Climax man attends Trump inauguration

Published 6:32 pm Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Three weeks before U.S. President Donald Trump’s inauguration in Washington D.C., Climax resident Chris Beaty made up his mind that he was going.

His daughter’s family lives in Maryland, and Beaty decided he would visit with them and attend the inauguration on Friday, Jan. 20. So he applied for tickets through U.S. Representative Sanford Bishop’s office. A little less than two weeks out, he got an email saying two tickets were his.

But whether the tickets came or not, he was going rregardless.

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“I’m tired of politicians running the country,” Beaty said. “I’m ready for a businessman to try it. Our country should be ran as a business.”

The morning of the inauguration, Beaty and his daughter’s coworker left the house at 2 a.m., arrived at the metro station at 3 a.m., waited for it to open at 4 a.m. and rode it to the gate entrance assigned to him by his tickets. By 4:30 a.m., Beaty was waiting in front of the gate with barely a hundred other people.

With roughly an hour and a half to go until the entrance was open for him to pass through, he opened a small $5 fold-up chair he bought at Walmart the night before and waited. Within the hour, 100 people turned into more than 100,000.

The weather was cold. Rain was sprinkling and it was misty and wet. None of it bothered Beaty.

“I met people from Alaska, California,” Beaty said. “People came from all over the United States. I met three guys from Norway.”

Beaty said he particularly connected with three recent North Carolina graduates, who he stood with the entire time until the gates opened.

Once he was inside and standing with the view of Capital Hill before him, Beaty waited some more.

“You couldn’t breathe there were so many people,” Beaty said. “We stood in the same spot from when we got through all the checkpoints and when we got our standing spot. We didn’t move until it was over. That’s five and a half hours. I’ve had nine back surgeries and 12 knee surgeries and I did not move. There wasn’t any going to the bathroom, or anything. You stood.”

For Beaty, the experience was unlike any other. As a 47-year-old, the Climax resident has seen and heard many inauguration speeches from U.S. presidents.

“I have wanted to believe a lot of them,” Beaty said. “I don’t know if it was hearing it live, but let me tell you, the hair was standing up on your arms, the blood was pumping in your veins. You believed it.”