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Read Karl Vick's Interactive Reporter's Notebook, updated from the Inauguration throughout the day today.

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Your Questions, Our Answers

By Karl Vick and Sascha Segan
Monday, January 20 1997
Final update: 8:00 p.m.

Editors Note: Washington Post reporter Karl Vick, WashingtonPost.com producer Sascha Segan and Post photographer Frank Johnston are roaming the inaugural festivities today. Here are their responses to questions from users:

Q: I guess the Prez had to let Newt Standrightbehindhim this time around instead of having him "ride in the back of the bus". And during the prayer, the cameras panned the speaker's way only to find him in a long long yawn. (Think after all he has been through he wouldn't be so bored!)
We think your coverage is outstanding as is the Washington Post's. I was amazed to see how fast the pages were updated.
Thank you for your insight and reporting.....
Best Regards
Phil Lewis, Meridian (just outside Boise) Idaho

Q: This is such a silly question. How does one purchase Inauguration '97 baseball caps? Many thanks
PS I know they exist...I just don't know how to buy them outside of the District.

A: Check the official inaugural site for details about memorabilia.
The Editors

Q: Are the Republicans having any sort of simultaneous party or get together of any kind? I heard Black Tie & Boots was a big party Sat nite, but it might have been more bi- or non-partisan...
Have fun
Tim Thompson

A: Tim
Take a look at Lloyd Grove's story in Style today and this story on the GOP ball.
Karl Vick

Q: Do you have the text of the inaugural poem, "Of History and Hope"?
Roberta Whipple

A: We sure do. Here's the poem.
The Editors

Q: Hey Karl, love your on-the-spot coverage. But what's up with the "jaunty Night of the Living Dead" thing? Sounds like you're trying to walk both sides of the fence with this whole inaugural hullabaloo. Also, loved the pic, but we're a little concerned with your togs. Don't they give you a clothing allowance at the Post?

A: Karl is Minnesotan and that hat is actually very warm. He knows from warm clothes. [Editor's note: We're quite fond of Karl's metaphors, too, thank you very much.]
Sascha Segan

Q: Dear Roving Reporter: WHAT DID Justice Rehnquist say to the President after he finished giving the oath of office? It sounded like "Good luck" but it might have been cut off. Justice Ginsberg said "Best Wishes" but I would like to know if "Good Luck" is a typical admonition in this kind of ceremonial situation. Thanks!
Jean Beu, Madras, India

A: As my story said, we really couldn't hear the oath and the ceremony. We were watching it from a considerable distance on projection screens. Sorry. [Editor's Note: It sounded like 'Good luck' to us, too. We agree that it could be misinterpreted.]
Karl Vick

Q: Karl:
Two questions: 1) Is there any kind of undercurrent swirling around regarding the Gingrich punishment recommendation and its fallout?
2) How do you find the mood in Washington compared to four years ago?
John W. Mahoney

A: 1. Not that I've noticed. People are more into the event for the sake of the event.
2. Less gleeful, more statist.
Karl Vick

Q: Dear Roving Reporter,
Because we greatly admire Thomas Jefferson, we are interested in knowing the items on today's inaugural luncheon menu. We understand that the items are foods which Jefferson had served in his home.
The Walkers

A: We hear that the menu was mostly Virginia (as in Sen. John Warner, chair of the inaugural committee) foods but the toast was made with Kentucky (as in Sen. Wendell Ford, also on the committee) champagne.
Sascha Segan

Q: Where can I get a transcript of President's speech?

A: Got it for you right here.
Karl Vick

Q: Hi Karl,
Will it be possible for non-ticket holders to hear the inaugural address at the capitol. It doesn't look like you can get close enough to see, but I would consider going if I knew I could at least hear the ceremony. Thanks for any information you can provide,
Bud Rorison

A: The inaugural organizers have set up four giant TV screens on the Capitol side of the Mall for those who don't have tickets for the ceremony.
Karl Vick

Q: Will the events on the Mall continue on Monday morning and afternoon? Or were they only open on Saturday and Sunday? I would like to go visit some of the sites but wanted to do it Monday, and I was wondering if I would be able to?
Thom Campbell

A: Sorry, Thom. They're already tearing down the tents. Monday is devoted to the parade and the balls -- which are pretty hefty entertainment, for those who can get tickets.
Sascha Segan

Q: I heard that you will be able to see the event live on the web.. do you know how to hook up for that or what address its going to be on?
William F. Mullins

A: Starting at 11:45 am, it's supposed to be at http://www.inaugural97.org/index.htm. However, the site is having problems this morning, perhaps from high traffic. Try www.graham.com/demos/supertv.cgi, but be warned that it might be slow.
Sascha Segan

Q: Dear Mr. President:
I am very happy that you will accept the oath of office for a second term as president. As a supporter, I wish you and your cabinet as well as family the best of everything for the next four years. God Bless!!
Sincerely with respect,
Kennis Austin

A: We're sure the president appreciates your thoughts.
Karl Vick

Q: We loved the fireworks! They were the best we've seen. How about passing along a suggestion to the Park Service or whoever is responsible for the July 4th fireworks?

