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Inauguration Day 2013 Blog

Inauguration Day 2013 Blog

January 14th, 2013 in News

Governor Nixon riding in the 2013 Missouri inauguration parade in Jefferson City, MO. January 14 2013.

Photo by Kurt Becker

Editor's note: News Tribune reporter Olivia Ingle has accepted the Inaugural Day challenge of hitting every event of Inauguration 2013. She will be chatting with those at the events, taking in the atmosphere and offering a few personal commentaries.


It's time to bring this blog to a close. I will be attending the Grand March and the Inaugural Ball in the Capitol Rotunda this evening, but you'll have to wait until tomorrow's edition of the News Tribune to score all of the details.

This Inauguration Day, though exhausting, has been one to remember. It is the first government inauguration I have covered as a reporter. I enjoyed interacting with the public and telling their stories.

Some posts were more light-hearted than others, but they all carry a similar message - one of patriotism for Missouri and for America.

I'll leave you with one parting message, words that I believe are relevant to anyone, no matter the work they do or how they spend their time. They are the parting words of Gov. Nixon's inaugural address.

"Our time here is fleeting, but the work we do will endure," he said. "May God almighty guide us in our work."


The first things I noticed when I entered the Missouri Barbecue Showcase and Reception in the Sedalia Room at Capitol Plaza Hotel were the mason jars on the tables and "Country Strong" playing through the speakers. You wouldn't expect anything else at a barbecue, right?

It seemed the barbecue was a venue for people to take a breather from the day's events, enjoy some food and chat with friends, family and colleagues.

I sat down with a group of four women, all of them from Columbia, except for one. Cathy Rakov was from the Florida Keys and traveled to Jefferson City to support her son, Abe Rakov, chief of staff for Secretary of State Jason Kander.

"It's really been just fabulous," Rakov said. "I really loved the Star Spangled Banner at the Inauguration. I have never heard it that elegantly sung."

Rakov's tour guide for the day was Nancy Wilson. During the few minutes I spoke with the women, someone walked up to Wilson and mistook her for U.S. Sen. Claire McCaskill.

"It happens all the time," Wilson said as she did an impersonation of McCaskill. "Sometimes I try to speak like her, but I can't do it."

Wilson has been to every Missouri inauguration since the late 1970s.

"There's something about sitting there and watching with the audience," she said. "I always have to be there and have to find someone to come with me."

Rakov, Wilson and the two other women, Darlene Johnson and Debbie Daniels, chatted about this evening's Inaugural Ball and how they need to make it a point to see each other at the event. Each woman glowed with anticipation.

"I love it," Wilson said of Inauguration Day. "I love every minute of it. The whole thing."


I was at the Governor's Mansion for about 15 minutes, the time it took me to be escorted in, observe for 10 minutes and be escorted out.

I wasn't allowed to interview anyone, but I was there when House Speaker Tim Jones visited Gov. Nixon and First Lady Georganne with his family. Jones was with his wife, Suzanne, their two daughters and his mother-in-law. The two little girls clutched their Mizzou winter hats. The little one didn't want her picture taken when it was time for a photograph with the governor.

The inside of the mansion is extravagant, with high ceilings, pillars and a piano playing stately music. Because of the lavishness of the rooms, the event seemed formal, until guests were able to speak to Gov. Nixon and the first lady. The couple chatted with guests as if they'd been lifelong friends.

But, I guess some of them probably were.


I'll admit, today's festivities have put me into an extremely patriotic mood. From my understanding, that's one of the purposes of Inauguration Day.

The day gives everyone a time to celebrate and raises spirits for the lawmaking months ahead.

From the patriotic tunes to the military flyover, many parts of the Inauguration Ceremony were steeped in tradition. In tradition, St. Peter Catholic Church's bell rings 12 times when the clock strikes noon. Then the governor may take the Oath of Office.

There was a slight glitch in today's bell ringing. It rang eight times, and Senate President Pro Tem Tom Dempsey stepped to the podium for the swearing in of Gov. Nixon. The bell then proceeded to ring four more times. Dempsey went to sit back down, but the moment was a light-hearted one for the crowd. Many of them knew he shouldn't

have stood up yet. It goes to show that people come to know and expect tradition.

Roger and Lesia Mayfield traveled from Houston to experience that tradition firsthand.

"We enjoyed it, and we're glad we came even on a cold day," Lesia said. "It really puts everyone in the spirit and makes me glad to be an American."

This inauguration was the first one Don Gerling has attended. The Jefferson

City resident said it's great such an important event can take place in such

a beautiful city.

"It's great to support the governor whether we like him or not," Gerling

said. "It's all the more better with the river, garden and the historic



I've seen ladies sporting a lot of stylish outerwear today, but I'm most impressed by the lavish fur coats. They allow the ladies to be stylish, but warm.

Jeanie Bryant of Jefferson City wore her Oscar de la Renta mink coat, given to her by her husband, Jim, for former Gov. John Ashcroft's inauguration.

Jeanie twirled around to reveal the back of her designer coat.

Close friends with the Nixons, the Bryants look forward to attending the Inaugural Ball this evening.


Despite the freezing temperature, families of band members traveled to Jefferson City to watch their loved ones march in the Inaugural Parade.

Tom Riley, traveled from Kansas City to watch his son march with Marching Mizzou.

"It's a great day for a parade," Riley said half jokingly. He said the cold beats 100 degrees any day.

Cathy Mobley and her children were watching her daughter, also a Marching Mizzou.

Dr. Kenneth and Brenda DeCoursey woke up at 3 a.m. to travel to Jefferson City to watch their daughter as co-drum major for Jackson High School.

"This is prestigious for them," Brenda said. "They don't usually march anywhere but home."


The Governor's Worship Service was a simple affair. The only adornment was a vase of pink and white flowers between the altar and the pew where Gov. Nixon and his family sat.

The Service was much like the Governor's Prayer Breakfast last week. The breakfast set the tone for the session, much like today's service set the tone for Inauguration Day.

First Baptist Church, where the service was held, wasn't full. Approximately 150 people filled the pews. Five Jefferson City clergy members played one role or another in the service.

The Rev. Daniel Hilty, senior pastor of First United Methodist Church, delivered a sermon depicting what it means to be a good neighbor, showing love and compassion to one another, no matter one's faith.

"How we relate to the neighbors God has given us is one of faith's most fundamental questions," Hilty said.

He said it allows one to think in new ways and allows one to see new perspectives.

Rep. Steve Hodges, D-East Prairie, said the service had a powerful message.

"It was a wonderful message of what we do as lawmakers," he said.

Former state Senate and Minority Leader Maida Coleman said the service brought state leaders together to remind them what their job is about.

"We take Christian values into the legislative session," she said. "We're doing what Christ teaches us."

You can follow Olivia on Twitter at @Olivia_Ingle