Heard on the Hill

You may see pages running wild in DC this week

When Ford Thunderbird donut tracks appear on the East Lawn, you’ll know who did it

A former Capitol page holds a photo of her class. The pages of 1978-79 are reuniting this weekend. (Chris Maddaloni/CQ Roll Call file photo)

If you see a bunch of grown-up former Capitol pages reliving their teenage glory days all over D.C. this weekend, don’t be alarmed. It’s just the class of ’79 celebrating its 40-year anniversary.

The former students have been sharing stories in a reunion Facebook group ahead of the meet-up. Some of their memories include sneaking off to New York City and bumping into Truman Capote at the legendary Studio 54 club in Manhattan.

Pages who worked in the Capitol during the 1978-79 school year will be arriving from all over the country — Atlanta, Charleston, Los Angeles, New York City and Seattle. They went on to careers as corporate lawyers, rabbis, mayors, bankers and bakers. One alum, Washington Post dance critic Sarah Kaufman, even won a Pulitzer Prize in 2010.

“Whether on disco floors or in Penn Ave bathrooms, in dorm rooms, Mike Palm’s, cloakrooms, the attic of the LOC or crossing the Capitol lawn that isn’t there anymore (making angels in the snow), I had the most wonderful company,” Kaufman recalled in a message to the group. These guys loved to dance.

The list of former pages is long and keeps on growing, according to the U.S. Capitol Alumni Association, which knows of more than 11,000 living pages who served in the House, Senate and Supreme Court during some or all of their high school years. However, the House shuttered its program in August 2011 due to costs.

The alumni will meet in the Longworth Building on Friday for a guided tour of the Capitol, courtesy of the office of Republican Rep. Joe Wilson of South Carolina. On Saturday they plan to tour the National Museum of African American History and Culture and have dinner at the Dubliner after taking a group photo at the Capitol.

When Ford Thunderbird donut tracks appear on the East Lawn, you’ll know who did it.

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