Wednesday, June 25, 2008

The Day Charlie Met Gov. Perry

Perry became governor when Bush moved to D.C. His swearing in was private. But then he was finally elected to the office and inside information said his first official inauguration would be resplendent. I sent off for free tickets which I later learned were just souveniers; anyone could attend as long as the ceremony was held outside. Four of us went, one of whom was Charlie. She had to skip school.
We got to the capitol grounds early to stake our place. With plenty of time to waste, I offered to give Charlie a quick tour of the capitol as she'd never been inside. We went to the House chambers where she sat at some legislator's desk. Access to the Senate was denied as some committee was meeting there. Walking down the wide hall of the Capitol Expansion we decided to take a pit stop. The ladies' was on one side hidden behind an elevator bank and the men's was on the opposite side similarly hidden. Yes, I flushed and washed my hands. And exited. Workers had already roped off the main portion of the hall leaving a small gallery area on each side. Only after explaining that, "My 12-year-old is over there," and pointing to the other side did the DPS officer allow me to cross over. He explained that the governor had just arrived. German shepherds sniffed for bombs. And then down the hall walks Gov. Perry holding the hand of his wife, Anita. As they approached I said, "Hold out your hand Charlie." She said, "Why?" and all I could think to say was, "Just do it damnit." She did and the governor stepped to her, shook her right hand with his left, said, "Hi sweetie," shook my hand the same way and continued his walk to the front capitol steps. Previous governors then followed and Bill Clements happened to stop by for a quick chat. And to shake hands.
Finally all of the inside procession was over, we went outside to see Perry and Dewhurst do their thing, ate the official barbecue, watched the parade up Congress Avenue and flew back to Love Field.
Then I couldn't find the keys to my 4Runner. But that's another story.

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