Union-Tribune

1-21-01

(Page A-7 )

GEORGE W. BUSH INAUGURATION 
San Diegans soak up warmth of day 

By JOE CANTLUPE 
COPLEY NEWS SERVICE 

WASHINGTON -- San Diego Republicans were soakin' up history by day and swingin' by night.

They joined thousands of other Californians who danced to swing bands last night at one of the inaugural balls hours after they endured a cold drizzle as their guy -- George W. Bush -- was sworn in as president.

The San Diegans who attended the events said they were swept up in
inaugural fervor.

"Even though I was sitting in that cold, warmth rumbled through me," said Dick Enberg, the CBS sports broadcaster from Rancho Santa Fe. "Listening to the speech, I was really just so proud."

One of Enberg's buddies and neighbors, Gerald Parsky, added: "It was a fabulous day of dignity."

Parsky, who headed Bush's California campaign, praised the president's inaugural address, saying Bush made a strong case for a "mandate for all the people."

Parsky took the occasion to dispatch any suggestion, though, he would work in the administration of Bush, a longtime friend.

"I like California," he said. "And I really like Rancho Santa Fe."

Parsky and his wife, Robin, and Enberg and his wife, Barbara, mingled with thousands of other Californians at the first inaugural ball held inside the new Ronald Reagan Building.

"Awe-inspiring," said cosmetic surgeon Dr. Robert Singer and his wife,
Julie Harris, referring to Bush's inaugural speech and the day's events.

Other longtime Bush supporters from San Diego at the events included Ron and Georgia Spogli, and Ken Slatterly. Anthony Principi of Rancho Santa Fe, the man Bush selected to be Veterans Affairs secretary, also attended.

There was nary a cowboy hat to be seen, and no boots -- unlike the Texas party for that state's former governor.

But there was red, white and blue raining down all over the cavernous building -- from the multicolored skylights to the primary colors of the
purses and gowns and pumps.

An exuberant Bush, in black tie, and his wife, Laura, in a red gown, made the Reagan Building one of their first stops during a nightlong series of regional celebrations.

The nation's new first couple danced a box step for 40 seconds as the
partygoers from California, Arizona, Kentucky, North Carolina, North
Dakota, South Dakota and Tennessee roared their approval.

"We're happy you came to share in this magnificent day," Bush told the crowd.

Continuing his inaugural theme, "We're serious about our intention to keep the peace," Bush said.

Then, smiling, the 43rd president thought better of it.

"This is not for speeches; it's time for dancing," he said.

The crowd roared yet again.