Arizona man shares memories of his time as presidential inauguration planner

As far as presidential inaugurations go, none of them have looked quite like the one for President Joe Biden.

In the Valley, there is a man who knows a thing or two about inaugurations. Gordon James has planned three inaugurations himself, going all the way back to George H. W. Bush's inauguration in 1989.

"Here’s the hat. 41. That’s the favorite," said James,

James, in fact, was in D.C. in 2017 to plan the parades and parties for now-former President Donald Trump.

"The Presidential Inaugural Committee has about 1,200 or 1,300 people working on it," said James.

On Jan. 20, James saw Biden get sworn into office, in an inauguration ceremony that can be the most unique anyone has seen due to COVID-19 and security concerns.

For James, however, President Biden's inauguration stirred other memories, like during the chilly inauguration of George W. Bush in 2001.

"Someone suggest we move it inside, and [Former President George W. Bush] walked in and said 'at 12 o’clock tomorrow, I’ll be standing at the west side of the Capitol. You best be there,'" James recounted. "That was the end of that discussion."

For James, Inauguration Day, even though it only happens once every four years, is one of his favorite days. It's an American tradition that has withstood the test of time.

"It’s what we’re all about. It’s why we’re Americans. It’s why we do it. It’s a part of history, it’s thrilling to me, January 20th every 4 years is thrilling to me. No matter who it is," said James.