Taking the Oath

Fairfield, like most towns, has its set of observances, parades and celebrations but we don’t really do a lot of pomp and circumstance away from the schools. Inauguration is different and last night, 81 one of us took the oath of office.

The event began with an hour of music, half by Dave Samuels, formerly of Spyro Gyra, and Alain Mallet; the other half was the Highland Rovers, renamed Keltic Kick. People filtered in during that time and there was much chatting, handshaking and back slapping going on in the lobby.

Deb, her mom, and Robbie arrived at eight and joined the milling crowd outside the high school auditorium. At one point Attorney General Richard Blumenthal came by to say hi, never one to miss an event, and that was a nice moment. By 8, we entered and caught the final two Irish songs. Then, Leo Redgate, a prominent citizen, took over as master of ceremonies. He introduced the color guard, consisting of representatives from the fire and police departments. The two chiefs led us in the pledge followed by the acapella high school group Close Harmony handling the National Anthem.

Reverend Bela Poznan performed the invocation and this was interesting only in that he is the father to one of Kate’s high school pals and I’d never seen him before. After that, the two Selectmen were given the oath of office followed by a second musical selection, “I want you Back.”

Our Town Clerk, Betsy Browne was then given her oath and she then took over the podium, bringing up the rest of the elected folk by office. Seven sets of people took their oath prior to the ten Representative Town Meeting districts. Those of us in District 8 looked particularly dashing as district resident Sue Barrett and her father Bill Barrett saw to it we all had boutonnières and corsages.

Now, those who may recall two years ago, Betsy told me afterwards she was tempted to give me the Vulcan salute when I took my first oath. Well, last night, as we stood before her in a semi-circle, her fingers splayed and I returned the salute – a first in Connecticut no doubt. Deb says from her seat she could tell that Betsy seemed ready to burst in laughter as we had our moment.

Once we were all sworn in, the other high school’s acapella group, Talisman, sand “Vive L’Amour” and were a delight. Ken Flatto was given the oath by Secretary of State Susan Bysiewicz and Blumenthal. I do appreciate the comments they made about all of us who ran, even the “runners up” since it takes time, effort and commitment to do this. Flatto echoed it and asked the long-suffering spouses of the elected officials to rise for a moment of recognition.

Ken then read his speech which had three interesting initiatives attached, which already was putting the RTM to work – and we haven’t even organized yet. That comes next Monday which should also be interesting as we select leadership and receive our committee assignments.

Afterwards there was more chatting, handshaking and back slapping but it was all good. Despite some of the schmaltziness, it was a night I thoroughly enjoyed.

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