Despite Limousine Gridlock and Arctic Air, the Inauguration Was a Grand Old Party
All this celebrating caused some problems, of course. First there was the limousine gridlock that paralyzed the more fashionable streets and impeded the smooth flow of mirth. Then there was the social incest: At every fete, you'd see those same old faces—Margaret and Armand and Cap and Meese. Still, the tenacious reveler reaped ample rewards. Food, for instance. A random sample: ratatouille, oysters on the half shell, zucchini and peppers in pâté, sliced salmon and mini-bagels, truffles and, of course, caviar—caviar in cucumber circles, caviar atop smoked salmon and just plain old caviar on toast. And then there was dessert. At the Ford Motor Company's party, dessert was a huge cake decorated like the American flag, flanked by herds of chocolate elephant cookies—a veritable symphony of pastry and patriotism, carried by four "standard-bearers" and ceremonially sliced by Federal Reserve Chairman Paul Volcker.
But this high-tone fun is real hard work and it can plumb tucker a man out. That's why Defense Secretary Caspar Weinberger fell asleep while Armand Hammer was accepting a medal at the Corcoran Gallery party. "These are great events," Cap said at the NBC brunch the next morning. "It's lucky they only come every four years."
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