If you go
What: Routt County Democrats
When: 6 p.m. today
Where: Lynn Abbott's house, 140 Park Ave.
Routt County Democrats held a breakfast viewing of Barack Obama's inauguration Tuesday morning at The Tap House.
Steamboat Springs Lynne Marr didn't get a chance to watch her old classmate take the oath of office Tuesday.
Marr, a Steamboat Springs resident, attended the Punahou School in Honolulu with President Barack Obama, whom she knew as Barry. Obama started at the college preparatory school when Marr was in fifth grade, she said. Both were members of the Class of 1979, and Obama was an acquaintance of Marr's. She was Lynne Schoen in those days.
Marr was traveling Tuesday and couldn't watch the ceremony.
"We were a very close class," she said. "Our motto was 'the class that shines,' and we all graduated together and all went on our ways, and he went off to do great things."
About 150 people gathered in TV-lined rooms to watch one of those great things at the Tap House Sports Grill. When CNN journalists announced that Obama was officially the 44th president of the United States, soft but unmistakable sounds of sniffles drifted through the restaurant.
The Routt County Democratic Party organized the breakfast. The mood was festive but calmed as Obama's swearing-in approached. The calm gave way to teary eyes, and someone passed around a box of tissues.
Jimmy and Marianne Capra brought their daughters, 3-year-old Wren and 1-year-old Lucy. Wren attended the caucuses last year with her parents, and Lucy was born one week later, Marianne Capra said. The parents said they were happy to share the historic Inauguration with their daughters.
"I remember very clearly my mother discussing coming to tears listening to John F. Kennedy, and I thought that was crazy - this is politics," Jimmy Capra said. "But today, I felt that."
Marianne Capra said Obama's words were incredible.
"I felt like every big idea in his speech is one I've had in my soul," she said.
Even the girls participated. Lucy gurgled along when Aretha Franklin sang "My Country 'Tis of Thee," and Wren joined in the "Obama" chant.
A couple of families visiting from North Carolina also found their way to the Tap House.
"We were looking for something where we could be with other people and enjoy this," Sharon McConnell said. She brought her daughter along.
Elaine Nanney, also of North Carolina, came with her husband, daughter and son. Grace Nanney, 9, said she was excited to watch the festivities.
"'Cause it's history," she said. "I'm just a little kid."
"You might remember this for the rest of your life," Elaine Nanney told her.
"Exactly," Grace replied.
Lynne Garell and the Routt County Democrats organized the Tap House event. She was still emotional after Obama left the stage.
"I can't not cry," Garell said. "You know, just personally being here, it was a wonderful thing to share with all these people who made this happen. I've been waiting for this day for a long time."
Marr remembered an Obama who was less serious than the man who spoke Tuesday about the challenges facing the country. He was a joker and friendly, she said. She and her classmates from Punahou have supported him for years, Marr said. The school's marching band performed in the Inauguration Day parade.
"He's a very eloquent speaker, and I have great hopes for him," she said. "You know, I hope he stays center and open. If I saw him today, that's what I'd say to him."
Tap House co-owner Gary Saxe said he was pleased with the morning event. His restaurant doesn't typically serve breakfast, he said, so the Inauguration required some extra effort from his staff.
"I was never concerned, whether they had 20 people or 150 people, it was something I felt we could do for the county," Saxe said.
Catherine Carson, chairwoman of the Routt County Democratic Party, reminded everyone to keep pitching in. The community must unite, volunteer and work together for the country, she said.
Many people seemed to leave inspired.
"How could we not follow him with all of our hearts - and hope?" Jimmy Capra said.