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Doorkeeper Spotlight: Roy Ethridge

March 25, 2014
Roy Ethridge stands in front of the Georgia Capitol rotunda.

Amid the hustle and bustle of the Capitol during legislative session, there are a few pillars of stability that keep watch over the doors to the Senate. These alert watchmen are the doorkeepers.

Roy Ethridge is finishing his third year of being a Georgia Senate doorkeeper, and says he enjoys every part of the experience. A self-described history buff, Ethridge relishes the ability to see political events firsthand. “When I’m here, I’m part of history in the making and then I get to take that experience and share it with others. There’s really nothing like it.”

After retiring in 2007 from a 40-year career at BellSouth, Ethridge found himself with quite a bit of time on his hands. A fellow usher at his church told Ethridge about the elite group of 10 doorkeepers at the Senate, and he was immediately hooked.

Doorkeepers are an integral part of the Georgia Senate. They monitor who is allowed to enter the Senate chamber, assist the Sergeant at Arms, and help maintain the decorum of the Senate. "We are in charge of creating an atmosphere that is quiet and focused, and to keep distractions to a minimum," Ethridge says. "The decisions that are made in the Senate affect all of us in our daily lives, so it's very important that the politicians have a good atmosphere to work in."

Ethridge doesn’t say farewell to the Capitol at the end of the legislative session. He works as a tour guide year-round for those who visit the gold dome. “It’s so enjoyable to share my knowledge of Georgia history with visitors to the Capitol,” Ethridge says. “I look forward to continuing my work as a tour guide as well as a doorkeeper for years to come.”

 

About the Author

A Georgia native, Rachael Wheeler works as a Web Support Specialist for GeorgiaGov. She writes about a variety of current topics relevant to the Georgia government.