John and Nancy invited me to go with them on a tour of the White House.
Last Thursday, we arrived at the White House SW Gate at 9:00 am and met a very special, handsome Marine Major, dressed impeccably on a windy-stormy-rainy day without an umbrella (Marines don’t use umbrellas.)
He collected my camera and told us to start running if we wanted to see President Obama board Marine One (the Marine One Helicopter pilots are all women) on the South Lawn of the White House and lift away.
We did—and watched as President Obama waved and left on the first step of his trip to Asia.
It was thrilling to be in the White House, walk through the rooms, hear the stories, see the pictures, who changed what, sold the furniture, which room is haunted. The Major was informed and fun.
How in 1814 with the British troop fires advancing on the capital in the War of 1812— Dolley Madison insisted on waiting in the White House until she had the full-length Washington portrait by Gilbert Stuart cut from its frame and taken safely away, then she fled the capital to join President Madison.
To learn that the Presidential Seal eagle has one talon holding an olive branch for peace and the other talon holds arrows. President Truman had the eagle’s head turned so the eagle faces the olive branch sign of peace.
And how President Nixon converted Roosevelt’s swimming pool, into a press room, because Nixon’s relations with the press were strained and the pool was the farthest point from the Oval office. It’s still there, with all the electronics and wires stored under the press room floor in the waterless pool.
How Jackie Kennedy gilded everything, including the eagles in the State Dining Room. After she left they restored them to their natural carved wood state, removing the gold. Jackie couldn’t help herself, she loved gold; she was a Leo.
One tender touch for me was a little butterfly hanging in the President’s daughter’s second floor window looking over the White House lawn.
I wish I had more pictures, but we could only take a picture on the steps after we left the White House.
Washington. The Washington Monument, The Capitol, The Library of Congress, Thomas Jefferson Building, National Gallery of Art, Chris and Jim and their sweet family, Peter Waldron and the Eastern Market, Mr. Melveon Harp’s service at The Corner Bakery, Beth Caporaletti’s beautiful photographs. I’ve material for weeks…
God Bless The United States of America.