The president was late for the reception. It should have started at 5pm. He arrived in Houston about 4:15pm and showed up at 5:30pm for the reception. He had a prior reception for the VIP guests. We "simple civilians" waited with drinks and hors d'oerves. Secret service were everywhere and sniffing dogs as well. There were some protesters about 1 1/2 blocks away but I never saw them. Once you checked in and got your admission ticket, you had to go thru security. Like at the airport, someone searches thru your bags and you go thru the metal detector.
Once there when it was almost time for the president, a secret service guy brings out the presidential seal and puts it on the podium. I am standing right in front of the podium about 12 feet away from the president. The eyes are definitely blue. He talks about his wife and that she is in Mexico but they will meet in Crawford. He said he was happy to be able to vote in Texas. After a 45-60 minutes speech, he then exits to his right and starts going down the line shaking hands, pics, etc. Secret service guys are standing/walking with the president several on each side of the president. The president carries his own felt tip pen and the secret service told the lady next to me to put her pen away.
When he got to me he signed a baseball cap that a gentleman there had given me--in the front it said W. (American flag pic in between W and 43) 43. The president signed the cap and said that was a cute cap. I shook his hand (smooth hand--no calluses) and he moved on.
I had my camera with me but did not get a picture. A lady I met there prodded me toward the line again. The president was signing someone's program. As he was signing I asked if I could take a picture with him. After he signed he went up to me and put his arm around my waist. I had given my camera to this lady I had just met but I had given her the camera with the telescope lens. The president as we are standing together starts telling her that she has the telescope lens on but she doesn't know what to do and as I was about to go fix the camera for her, she takes the picture of the president with me.
The flash was quite bright and the president says "Wow those are bright" and he backs up as he is saying that. Well, I thought there went my opportunity. Blinded the president and thought what a horrible picture we just took. He comes back and poses again with me--his hand around my waist and mine around his. Well, I am all agaga and the telescope lens is still out. Again the president says it is out and the secret service comes to our rescue and says he will take the picture.
The president and I turn around to face the secret service guy and the picture is taken. My arm is around the president and you can feel the perspiration around his waist. He had just spoken for 60 minutes. I, on the other hand, am also sweating, but b/c I was nervous. What a nice man--such patience and so down to earth. Very nice looking and the eyes are definitely blue. He is better looking in person than in picures.
posted on 09/26/2002 7:56:54 PM PDT
". . . his arm around my waist" SIGH!!!
You MUST post the pix as soon as you get it developed! [I still haven't quite recovered from the fact that ALL of my pixes with the President ended up destroyed in a mud puddle -- my sister is still doing acts of contrition!]
By-the-by, how many people attended the reception? did you raise a lot of money? how is Cornyn doing in the polls now?
posted on 09/26/2002 8:11:50 PM PDT
What a nice man--such patience and so down to earth. Very nice looking and the eyes are definitely blue. He is better looking in person than in picures.
What a lovely report. You are very detail oriented....well, except for the telephoto lens caper! ha ha.
You are lucky...you got a pic with the Pres that notices when lens caps are on binoculars, and telephoto lenses are on cameras! ---little x42 zinger there!
I'm SO happy for you!!! I felt like I was there, too. Parts of your story were very familiar -- same as when we saw him at the St. Regis in Dana Point. My (ex-cop) hubby told me about why he has his own pen. Little Ms. Minnesota--little house on the prairie--not having the mind for thinking that people would do harm--got it right away, after he told me, but felt stupid that I didn't think of it, and glad that the Secret Service did. Well, perhaps they took me seriously when I told them, in no uncertain terms, that they had BETTER take GOOD CARE of him!!! ---Nice to know I have clout with these boys, huh?
Thanks for sharing!!!
posted on 09/26/2002 8:31:01 PM PDT
Whoopie, Olliemb! What a great story and memory! Thanks for sharing!
My arm is around the president
You, honey, are making Bush babes DROOL all over this country!!! Good on ya girl! I hope that picture comes out well. It sure was nice of him to stick with you so you could get it! What a guy!!
posted on 09/26/2002 9:27:57 PM PDT
After reading your detailed post at 116, I can confidently say, I think I hate you!
No, I don't. Not really. Jealousy is the real emotion here. I'm glad you got to meet The Man!
Very nice looking and the eyes are definitely blue. He is better looking in person than in picures.
Why am I not surprised by any of this? :o)
What a wonderful experience for you, ollie!!! I'm trying very hard not to be too jealous, but I am (it's not easy being green, you know!) Seriously, though, every time I hear a story like yours from somebody who has met this man, I am more impressed with him, and his genuine love for people.
As I recall, you shook hands with Laura, too, and she called you by name.............will you be invited to dinner at the ranch soon?? :o)
(Arms around each other's sweaty waists??? sigh..............)
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