I miss Texas. Heck, I talk about it all the time.

But, I must say, I am usually the one in the family with bragging rights. It’s normal for me to call home and tell my family about things I saw in Paris, Corfu, or even Calabria. Well, there’s a first time for everything. And, that time was last week when I made my daily call home.

“Bill Clinton is in Lufkin tonight,” Mom told me. “We’re going to go!”

Being the yellow dog democrat I am, I couldn’t control my excitement. I didn’t sleep a wink, and even considered calling home in the wee hours of the next morning to get a full recap.

I not so patiently waited until mid-morning their time to talk to my sister, Charlee.

“You are going to die,” were her first words to me.

“What?!? Tell me. Tell me!”

So, she begins her “Bill Clinton’s in Lufkin, Texas review” with all of the drama and anticipation one would expect from a former One Act Play “Best Actress” nominee.

“We waited in line for two hours to get in, and we stood the whole time!”

“It was amazing!”

“He looks just like he does on TV…”

She then tells me about the post-speech mingle, where the president meets and greets with, who he hopes will be, his wife’s supporters.

“I pushed my way to the other side, because I knew he’d walk over there, too. I made Cole come with me!”

“People were pushing, and stomping. It was actually very scary. There was a big steel bar, and people kept pushing Cole into the bar. They even rolled a man in a wheel chair out the way…poor guy! He’d roll himself up. Someone would roll him out of the way!”

Well, apparently Cole was in near-hysteric tears because of the force of the crowd.

“Can you put him on the other side of the gate?” Charlee asked a security guard.

Uhm, no.

“Can you please ask people to stop pushing. He is scared!” She asked a civic center employee, who glanced away and averted her question.

When, suddenly…

Two arms, clad in an expensive black suit, reach over the gate and pull him to safety…just as my sister’s camera batteries die.

“Hey there…are you ok?” The soothing political voice we’ve heard so much over the years asks.


“Are you scared?”


“Ok,” Bill continues (you see, we are on a first name basis now that he saved my nephew). “Everyone step back. This little boy is scared!”

In the midst of this chaos, Charlee hears my mother in the background…

“That’s my grandson!”

(Charlee assumed Mom thought Cole was lost, and was trying to rescue him. Pep and I are convinced she was bragging to onlookers, which she later admitted was, indeed, the case.)

A few seconds later, Bill looks at Charlee.

“Is this your little boy?”

“Yes,” Charlee smiles.

“Well, why don’t we get a picture?”

My sister’s reply was no less mortifying than Baby’s “I carried a watermelon,” or Forest Gump’s response upon meeting President Kennedy… “I gotta pee....”

“My batteries are dead.”

“You can’t miss this opportunity,” a good Samaritan exclaims as he hands over his own batteries.

“Here, Steve. Can you take this for us?” Bill asks his guard.

All in all…a good day. Cole recovered from the trauma of his first political rally, and my sister has her picture for next year’s Christmas cards.

And, then, to add insult to injury…

I’m missing it, again!

14 Responses
  1. Giulia

    So cool! I giggled all the way through the story like a little school girl. I had to let out a big laugh when I read, “That’s my grandson!”

  2. bleeding espresso

    See, Bill (I feel like I can call him that too by proxy) saves the day and there’s no media around to catch it…Obama makes some people faint and it’s a whole story on Fox News đŸ˜‰

  3. homebody at heart

    That is so cool! I saw him in Stockton,CA and the sea of people wanting to meet him was the same! I couldn’t get near him though to shake his hand. How awsome! And, he is a great speaker (as well as he was a Prez). Awsome again. What a story Cole will have!

    (And, P.S., nice blog. I love southern Italy!)

  4. Cherrye

    Thank you, Erin. It was SO MUCH fun for me to write!! And, she is so proud of that photo!

    G – I did, too! Actually, since then P and I will randomly blurt out “NOOOOOOOOOOOO,” or “That’s my grandson!” (yelled with a much more southern accent than my mom even has!!)

    Michelle – Isn’t that the way it’s been going? I saw he stole some guy’s speech and it barely made the news!

    Hi Homebody at heart (aren’t we all??) He was a great president. I’m so happy they got to see him and get that close (but a wee bit jealous I couldn’t join in!)

    Yea, it is a good story, Arlene, thanks! I figure even if you aren’t hip on Bill, people will appreciate that a young child got to meet a president. I can’t believe her batteries died and she didn’t get pictures of Cole…dang it!

  5. maddiesmommy&daddy

    I almost fainted myself when Grandmother told me the story. I thought to myself, those two girls from Kountze, Texas, they sure do know how to do it. It seems that you and Charlee have always just been in the right place, right time. I’m so glad that I’ve been able to live vicariously through the two of you. Hugs!

  6. Anonymous

    ha great story and photos. A bit better than my sister’s ‘famous’ photo – with OJ Simpson (after teh incident….) Vanessa

  7. j

    Despite his weaknesses I always thought Bill was a cool guy. Sure he is campaigning, but that was pretty charming. I’m not sure about Hillary though. This election is coming down to a coin toss for me.

  8. Cherrye

    Thank you, MB. I “feel” like I was there.

    ha ha…Brandi! I think being in the right place at the right time (this time for Charlee) had something to do with her pushing her way to the front! lol. Also, she ain’t ugly…and, Bill is Bill…

    Wow, Vanessa! That sounds like a story! LOL

    Yea, J he is a politician through and through, but it made Cole feel better. I told Cole, “I’m so glad you got scared.” He said incredulously, “You’re GLAAAD I was scared, Cici???” I had to explain what I meant!! he he

    Thanks, Nadine. I should add that my sis has always had a “not so” secret crush on him, too.

  9. Louise

    That is so neat!!
    Cole will have a great story to tell when he is older!
    That was great they got a picture afterall!!

  10. Deborah

    I know your sister will taklk about this for years to come. What an awesome picture! I know you are so envious – I would be. But I’m sure your sister envies you. After all, LOOK WHERE YOU LIVE!!!

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