Swamped by requests for their limited number of tickets to next week's inaugural ceremony. Some area members of Congress have been trying to get additional tickets from colleagues whose constituents live farther away.
Aides to Rep. Joseph L. Fisher (D-Va.) managed to trade 100 congressional calendars for 20 tickets from Rep. Lloyd Meeds (D-Wash.).
But many congressman whose homes are farthest from Capitol Hill can't meet the demands of constituents for tickets. "We are using every last one of them," said an assistant to Guam Del. Antonio Borja Won Pat.
"Tons of people are coming in from Guam," he said, while worrying a bit that the young marchers from the island territory, 9,000 miles from here, may freeze in Washington. "Most of our kids have never seen snow or experienced cold weather. The coldest it ever gets in Guam is in the 50s," he said.
Rep. Marjorie S. Holt (R-Md.) said that she received ticket requests even before November's election. The first request to Sen. Charles McC. Mathias Jr. (R-Md.) came last March.
Most members of Congress have distributed all the tickets they were alloted. House members each were given 100 free tickets to the inaugural ceremony. All but 10 were merely for places to stand. Senators got 198 such tickets. Only 15 of which were for seats.
A Mathias aide said, "We could have used 800 tickets . . . Sen. Harrison Williams (D-N.J.,) sent us a letter asking for extra tickets, and I thought to myself, 'Oh, boy, if he thinks New Jersey is close to Washington, what about Maryland?"
The congressional staffs maintain that they generally distributed the tickets on a first-come, first-served basis. Fisher's office, for example, sent a ticket to an Oakton man who wrote, "I have been very active in the election campaigns of various men in this election year, including your opponent."
Area members of Congress also have long since sold their allotments of inaugural-party and parade-seat tickets, although the price for either was $25. Each senator had only 15 party and eight parade tickets available, while representatives were given eight.
Though there are to be other inaugural events, people coming to Washington for the festivities tend especially to want to attend one of the six inaugural parties or balls. "We could have used 10 times our allotment of tickets," said assistant to Sen. Harry P. Byrd Jr. (I-Va.)
An aide to Sen. Mike Grawel (D-Alaska) said she wasn't sure what she would tell those Alaskans who pay $550 for round-tip flights to Washington only to discover that they can't get tickets to attend the ceremony and will have to take their chances on finding standing room to watch the parade.
One of those en route is Norman E. Vaughan, 72, an Anchorage musher of a sled-dog and his dozen huskies. Vaughan had merely forwarded a brief message to Grawel's office: "Tell me where to report." Fortunately, a place in the parade was found for him.
Some Republicans from distant districts report little interest among their constituents. Rep. Barry M. Goldwater Jr. (R-Calif.), for example, plans to give his extra tickets to California Democrats.
Realizing that the number of tickets is limited, most disappointed constituents have been understanding.
"Well, it's probably going to be snowing and 29 degrees, and I'm better off sitting at home watching it on TV anyway," said one who unsuccessfully sought tickets from Rep. Newton I. Steers Jr. (R-Md.)