Tuesday, November 12, 2013

I Had Lunch With Laura Bush

Well, if you're going to get all technical, it was me, the former First Lady and about 900 other people. Details....

A few months back, I read that Mrs. Bush was coming to a Ladies' Luncheon to benefit the local art museum. I considered going and then promptly forgot about it until the tickets were sold out. Fast forward to last week when my friend Liz said she had a pair of tickets and couldn't go - did I want them? Heck yeah.

So April and I headed over to the Hotel Roanoke with little idea what to expect. We soon found out that the main dining room had sold out, the afore mentioned 900 people. Which meant a meet and greet, or better yet, a picture, was likely out of the question. But as a small comfort, it was an open wine bar.

We were seated in the back row, just about as far as you could get from the action, but they had projection screens so we could see the speakers quite well regardless. We were seated with some lovely seasoned citizens who nicely offered to take a picture of us, with varied results.

Attempt 1: Extreme close up aka Katie's huge head.

Attempt 2: vast improvement or good enough, I thought anyway.

Attempt 3: Getting all artistic on us.

Actually, I appreciate the last one as it gives you a shot of the centerpiece, which I later won and got to take home. Much more exciting as I never ever win those kind of things. 

In the end, not sure of how all these pictures were going to work out, we opted for a selfie.

That lady behind us had an outfit on that was 10 layers of crazy.

Lunch was delicious, which is astonishing considering the size of the crowd and, to a lesser extent, the general abilities of the kitchen staff. Just in case you want to see it:

Though it was sad to see the number of pieces of fish that went uneaten, including the one belonging to our photographer. But on to the main event.

Mrs. Bush gave a lovely talk about what her family has been up to the past five years and some interesting stories about her time in the White House. One of my favorites was about W throwing out the first pitch of the World Series in New York City just after 9/11. She described how vulnerable she felt as he was the only one on the infield but lightened the mood by adding that Derek Jeter told the President not to blow it. She was sweet, kind and funny. I'm glad I had the chance to hear her in person.

And that last row seat? We were right next to the platform containing all the TV cameras. Turns out we were heavily used for crowd shots for the evening news.

In person, we looked much happier. Makes me feel for all those celebrities where they grab one photo and use it to create a story. They'd be all, there was Katie McK, not looking at the speaker in near tears. What does she have against the former First Lady? But damning screen shots aside, it was a stellar afternoon.

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