11 November 2004

Hangin' with the First Lady

Back in the mists of time, somewhere between 1988 and 1992 my Mom and I went to Wolf Trap to attend the ballet. By chance, then-First Lady Barbara Bush was in attendance as well and while I like her every bit as much as I now like her son, I'm a good American and figuring that this was probably my only chance to get within 100 yards of a resident of the White House, I got as close as I could and gawked. Mrs. Bush, by the way, is taller than I expected. And Secret Service guys really do wear their sunglasses at night.

As it turns out, that was only the first in my "Gawk at the First Ladies!" collection. No, Mrs. Clinton didn't stop by to use the phone or anything like that. No, I got to gawk at the current Mrs. Bush who resides in the White House. I went to the Industrial Strength Theater to see the Elden Street Players production of "Thumbs," a fun little comedy-thriller by Rupert Holmes (who is still trying to work off having inflicted "The Pina Colada Song" - bleh - on an unsuspecting nation. But I digress.).

One of the female leads in "Thumbs" is being played by local community theater actress Margaret Bush, wife of Marvin and sister-in-law to you-know-who. (Ominous Scarpia-like chords.) So Mrs. Bush, the twins, and assorted family members and hangers on filled the first row at the theater tonight. Elden Street and the Secret Service worked together to create as little focus-pulling uproar as possible - a brief announcement was made from the stage before the performance, we all chuckled, we moved on. Laura Bush was seated one row ahead and about four seats to my right, so it was Gawking Made Easy. She's a good political wife and has learned to watch things with an appearance of interest regardless of her actual feelings, but she seemed to enjoy the play. As did the rest of us. A fun night at the theater, made more fun by Marty and Mary Ann, between whom I sat. (Mary Ann is in "Dinner" with me and I like her a lot. A chance to hang with Mary Ann is time well spent. Marty I met this evening and as he was the Set Designer and Master Carpenter, I got some nice insights into what went into the spiffy set.)

But - I realized on my way to my car - now I have a new thing to hope and pray for. Please, Lord, please don't make me gawk at Columba Bush in four years. Please. I'm begging you.

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