So high school students, what did you do productive this summer?
Jimmy Loomis III didn’t let any grass grow under his feet, but then he never does. This tousle head 17-year-old from Ladue Horton Watkins worked from the well of the United States Senate as an official page. For Loomis, this was a life-altering experience.
After all, Loomis has political aspirations and the world is simply his oyster. Almost from birth, he decided he wanted to be a politician. “I want to make a difference in people’s lives,” he stated matter-of-fact.
In 2006, he made a presentation before the Ladue City Council, urging them to adopt a recycling program for the community.
That same year, he first began leafing through all the paperwork to become a US Senate Page and by the time he was eligible (those 17 and over and going into their senior year) he got in.
Loomis talks with enormous pride how the pages get to unpack the white gavel of that has been used down through the ages to call the Senate into session and how in 1952, Richard Nixon, a young ambitious Californian was so angry he slammed the gavel and it cracked.
Loomis is really old school. He likes to write letters and notes by pen on personal stationery. He rues computers and social networking. “You never know what you’ll put sometime on Facebook you will regret later.”
He’d rather create his own original work on a typewriter than a word processor.
Pages have the opportunity serve in any of four seasons, those being Spring, first summer session; second summer session and Fall.
He arrived in Washington D.C. for his most excellent adventure on June 9.
Pages work out of the Senate cloak room. Others might call it a work station/lounge for politicians.
He rubbed elbows with the likes of Richard Durbin, D-Illinois, Rand Paul, R-Kentucky, Debbie Stabenow, D-Michigan, and of course Missouri’s Claire McCaskill-D, his mentor.
What were they like? “Rand Paul is a really quick-paced guy.”
“I can tell you that both Rand Paul and Barbara Boxer, D-California were the only two senators who walked to work everyday.”
Loomis was on the scene looking out the Capitol windows when the Supreme Court announced its decision on the history-changing Affordable Care Act. He rushed to pass the word to the presiding officer. “You know, FOX News and CNN first both got it wrong.”
Senate pages set up the members’ desks each morning, distribute copies of the previous days Congressional Record and curry messages back and forth from the chamber. They help organize Senate luncheons.
Loomis didn’t let the history of the moment pass him by. “Did you know Chris Dodd D-Connecticut was once a Senate Page. So too was Daniel Webster,” he beamed with great pride. He could recall those thundering footsteps.
Loomis, who maintains a 3.59 GPA at Ladue, takes a boat load of Advanced Placement courses and disappears every afternoon for Chinese classes at Washington University. He will eventually study government and political science at Wash U. starting in a year. Then it will be law school.
He started l at Community School in Ladue, went to MICDS for three years and transferred to Ladue in 2009. “Ladue was just more accommodating about me leaving school for college classes every day,” he said.
This summer he is a volunteer fund raiser and staffer for both the campaigns of Lacy Clay and Claire McCaskill. That takes up most of the working week.
His parents, Dr. James Loomis II (practice in internal medicine at St. Luke's Hospital in Chesterfield) and his mom Susan, graduate of Mary Institute and Penn law school and involved in real estate belong to congregation Temple Israel in Creve Coeur.
“You know, I hope to become the first Jewish president,” he said, not batting an eye.
Guess what, that just might happen some day.