Looking Back and Not Seeing A Head

The question of the week is: Have you ever met or seen a U.S. President, (or in Iris’ case, A Prime Minister)? My answer is a resounding NO, which is almost a feat, considering I lived in the Washington, DC area the first 27 years of my life.

My father was an electrical engineer and during a few years had a very nice job with a prestigious firm. He was often in many famous buildings, including the White House, where he worked on the sound systems and the equipment of the private movie theater therein.

His company was there so often that someone planned a private tour for the workers and family of the firm that was to include some of the First Family’s private living quarters, which was never shown during regular tours and always off-limits to the general public, and many other workers. That was the only hook that made my family consider going. (My parents had quite voting long before.)

Unfortunately, that tour was to take place around Thanksgiving of 1963 , but I guess the world knows what happened that November. Nothing more was said about a tour. The world, let alone the area, was in shock and/or mourning and the  Kennedys needed to move out and the Johnsons needed time to move in. Around March my father got a call on a Sunday morning; did we want to go on the tour? It was happening. If he had any clue it was coming, he had not said anything. My mother always needed plenty of warning for any expedition and her heart was not in it. She didn’t trust politicians and certainly did not trust Johnson.( Not that she  trusted Kennedy;  she didn’t even like his wife, for that matter.) My sister did not want to go with the Kennedy’s gone. She had been caught up in the whole “Camelot”-thing; she even had a pillbox hat.(If you don’t know the significance, you are younger than many of us!). So , no, we did not go, and I am sorry we didn’t, for bragging rights alone. I am certain we would have been there whenever whichever president was in office, was out of the house, and never seen him.

I  had a family friend who saw Jack Kennedy face-to-face.He was getting off an elevator in the Pentagon as she was getting on,(obviously a Secret Service slip-up). She said he was much more handsome in person; so much so that it had surprised her.

And I have a now-retired ex-FBI agent cousin who had the dubious honor to be selected to serve Richard Nixon with his Watergate subpoena. (Some claim-to-fame, huh?)

A couple of years ago Bill Clinton passed through town to glad-hand people. Although he is pretty far from my idea of an ideal person, I probably would have gone to get a look at him, but I didn’t know about it until after he had gone.

I had not thought of a story and Iris reminded me of one, talking about Queen Elizabeth. (It isn’t much of a story, either, but I figure enough fragments might fill up this spot!)

My sister had a friend whose father was a Canadian government employee. He was stationed at the embassy in Washington for a few years when we knew her. Before and after, the man had been stationed in Ottawa, at the capital and had been the Royal Family’s chauffeur when they visited Canada. The friend’s sister was about 13 at the time and had a huge crush on a then-teenage Prince Charles.(I know; don’t ask me how.) Anyway, the girl was the only one in the family who was not crushed that they did not get to meet the Queen and clan. It seems that she feared the prince would share her feelings and she did not want him to give up the throne for her!
(Poor Penny; if she had only lived to see for what Charles has probably forfeited the throne!)

Iris brought up seeing the Pope and yet, here I am , the only Catholic here and even I missed seeing the Pope, the Head of the Vatican State, not once, but several times,(even in Denver). One of my aunts worked for, and lived in, a foreign embassy for some years. I was only there once and never even saw their ambassador, let alone their head-of-state or the several others that my aunt had the privilege to see there. I guess it just isn’t meant to be for me!

Anyone else seen a Head of State?


About Tonette Joyce

Tonette was a once-fledgling lyricists-bookkeeper, turned cook/baker/restaurateur and is now exploring different writing venues,(with a stage play recently completed). She has had poetry and nonfiction articles published in the last few years. Tonette has been married to her only serious boyfriend for more than thirty years and she is, as one person described her, family-oriented almost to a fault. Never mind how others have described her, she is,(shall we say), a sometime traditionalist of eclectic tastes.She has another blog : "Tonette Joyce:Food,Friends,Family" here at WordPress.She and guests share tips and recipes for easy entertaining and helps people to be ready for almost anything.
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4 Responses to Looking Back and Not Seeing A Head

  1. jeff7salter says:

    wow — lots of proximity and near misses.
    Yes, I remember the pillbox hats in the early 60s.
    Bumping into JFK at the Pentagon was certainly odd — I can imagine the shock of your family friend. These days, they close off entire floors of buildings where the Prez will walk through!


  2. Yes, the woman was shocked to say the least, but he was so handsome, as an older Southern lady, she wanted to put her hand on his arm but thought maybe the Secret Service would “cut it off or something”! I chuckle as I think of her face as she told it; pure awe.


  3. Iris B says:

    Ahem … I’m catholic! It’s just when the close the door in front of you that one questions what they’re preaching 😉
    Had a good giggle at: “Poor Penny; if she had only lived to see for what Charles has probably forfeited the throne!” … Camilla’s not all that better, probably a better choice than what he had before!


    • Oh, sorry, Iris.I had to do the explanation of Purgatory a couple of years ago for the crew and I don’t know why I assumed I was still the’ token papist ‘ in the group!.
      Oh, let’s not get into Camilla.It looks like Elizabeth is grooming Kate to be the next Queen consort.I do hope so.


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