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Our Class Reunion To Washington DC & The White House

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PostPosted: Sun 9/14/08 8:06 pm    Post subject: Our Class Reunion To Washington DC & The White House Reply with quote

I know some of you may not like the present President of the United States. But this has little to do with George Bush and more to do about what my husband and I did for our 44th class reunion.

Jim and I grew up in Midland, TX and both attend Midland schools for our entire school career until we went off to college. We went to school with Laura Bush. This year on March 29th we had our class reunion at the White House along with the other 2 Midland schools. Past students who graduated from Midland High, Lee High and Carver High in 1964 all got together for our reunion.

Jim and I spent 8 days in DC and besides attending the reunion we also visited with our congressman and both senators and tour both Air and Space buildings as well as other things. On Sunday the 30th we were able to attend the first game in the new National Field between the Nats and Braves. It was a wonderful week in DC.

On Friday we got an email from Laura Bush telling us that if possible we should come to the White House at 4pm to see the President arrive from his trip to Europe. We all stood out on the lawn at the back of the White House and in came 3 helicopters. At the last second 2 of the copters peeled off and then the President landed. All the major news people were there and it was very interesting. After the President arrived we were lead on a tour of the West Wing and were allowed to go into the Oval Office and I sat in the Presidents chair.

On Saturday the 29th we attended a dinner and dance at the White House to celebrate our reunion. When we arrived there was a 4 piece Marine band playing rock and roll music. They were striking because they were dressed in their red dress jackets and really looked sharp. We were served cocktails and then a buffet style dinner. They had tables set up but some of us had to sit on the furniture to eat. We had the complete run of the 1st and 2nd floors of the WH. I so enjoyed all the statues and pictures and looking at and sitting on all the beautful furniture. There were no ropes and nothing was off limits to us. While we were having cocktails they took us all outside to the back of the WH where the portacal is located and took a class reunion picture with Laura, the President and members of all 3 school classes. Then the President and First Lady stood on the first floor in the reception room to have their picture taken with each couple. It took almost 3 hours for them to get all the pictures made. When it was our turn to go up to have our picture made the officer who escorted us up introduced me as Joan. The President laughed because he knew my name from another meeting we had and it is said he never forgets a name We didn't have much time, but we did speak briefly about the upcoming baseball season and he admitted that he not only like the Rangers but the Astros. Then he laughed that his parents only like the Astros. He and I talked just for a few secods about the last time we watched a baseball game together.

Back when he was governor and we had our 33 1/3 class reunion at the governors mansion he was walking around visiting with people. I ask if he knew the score of the game and he laughed and said for me to come with him. We went up to his office and he opened a bookshelf behind is desk and he had a 19" TV with the game already on and the sound turned down. We had not been there more than a few minutes when in came my husband Jim and Laura Bush. Laura said "now Georgie you know you need to go back outside and visit with everyone". I wanted to laugh so bad. Before we went outside Laura took our picture with then Govenor Bush and then he took our picture with Laura. The reunion was outside on the lawn of the governors mansion. Luckly we were under tents because it was raining cats and dogs.

Back to the WH reunion. After dinner we had a dance with a large band from Philly. When all the picture taking was done the President went up to his apartment (he goes to bed at 9pm or as soon as he can) and Laura joined us for dancing in the ballroom. My husband is not much of a dancer and I laughed when he ask me to dance saying "it will be something to tell our grandkids and great grandkids that granny and grandad danced in the White House.

Just a side note....We also went to school with General Tommy Franks and one time we had a reception in Midland for the President and General Franks the spring after 9/11.

The next part is about some of the time we spent in DC and hope no one will think I am bragging.

My daugher in law is the Senior VP of one of a hotel management company. She was able to get us a room at a 4 star hotel in Virginia about 5 miles from Dulles airport for a fantastic price. When we arrived they had a fruit tray, fruit basket and a large snack basket with cookies, chips, jerky, and about everything we could want. The refrigerator was stocked with beer, water, soft drinks and a bottle of wine. There was a note that it was all on the house and help ourselves including taking some of it with us when we went to DC. Every day they took us to the train station even though we heard them tell other guest they only travelled 5 miles from the hotel. On the night of the reunion they rented a Town Car for us to take us to the White House and the driver stayed the entire 5 1/2 hours until we were ready to come home. All any of this ever cost us was tips. When we would return to the hotel in the evenings they served us free cocktails and wouldn't allow us to ever pay for our dinner in the restuarant. We felt like a queen and king the way we were catered to.

National Field is beautiful and the Nationals can be very proud of their new park. You can see most of DC from the seating in the park and with the night lights it is breath taking.

I hope I haven't bored anyone to death and I hope no one thinks I am bragging. I would have been honored to have been invited to dinner at the WH with any of our Presidents whether they were a democrat or republican and considered it an honor.

Just so anyone doesn't think the taxpayers paid for our reunion they didn't. We each had to play $150 each which covered our dinner, drinks, the dance band and pictures. Each couple received an autographed 8x10 and plain 8x10 and an 11x14 picture of all the classmates together out on the back porch of the WH.

It was an experience I nor my husband will ever forget.

Granny Jean
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PostPosted: Mon 9/15/08 5:34 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

That is INCREDIBLE, GrannyJean. I'm a healthy dose of envious. I didn't think you were bragging, but I thought you were incredibly descriptive!
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PostPosted: Mon 9/15/08 9:49 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Wow... what an experience! Count me in the envious column, too. Laura Bush has been one of my favorite First Ladies. How cool to know her.

Could you help me get a Presidential autograph on the cover of a Cardinals Gameday Magazine? LOL! Just kidding.

