This is one of my favorite stories to tell. It’s in my repertoire at almost every political event I speak at. I can always count on a nice mix of groans and gasps at the end…
It was a meal I’ll always remember.
I was the morning host at a top 40 radio station in the south, and while it was likely work related, to this day I cannot recall the specific circumstance that brought us together. I do remember being pretty excited about it. Face time with him was, even then, a fairly big deal.
I brought a co-worker with me. We were escorted into a spacious reception area, the walls covered with awards, photos and memorabilia. The executive assistant cheerfully offered us coffee, and we gazed at the wall candy for a few minutes, waiting.
Our host appeared from his office, walked up to us and shook my hand confidently. He knew my name. I was impressed. He escorted us into an adjoining conference room, invited us to sit, and dig in. We enjoyed chicken, roasted potatoes, some steamed vegetables; he made us feel quite comfortable, asking questions about the radio station and our positions there. I shared his love of baseball, so the conversation quickly veered to that subject, and stayed there for about 30 minutes.
We also chatted about his father, who was (at the time) a pretty big deal himself. Hearing him talk about his parents gave me the impression that he was very proud of them. Our host lowered his voice when the subject was broached, and spoke at a softer volume. I clearly remember that.
Our lunch finished, we posed for a few pictures, The man shook my colleague’s hand, then mine, and said “Thanks for comin’ by, we’ll see you again.” We left the office and drove back to the radio station, fully charmed and basking in the glow of our celebrity encounter.
We were in Arlington Texas, the home of the Texas Rangers.
I had just had lunch with the owner of the team, George Walker Bush.
And where are we now? Wow.
Remind me sometime to tell you about the lunches I used to go to with Ken Lay…