How do federal government workers watch a parade?
By the book, friend, by the book.
"I had to submit to the Secret Service a form on every 'body' that was going to be in this building on inaugural day, with date and place of birth, grandmother's name and son on, by Jan. 10," said Stan Shapiro, who handled the parade paperwork for the Treasury Department and was among the parade watchers in the ocnate building on Pennsylvania Avenue near the White House.
While the streets below were lined with lively, spontaneous crowds, federal workers who wanted to watch the parade from a warm perch in their own offices went to their assigned windows.
Guards kept the "un-papered" outside.
Shapiro estimated that between 800 and 1,000 "bodied" were able to watch the parade from inside. "The windows are 4 feet high and 3 feet wide, and I've assigned four or five people to each window," he said. When the spaces ran out, he had to send countless other people "memos of regret."
"We've got a great mix of the old crew (outgoing) and the new crew (incoming)," Shapiro said, "It was all handled on a first-come, first-served basis, no favoritism."
He said he even prepared forms on the guests of Treasury Secretary-designate E. Michael Blumenthal.
Still, "everybody went crazy" when the new president went by , according to office secretary Pat Kobonski, who watched from an upper floor.
At the Department of Justice a lawyer watching the parade from her fourth-floor windows at 19th Street and Pennsylvania Avenue NW said the mood in the building was "pretty quiet. Our passes said we shouldgo to our rooms and stay there I did hear a child run up and stay there. I did hear a child run up and down the hall once . . . Actually it's been terrific - and warm."
The Justice Department had planned to close the building, a spokesman said, but decided to open it because of the demand. Employees who worked in the choice offices overlooking the parade route got first crack at the building passes. The day before the parade, more than 100 employees from other parts of the building stood in line for several hours, the spokesman said, for the leftover passes.
Security procedures continued long after the President had walked by, and they varied from building to building.TheFBI's Hoover Building was closed to employees, according to a security guard. The only employees looking out those windows, a choice parade-watching location, were the security guards.
In other nonfederal buildings along the parade route, upper windows were packed with revelers, while street-level establishments were open for business. In these places, security was "looser." If it existed at all, according to a Secret Service man.
"We should have had the day off," grumped Wanda Stidam, a clerk at a Drug Fair on Pennsylvania Avenue, as she craned her neck to see the floats from her post behind the cash register.
Down the street, the Sigalas brothers, Spiros and Loui, have been hearing inaugural parades pass by for the past 26 years. But, as proprietors of the Hickory House restaurant, they almost never get to see them.This time, as always, they were busy dispensing not pastrami sandwiches and Loui's Lulu hamburgers to hungry and cold tourists.