Monday, April 16, 2012

DISCOVERING BUSH: An excerpt from my latest book


With the 2012 presidential
election season currently
in high gear, I thought it 
would be perfect timing to
share a related and fun 
sample from my latest book,
This excerpt, entitled
"Hail to the Chief," is from CHAPTER FOUR:
Trial and Error.
I hope you enjoy.
________________________________
 
During the eleventh grade I was playing drums for my high school song and dance troupe called The Ten Tones. Our well-groomed, wholesome-looking group performed choreographed dance routines as we sang standards and show tunes. Certainly not very cool or very “rock and roll” to be sure, but the act was a huge hit on the local elementary school and retirement home circuit. Due to our frequent daytime performance schedule, Ten Tones members were often afforded a certain perk that not even many of the cool kids were privileged to receive – the coveted “Off Campus Pass.”

In February 1980 The Ten Tones were invited to perform at a political rally being held on Melbourne’s F.I.T college campus. This was during the presidential primary season and the man who was scheduled to speak at the event was the one-time Texas congressman and former CIA director and Republican presidential candidate, George H.W. Bush. Despite my teenage political interest and Bush’s undeniable experience and qualifications, I was somewhat unfamiliar with him at the time. However, Bush had narrowly beaten perceived Republican front-runner, former actor and California governor RonaldReagan in the recent Iowa caucus.

Consequently, I was extremely interested in what he had to say. So I remained at the rally following the Ten Tones performance. The other group members made a beeline to the nearby McDonald’s for lunch to discuss how they could best take advantage of their remaining off campus experience.

Although I followed politics more closely than most kids my age, at seventeen I had no firm political party affiliation. However, as I sat in the audience absorbing every word of Bush’s speech, I soon realized with great certainty for the first time in my life which side of the political fence I was on – the “right” side! After thirty years, I can’t recall any specifics of Bush’s speech, but I do remember feeling inspired by his words. In fact, as he left the stage following his speech, I felt compelled to thank him. So I fought my way through the sea of supporters, cameramen and news reporters that surrounded him as he was leaving the building. “I enjoyed your speech, Mr. Bush,” I announced as I reached out to shake his hand. With my shoulder-length hair and tinted glasses, Bush initially appeared somewhat taken aback when I approached him. However, he quickly seemed to recognize my sincerity. “Thank you," he replied with great enthusiasm as he shook my hand. “I need the support of America’s youth in this campaign,” he further added while still shaking my hand. “I’m with you sir,” I assured him as I noticed he wasn’t letting go. In fact, he had what I can only describe as a death grip on my right hand! After exchanging a few more pleasantries, he finally let go and I went on my way.

What I remember most vividly about my brief Bush encounter was that he didn’t seem merely to be taking advantage of a potential photo opportunity. He genuinely seemed to care – not only that I had been inspired by his speech but that he honestly seemed concerned about my generation. It was a powerful life-changing experience.
 
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 C'MON!
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2 comments:

  1. Great story Chris! I hope you have many opportunities to share your views with the younger generation (even the young Scorps).

    ReplyDelete
  2. Cool story Chris, thanks for sharing the excerpt! 8^)

    ReplyDelete