• John McGary, Woodford Sun Staff

Woodford man attends Presidential Inauguration

MARK SIMS, a lifelong Versailles resident, drove to Washington, D.C., with his uncle to witness the inauguration of President Trump. With tickets from the office of Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, they were able to get within a few hundred yards of the ceremony. “It was just great to be an American at that moment,” Sims said. (Photo submitted)

As a follow-up to last week’s story about two Midway women who attended the Women’s March on Washington, we sought people who went to the inauguration the day before. Despite reaching out to local elected officials, the Woodford and state Republican parties and U.S. Rep. Andy Barr’s office, we were only able to find one man who attended. This is his story. Mark Sims and his uncle, Robert Bolson, had been to Washington, D.C., once before, as children. Bolson, who lives in Lexington, is only four years older than Sims, and Sims said he’s always been more like an older brother than an uncle. “Basically, we just wanted to be part of history … and we decided we’d go and try to catch the inauguration,” said Sims, 51, a lifelong Versailles resident who’s worked for the Woodford County Road Department for nearly six years. They began the long drive Wednesday evening and arrived in the nation’s capitol the next morning, where Sims said they just “hung out” until it was time to go to a concert at the Lincoln Memorial. That night they stayed in a Maryland suburb, and the next day they took the Metro to D.C. “The massive crowds were unbelievable – just seeing that many people in one location. But what really sticks out is how well the law enforcement and all the security measures kept people flowing as best as possible with that many people coming through,” Sims said. “The crowd was electric. I mean, it was just great to be an American at that moment.” Sims and Bolson had gotten tickets from Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and watched the peaceful transition of power from several hundred yards away. “I’m just awestruck that we can get that close to the leader of this great nation, no matter who it is …” Sims said. Sims said he liked what he heard from the new President. “I enjoyed it. I can’t believe that he went as far as he did, talking about Washington and what’s going on up there, but it’s something that needed to be said, so I really enjoyed it,” Sims said. Sims said the crowd showed its appreciation during the 16-minute speech with loud roars of appreciation and shouts of “Trump, Trump” and “U.S.A.” The Sun spoke with Sims the Friday after the inauguration – six days after President Trump took office. Asked what he thought of the President’s performance during his first week in office, Sims said Trump was sticking to his guns. “He’s being very straightforward. He’s doing what he said he’s going to do. He’s not backing down from anybody, that’s for sure, and he’s not caring who he’s offending,” Sims said, adding that he liked the President’s appointments for Cabinet and other positions. Asked whether he was concerned over President Trump’s continued denials of having lost the popular vote by nearly three million votes, Sims said the media was keeping the controversy fueled more than Trump. The Sun pointed out that it was the President who kept raising the issue in Tweets and speeches. Sims, like the fellow he voted for, stuck to his guns. “He’s a very smart man. He didn’t get to where he was at by being stupid, and I say there’s some truth to it. I don’t know how much, because I’m not there,” Sims said of the President’s claims of massive election fraud. “If the media would let it go, it would go away, but he’s not going to back down from them. He’s not going to back down from anybody, and I think that’s what America needs, is somebody with backbone who’s not afraid to go up against anybody, whether it be his own people or enemies from abroad.” Sims said he noticed quite a difference from the inaugural crowd and that which attended the Women’s March the following day – the women’s marchers were more vulgar and left behind a lot more trash, he said. “I don’t understand what they were protesting, because he is still the President, whether they voted for him or not, and we have to live with that and we have to do whatever we can to make America great,” Sims said. “I think he’s doing a great job. I say, just give him a chance and see what happens, if it doesn’t happen, then vote him out in four years,” Sims said.

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