I made a trip into Dallas today with my brother-in-law to show him the George W. Bush Presidential Library and Museum. But when we walked in I received a peculiar surprise from one of the docents who greeted us.
She asked where we lived. I told her I live in Princeton and said my bro-in-law lives in Dripping Springs. Then I said, apparently with a joking tone in my voice, that I go back a ways with President Bush. “Oh, really?” she answered. “Tell me about that.”
I told her about the time in the spring of 1995, while I was working at the Amarillo Globe-News, I had the chance to interview the then-Texas governor in his State Capitol Building office in Austin. I mentioned that we chatted for more than an hour and that I came away impressed with the governor’s grasp of Texas government policy; he had been elected only a few months earlier and took office that January, the same month I started work as editorial page editor of the Globe-News.
She then told me to fill out a special card and give it to one of the receptionists at the welcome desk. They would forward it to the president’s staff and perhaps, maybe, possibly the former president himself might see it and respond in some personal manner to what I had written on the card.
The card asked for my name, address, phone number, e-mail address and then asked me to tell my “story” on the space provided at the bottom of the card. I mentioned that I interviewed the president, that we chatted for a good while and that it was “one of the highlights of my career.”
I mentioned to the docent that I doubted the president would remember my name, but that he might remember it he were provided some context associated with my name. She agreed, assuring me that President Bush is “very good with names.”
My wife and I visited the exhibit during the Christmas holiday to see a special display provided there. I did not fill out the card that I filled out today. Hence, the surprise at visiting the George W. Bush library and museum.
We shall see if he responds. As I told the docent, “If the president still drank, he is the kind of guy I would love to have a beer with.”
I won’t hold my breath. Still, it was nice to relive that true story.