Hope This Doesn't Get Me In Trouble With The White House
Governor Walker was in-studio Friday, talking about cold weather and his effort to get the feds to get our state more propane amid the ongoing shortage.
He also admitted that he turned down the chance to ride in President Obama's sexy black SUV Thursday, saying he showed up at Mitchell to thank the Chief Exec for what the administration had already done about the problem, that he didn't need any more face time.
He DID share the fact that he'd been at the White House the week before, and that he actually got to be in the Oval Office. Walker spoke of how humbling it was, how small it is, how it looks just like it does on TV shows like "The West Wing."
I've never been INSIDE the Executive Residence, but it made it to the periphery: a function on the White House lawn in 1983 amid the premier of "Superman III". My radio partner at the time, Bob Reitman, were lucky enough to take a listener to see the film and then do a picnic with the Reagans, some of the cast and the Beach Boys afterward.
That's me on the right,with more hair and way too much porn-stache.
Reitman brought along a gift for the First Couple, just in case we got close enough for an exchange of pleasantries and tokens of esteem: a hideous red, white and blue necktie. As the fates would have it, he'd get his chance through dumb luck and good timing.
The Beach Boys played, the President spoke and then the night was over--the Reagans started heading for the White House and the crowd moved in. The First Couple graciously shook as many hands as possible, among them Reitman's who thrust the tie into Mr. Reagan's hand while thanking him for "bringing rock 'n roll to the White House." He also called wife Nancy "Mrs. President", but we digress.
They went inside, we went home. The Reagans would spend six more years in government housing. Reitman and I would be joined at the radio hip for 23 more years.
A few days later, we both got manila envelopes from the White House with the pictures you're seeing here. And, one more, which is my favorite. It shows Mr. Reagan on the verge of tears, swelled up with gratitude over the gift he'd gotten from his Milwaukee peeps.
Actually, he looks like he's holding a snake he'd just killed in the Rose Garden. Nancy seems to be saying, "Bury that thing before it gets gamey."
On the back of each photo was a stamp, saying the pictures were for our own edification and files, not for publicity. That was 1983. I figure the statute of limitations is over now, what with the passage of years and a few changes of administration.
I didn't get inside the White House, not even to go to the bathroom (I kept drinking gin and tonics but my bladder would have none of it). The memories remain, the pictures live on, and a new entry goes on my bucket list: a trip to the Reagan Presidential Library to see if The Gaudy Tie exhibit housed within.
There HAS to be one, don't you think?