Jason Jakubowski had the chance of a lifetime – at least the first chance in his lifetime – to observe Monday's Inauguration Day festivities from an almost front-row seat.
"We were really pretty close," Jakubowski said. He was able to snap some close-up photos of Pres. Obama, Vice Pres. Biden, and other inauguration moments with just a "little bit of a zoom lens," he said.
Jakubowski, a West Hartford resident who earned the privilege of a reserved seat because he also served as one of only seven Connecticut residents to officially vote for president and vice president in 2012, said that attending the inauguration was "an amazing experience."
Although the crowd was smaller than it was for Pres. Obama's first inauguration four years ago, Jakubowski said it still stretched all the way from the Capitol to the Washington Monument – a distance of 1.2 miles.
He said it was great to experience the history and politics of the moment, as well as the "pomp and circumstance." Jakubowski, who was also present at the 2012 Democratic Convention, said, "If a presidential convention is like a rock concert – which it is – then the inauguration is like a symphony."
Jakubowski works as Vice President of Government Relations at the Hospital for Special Care in New Britain and is also an adjunct professor at several local colleges. The self-proclaimed history buff admired how scripted the day's activities were, and loved how the ceremony is so rooted in history and has remained largely unchanged for centuries.
But he enjoyed the other aspects of Inauguration Day as well.
"The history part was great, but besides that it's not every day you can go to a James Taylor/Kelly Clarkson/Beyonce concert!" he said.
And the weather was not as cold as he dreaded it might be. "It got colder as the day went on, but it wasn't that bad. I did estimate that I was wearing an extra 13 pounds of clothes, though."