South Jersey man to attend his 19th inauguration

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This is the story of a South Jersey man who will likely be one of the oldest people at the inauguration Friday, and perhaps the most experienced "inauguration goer." (WPVI)

This is the story of a South Jersey man who will likely be one of the oldest people at the inauguration ceremony Friday, and perhaps the most experienced "inauguration goer".

Ninety-one-year-old Harold Smick of Elsinboro showed us his invitation and tickets to the Donald Trump inaugural.

This will be his 19th inauguration - he's been to everyone since he was a boy of 15 and watched Franklin Delano Roosevelt sworn in, in 1941.

"I love politics and I love government and I love my country. I'm just thrilled and honored to be a part of history," said Smick.

Smick is a Democrat who voted for Hillary Clinton, but he's keeping his mind open about President-elect Trump.

"I'm gonna give him a chance. He's different from any president we've ever had," said Smick.

Over the years, the lumber store owner, who still goes to work every day, has collected all kinds of inaugural memorabilia, and the signatures of every single president all the way back to George Washington.

To be clear, he wasn't there at Washington's.

"No, I missed it by a few years. I even missed Lincoln's," Smick said jokingly.

But he does have a document Lincoln signed.

"I think the one under Kennedy was the greatest," said Smick.

Smick says John F. Kennedy's inaugural address was the one that moved him the most.

"I was thrilled to hear it. I really admired him. I told him that. I met him twice," said Smick.

Congressman Frank LoBiondo has told Smick as long as he's in office, Harold will get tickets to the inauguration. And while he hasn't even gotten through this one yet, he is already looking forward to 2021.

"I plan to be here. I have no aches or pains. I just get all enthused and just real thrilled and honored to look to the future," said Smick.

But first the Salem County history buff will put on his long johns, get on the train and attend his 19th presidential inauguration with just as much enthusiasm as his first one, 76 years ago.

Related Topics:
politicsnew jersey newstrump inaugurationpresidential inaugurationElsinboro Township
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