The last chapter of the second session of the 101st Congress was writ when the last page was counted in the Congressional Record earlier this month. That was Page 35,523. Yes, 35,523 pages in one year, which, at the government's calculated 1990 cost of $485 per page, is $17,228,655 worth of words for poster- ity and the folks back home.

The members of the 102nd hit the chambers talking. By the end of Day 1, they'd already filled 290 pages -- commenting on pressing issues, in- troducing bills and honoring 78 individuals for getting honors, or taking office, or leaving office, or going to their great reward.

We're inspired. So many words, so little space here. We wish we could share them all, but, alas, we must be selective.

The opening day honors, from the top:

Tribute of the Day to Rep. John Bryant of Texas, who managed to fill nearly two pages in one stroke by inserting a newspaper account of the Dallas Police Department's annual awards -- all 41 of them, right down to the Johnny Sides Rookie of the Year Runners-up.

A Crimefighter's Citation to Rep. Ron Marlenee of Mon- tana for reintroducing the Hunter Protection Act, special legislation aimed at stopping antihunting activists' "mali- cious assaults on the American tradition of hunting."

The Guns Don't Kill Hunters Award to Rep. Philip M. Crane of Illinois for his call for congressional "reaffirmation" of the Second Amendment. (We're so fond of this idea we'd like to suggest reaffirmation of the entire Bill of Rights.)

The Poetry Prize to Rep. Curt Weldon of Pennsylvania for "A Few Lines From Desert Shield," two poems by members of the Delco Poets Cooperative, Delaware County, Pa.

The Good for Business Award to Rep. Robert J. Mrazek of New York for his statement recognizing the Hauppauge High School chapter of the Distributive Education Clubs of America "for its participation in Free Enterprise Week from January 13-19, 1991, as part of the Phillips Free Enterprise project."

The I'll Second That Award to Rep. Robert H. Michel of Illinois. Michel was going to tell his colleagues why Judge Joe Billy McDade deserved the Bradley University Distinguished Alumni Award for 1990. But after reading Joe Billy McDade's acceptance speech, Michel decided his points would be better expressed through McDade's "own eloquent words," and so had the entire speech inserted into the record.

The Idea Whose Time Has Come Prize, awarded jointly to Rep. Bob Stump of Arizona and Rep. Richard T. Schulze of Pennsylvania for introducing separate constitutional amendments to limit congressional terms.