Having multiple sights with similar displays synchronized to music is the way to let more people see them. We did the Capitol steps routine last year and will never get into that mob scene again. A disaster waiting to happen.

There are plenty of parks around the area that could afford great vantage points if the fireworks were set off from multiple sights just like last night.

A: We hear the fireworks were supposed to be a once-in-a-lifetime event, but you never know.
Sascha Segan

Q: I am living in Cyprus right now, but used to be a washington resident, working on the hill, etc. Thanks for your great images from the mall. I can envision all that's going on - almost like I'm there. have a good time today!
Lynn McConaughey

Q: Karl... If you're running around the Capitol grounds looking for unique perspectives, interesting stories and juicy tidbits I suggest you look up a few of the Congressional pages.

I served as a page on the Democratic side of the House in 1976-77 under Bill Ford of Michigan and Morgan Murphy of Chicago. I witnessed Jimmy Carter's inauguration...from the day builders began erecting the platform on the east side of the Capitol through the day it was finally removed.

House pages, at least back then, enjoyed access that reporters and lobbiests would murder for. We came and went from the House floor, and more importantly the cloakrooms, at will. We were on a friendly, first-name basis with the Capitol cops and floor doormen.

My memories of Carter's inauguration are from the inside looking out. While Speaker O'Neil and other vip's enjoyed the best seats nearest to the president-elect, they still had to endure the chilly weather. I was stationed, under heavy security, inside the Capitol, just outside the rotunda looking out onto the swearing in ceremony. Many of my fellow pages enjoyed similar positions to witness the event.

Some of the pages started the morning off as they normally would by raising and lowering flags over the Capitol (house side), only to be greeted at the rooftop hatch by secret service agent with weapons drawn.

I'd like to tell a great tale here about the significance of the event and the impression it made on me as an impressionable 17 year old, however, I must admit my memories are foggy at this point. I do have in my possession to this day a pass that i wore around my neck (kind of like an "all access pass" that roadies wear at rock concerts) stating that I was a house employee with access to the Capitol grounds and the building itself.
Ron Jolly

A: Ron, thanks for the advice!
Karl Vick

Q: Hey there:
Minor question, but do you have guidelines on what can and cannot be brought to the Capitol ceremony? Are plastic bottles allowed, things like that? I can't find any clarification--tickets say no coolers, etc. but there are a lot of items that don't seem too harmful...
S Kahn

A: Officials say the main issue at the ceremony will be bags -- don't carry them. It's doubtful you'll be able to bring in anything you can't carry in your pockets, except for cameras.
Sascha Segan

Q: If we're going to the Inauguration itself, will we have enough time after the ceremony ends to get a bite to eat and still see the start of the parade? In other words, what's the gap 'tween end of ceremony and start of parade. Also, any suggestions (where to eat)? Finally, THIS IS A TERRIFIC WEB PAGE!!!
Ed Dougherty, Lyda Drayer, Deborah Drayer, Alyssa Simone Levy-Dougherty

A: According to inaugural press secretary David Seldin, the president has a formal lunch in the Capitol building with Congressional leaders between the swearing-in and the parade. The length of the lunch isn't set but should take about an hour.

Seldin says your best bet for getting things to eat is to try to hit the food courts at Union Station or the Old Post Office, but he also says it may be impossible to move around between the ceremony and the parade. Expect things to be very packed. I suggest you bring sandwiches or you'll never get your seat at the parade.
Sascha Segan

Q: I have heard that many of the tech presenters were "booted" at the last minute. Even NIMH who had invited many people to help present got tossed at the last minute. Some people said that they were set up else where but I couldn't find them. I went down to specificially see some of the ones that I had heard about but no one had any idea where they were. Can you help?
Emily Carton

A: I'm in the Technology Tent right now and NIMH does have a booth here. They're part of the Digital World section. But there's definitely a corporate focus to the presenters. Draw your own conclusions.
Sascha Segan

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