Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Merry Christmas Mr. President


I have many wonderful memories from my working days in Washington. One of them is the annual White House Christmas party for the press. Now this is a party!

And it's not just for the superstars. Back then, if you worked in the news business, and you had a White House pass, you were in.

And we all did- motorcycle couriers, camera crews, editors, correspondents-those of us who had to visit the press briefing room with any regularity.

It begins with the invitation that you see above. My wife knew it was coming and she was standing at the door when the mailman arrived-made sure he didn't lose it.

I never did get used to passing through the White House gate without the goose bumps. But to do it at Christmas, with a loved one on your arm--wow!!

First there is the receiving line to greet the President and First Lady. Ellen never forgot what Jimmy Carter said to her that night. "You are very pretty" .

We were free to wander through all of the public rooms-no velvet rope. You could touch and feel and walk right up to the magnificent Christmas tree that stretched to the ceiling of the Blue Room.

You would not believe the food. Tables ladened with smoked trout and salmon, crab claws, roast beef, fruitcake, a chocolate yule log, eggnog, champagne and a Christmas punch.

And then the dancing in the East Room with the Marine Chamber Orchestra. At President Fords first party in office he appeared on the dance floor. And in seconds a mile long line of ladies, my wife up front, waiting to cut in--just for a few steps--but bragging rights forever.

With all of that the highlight for me was the view from the White House. Looking out at the mall and the Washington Monument and the National Christmas tree. I know I'm not the only one who thought "I can't believe that I'm standing here".

Finally the witching hour. Doors start to close. Velvet ropes appear as ushers hustle people along until you are back on the curb-in the cold.

A night to remember--for sure.

3 comments:

OldOldLady Of The Hills said...

What a lovely and exciting memory, Bud! And I take it you experiencerd this wonderful special treat, a number of times!
And you describe it so well...I feel like I was there, with you...!

I have met two Presidents in two different situations---neither of them at The White House...And it certainly is an awesome thing...Even when you didn't particularly like the 'President'....I guess it is THE OFFICE and all it means---or used to mean...!

You asked about my Camera....I have two of them...BOTH are Fuji's
1) Fuji Finepix 3800....(my first digital) and Fuju Finepix S9000...

I love the first one, though it has it's limitations....I love the second one, too...but I have to do more adjustments with it....Which is okay....It is a heavier camera and thattook me a while to get used to the weight...It has a longer lens than the 3800....
The 3800 is a really neat compact little camera with some very very nice advantages...And more like a "camera" than some of the other things available....The S9000 is even more camera, and maybe someday I will learn all the things I can do that I havem't yet...lol!

Ginnie said...

Don't you just love re-living the exciting times of your life with the blogging community? For some reason it seems to bring it back more vividly. The only President that I ever saw was Jack Kennedy & that was when he was running for the senate. I met him once at a tea given in Boston by his mother, Rose, and then again when he did a whistle stop by train in Newton, Mass.
I love how you described this, Bud, and I can just see Ellen all aglow!

kenju said...

WOW, those parties must have been real highlights! Perhaps Jimmy was "lusting in his heart" after Ellen? LOL

I attended the Governor's Christmas Party tonight in the Mansion, but a date for the White House would be tops!