 strong, required four buses. Some buses served lunch -- with one fleet providing chocolate-dipped, liqueur-marinated strawberries as dessert. At the John Sherman Coopers in Georgetown, over 100 guests on their way home from the day's festivities had choice seats on the balcony for the fireworks display that set off the night's celebrations. For the Gop, yesterday was prelude to an evening of balls. But for the Democrats -- including former vice president Mondale, who was home by midafternoon -- the postlude had already begun.
Vice President George Bush's family, with that of his wife Barbara, filled four buses yesterday as they moved around town to various inaugural events.
"There are about 130 of us," said Bush's sister-in-law Patty Bush of St. Louis, in town with her husband William and their children, "and we're a pretty rowdy bunch."
They were also a hungry bunch, showing up en masse at the luncheon given by the Republican National Committee at the Hay-Adams Hotel for upwards of 1,000 party loyalists. Wearing nametags that read "Bush Family," they came from Texas and Connecticut and points in between. In addition to Bush, they bore such surnames as Pierce, Coles and Clement.
"We've spent the weekend trying to delineate where everybody's from," said Brett Pierce of Rye, N.Y., Barbara Bush's nephew.
Monday night they skipped the Inaugural Gala for a family get-together in Georgetown. Yesterday afternoon they all joined the Bushes at the vice president's house for a family reception. Among them was John Walker, who as U.S. district attorney broke the real-life "French Connection" drug ring. "You're making me a celebrity," said Walker to Bill and Patty Bush. "Pretty soon maybe I can run for office, too."