our day in the sun...

literally, we sat in the sun for quite a while on saturday afternoon waiting to see someone very special...

but it was worth it. 

early friday morning we got an invitation from the WHITE HOUSE to be president bush’s (yup, he even gets lower case letters too) “special friends” at furman university on saturday night. furman is where adam and i went to college (in case anyone didn’t know that we are proud purple paladins). 

it all began because i had emailed a friend of mine a little note about how w. was speaking at furman’s graduation and how some of the faculty was protesting and would NOT attend the graduation ceremony and how incredibly PROUD adam and i were that he was coming there. and next thing you know she has emailed that to her friend jeb (bush) and then the little email it is going on to the white house (and yes, there were NO CAPITALS in that email and how the secret service knows my literary proclivities) and then i received (i almost put “got” there, debbie, but i stopped myself) an email from the white house asking us if we wanted to attend graduation as “the president’s special friends”.

and to that i sent an email saying “HELL YEAH!”, just kidding, it said “hell, yeah (in all lower case), just kidding some more. but we did accept the kind offer.

so we packed up friday afternoon right after the kids came home from their last day of school and headed up to greenville, s.c.

the drive was great. it gave adam and i a chance to talk over a bunch of stuff and it gave the kids a chance to play their mario carts until their little fingers fell off. we arrived around midnight. slept pretty well, all in one hotel room. we may be the “president’s special friends” but he wasn’t footing the bill for the hotel room or the gas for the trip.

saturday we went downtown to pick up our parking pass at the hotel all the president’s people were staying in, and it was the hotel where adam and i had our second date. GET YOU HEAD OUT OF THE GUTTER PEOPLE... we went to a dance in that hotel BEFORE it had been renovated SO beautifully. it is now the poinsett westin and it is FANCY! back then, they were doing all kinds of construction on it and we had a dance in the one ballroom that was finished. 

the kids swam at the hotel. and then we had to get ready because the WHITE HOUSE contact guy had told us to be there no later than 5 (so they could “manage our comfort level” which i think means in political speak, “so we can have the bomb dog sniff you all over”.)

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we arrived at 4:30 (we are early birds when the president is involved) and they found our names on the v.i.p. list (which was a short list with the governor and all the state congress people, mayor, and other political figures in south carolina.... and the marshall family).

of course, every time we said that we were the marshalls, they thought we were u.s. MARSHALs. someone even asked adam if he was an undercover agent (he had on a dark suit, sunglasses, and the required short hair cut of the day).

we sat right behind the governor of south carolina.... here is his head... dina, do you recognize it? robyn, he sent his love to you and paul and the girls...

and here are the lookout guys, i think they are checking me out with those binoculars....

we were seated in a little section with chairs with names on them... mayor, senator, representative, chairman, governor, and adam, lea, millie, maxx, rosalea marshall. everyone was very nice to us and greeted us warmly... though they did ask “ummm and you are.....?”

and here is the president of furman university (david shi) motioning to the president as they walk in. i am fairly sure that he is saying, “and over here are some of our most distinguished graduates... adam and lea marshall, do you read her blog? it is quite entertaining, and LONG.”

and his speech was really great. here is a link to the whole text of it. it was very personal and about his family and faith and doing what is really important in life...

president bush’s speech at furman university

click here to see a really great you-tube video of the motocade of cars through greenville narrated in a lovely south carolina accent....

i especially like it in the you tube video when the kids says “ITS THE PRESIDENT” when on limo goes by and then says “ANOTHER PRESIDENT” when another limo goes by, oh i do miss south carolina...

anyway, the whole event was GREAT. the excitement in the stadium as the motorcade came into view was amazing. the whole stadium was charged with some kind of electricity. it made me so proud to be an american. it made me so much more aware of how i need to think about who i vote for in november. 

i like it when the cameras are aimed at me... or the governor, it was hard to tell who they wanted a photo of...


all in all, it was a wonderful experience. we woke up EARLY sunday morning and headed home because i was giving a “welcome back to tallahassee” party for meghan on sunday night (with MY blog stalker, eva). 

maybe v.i.p. stands for “very important party giver”...

today is my ONE day off before i leave tuesday morning REALLY EARLY for miami with millie’s youth choir group. we will be gone until saturday...

and then i come home and we will have a very important house guest from california staying with us for the weekend...

who likes juice...

and fears loose seals...

and joined the army, kind of....

anyone care to venture a guess?

from “special friend of the president” to miami choir tours to hosting hollywood stars...

that is how i roll.

and aren’t you lucky to be able (again, i almost said “get” but i stopped myself) to read all about it and live vicariously through my life...

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