It's a non-political memory. Having been born near the end of 1972, I was really too young to have any appreciation for politics when Reagan was president. I was familiar with the basics of United States government and civics. I know that the President was a very important person and that people got to choose who they wanted to be President every handful of years. I remember my parents having participated in elections.
It was a pretty big deal when my grandfather acquired tickets to the 1985 inauguration ceremony, for Reagan's second term. My grandfather has been involved in the politics of Eastern North Carolina forever -- he's been the mayor of the small town of Columbia, NC in Tyrrell County for as long as I can remember, e.g. -- and would visit our family from time to time when he came up to Washington, D. C. to drop in on his representative in the House. I guess during one of those visits, Congressman Walter Jones (D-NC) gave my grandfather enough tickets for the extended family to attend the ceremony.
When it was time for the inauguration in January of 1985, I was 12. I learned a lot about the history of the inauguration that year, because I ended up writing a letter to the editor of the local TV station suggesting that the inauguration date be moved to July 4. As a twelve year-old, I didn't realize quite the effect that would have had as it relates to having a lame duck president for 8 months instead of 2 -- I just thought it would be more patriotic.
Why did I write the letter to the editor? Because I was sad that the 1985 inauguration outdoor ceremonies were cancelled due to the incredible cold spell that held the nation's capital in its chilly grip. Even though the outdoor ceremonies were cancelled, we ended up going to D.C. anyway. I took advantage of the frozen reflecting pool to slide around like I was skating. It was so cold, the streets were practically empty. There were a few vendors out trying to unload their souvenir buttons and shirts.
So I missed going to Reagan's second inauguration. The TV station ran my letter. I think that somewhere I have a BetaMax tape with them reading it.
Four years later, we were able to attend the Bush inauguration via the same connections we had tickets for the Reagan inauguration. I was older and understood politics better. Our seats weren't nearly as good as they had been four years previously. And my brother, ccohoon, tried to smuggle a single hole punch in his denim jacket, didn't make it through the metal detectors, and was carefully and methodically patted down by several Secret Service Agents who were concerned that he had some sort of weapon. I think they all ended up having a good laugh at the thought of someone trying to assault the President-elect with a hole punch.