I have been saving a copy of a Cardinals Gameday Magazine from the day George W. came to Busch Stadium to throw out the first pitch on Opening Day in '04. It was a thrill to be in attendance for that. I actually sent a letter to the White House with a newspaper clipping from the same day, asking for an autograph. About six weeks later I found a large envelope in my mailbox from "The White House". I've never been so excited with my mail before.

I opened it to find the returned newspaper clipping that I had sent, a nice personalized letter, and a signed 8x10 photo of the Prez at Yankee Stadium after 9/11. It was a facsimile autograph, but it was also personalized to me in print. One of my favorite pieces of baseball memorabilia.

Anyway, I understand that he was too busy to sign my newspaper, personally. It was a thrill to get the letter and picture. But I have been waiting for the day when he is out of office and back in Texas, and plan to try again with my Gameday Magazine.
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PostPosted: Mon 9/15/08 4:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

OMG what an awesome experience. I'm so glad you posted it. Talk about some HS reunion. I've also been a fan of Laura Bush. She just seems so down to earth. The air and space museums are our favorites especially since my hubby works at Boeing. He just can't get enough of airplaines. He and Sandi have that in common. How cool of Laura to set up such awesome reunions. Thanks again for sharing.
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PostPosted: Tue 9/16/08 6:33 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks Ladies. I was just looking back over my post and I couldn't believe the typos and even one word I out and out misspelled. I was writing late at night and just didn't play enough attention. Guess in the future I will use spell check to find my mistakes.

Since I didn't want to get too political I didn't say enough about Laura Bush and want a fine lady she is. Laura would do anything for anyone and never ask for a moment in the limelight. I didn't say this before. We had been having our combined Midland and Lee High reunions together since the first one for our 10th anniversary. There was another high school in our town called Carver High School. It was the black school and 1964 was there last year before they started attending the other two schools. First so none of you think we were against going to school with the blacks in Midland, the school board had been trying to several years to close the school down and meld it into the other schools in Midland. But the black community had wanted to keep their school in their own neighborhood. To tell the total truth they had an awesome football team and they didn't want to be embarrassed by attending our schools with lesser teams. ha ha ha

Anyway Laura Bush insisted that we try our best to find the kids from that high school and invite them to the White House too. Problem was we had to do it by word of mouth because the high school burned down and the records were mostly destroyed. But we were able after some research and putting ads in newspapers in Odessa, Midland, Dallas, Houston, Austin, Ft Worth and USA Today to locate a few of the graduates and 3 grads and two of their spouses attended. They only had a class of around 15 according to one of the gentlemen who attended.

Whether you like President Bush or not because of the war and some of his policies, he is a fine Texas gentleman. Some of the things you see the comics do when they are doing impersonations is so right on. I was standing next to him for the picture and he had his arm around my shoulder. I made some crack about us going to his office and Laura and my husband coming in and making us stop watching the game. He starting laughing and up and down went those shoulders. Since it also made my shoulders go up and down I got tickled and I have a goofy laugh on my face in the picture. President Bush is truly a down home person as it Laura Bush. I wouldn't be surprised the next time I see George Bush he will call me Joan to tease me about the mistake the Air Force Officer made. He loves to tease and loves to give everyone a nickname.

I had a chance to talk to one of the officers (a lady) who was there as a guard at our reunion. I was asking her how they get chosen and if it is a regular assignment. She told me it is on a volunteer basis and they have to sign up and get their name selected. She said it is the favorite thing she does in DC because the Bush family is so nice and friendly and treat them like they are part of the family. All 5 branches of the military were there walking around and making sure we didn't steal anything or get too drunk. lol. Also 6 or so of them escorted us in for our pictures and introduced us to the first couple. Several of the male officers lined up to dance with Laura when she arrived at the dance. They were treated like they were just guest at our reunion too.

Something I didn't tell before because I can't say 100% it is true. My brother who is 13 years older than I am said my mother use to babysit for George and Jeb Bush. He said mother use to keep them at their house in the evenings not long after little Robin died. I was young and didn't know one of mothers jobs from the other. Although I do remember a very slim, tall nice looking man in a very nice car coming to pick up my mother to babysit. I would assume that was GHW Bush. I also know that mother did babysit for a family that was very good friends with the Bush family. I remember them because after my mother died when I was 12, I started babysitting for them myself. I get tickled thinking about my mother changing Jeb Bushes diaper since he would have been a infant if my brother is correct. George was 6 when Robin died and Jeb was born a year or so later.

Ok, I have rattled long enough. Again thanks for your comments.

Granny Jean
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PostPosted: Tue 9/16/08 7:22 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Love your stories, Granny Jean. Can you share any photos with us?
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PostPosted: Tue 9/16/08 8:29 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I will be than happy to share photos as soon as I can get into my back bedroom computer to get to the scanner. We are storing all our kitchen in there along with all the food from my pantry. I tried the other day to pull out the chair far enough to get to the computer and it is impossible. We are in the process of doubling the size of our kitchen. In fact the carpenter is making so much noise I can hardly think. But I have to stay in the house to help him carry large pieces of wood for the cabinet tops and so forth. My husband is gone to town today, darn his hide!!! Otherwis I would be hiding out in the bunkhouse (guesthouse).

How do I delete my multi-post? It kept saying it wasn't posted there was an error so I just started posting and I ended up with 4 of the same post. Now I am embarrassed.

The only pictures I have on the laptop are Jim and I in the White House.

I am about to post a new post about life on our ranch. I hope I don't over do it and bored everyone to death. You guys might regret Jan invited me to join. ha ha ha
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PostPosted: Tue 9/16/08 9:24 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Granny Jean... I think you are the Texas version of The Pioneer Woman. Do you ever read her blog? She's in Oklahoma. I love it. Looking forward to hearing more about your ranch... and pictures if you can. lol!
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