Doralong's fabulous post about a truly fabulous moment and meeting, inspires me to write about my own little, though very different brush with greatness. When I was five years old, my grandmother - who was big in the Democratic party and campaigned for Kennedy in the South - was appointed by President Kennedy to the U.N. Now, I've had some issues with my Grandmother, but she was spunky, I'll give her that. So, when they asked her if she wanted to bring any guests to watch her get officially appointed in the Oval office, she said, "Why, yes. I do!" And she proceeded to invite all her children, their spouses and children, and any other stray relative who wanted to come along - about 16 or 20 people, ages three and up. The Whitehouse was, apparently, flustered but said, "Well...OK."
Now, when an upper-crust Southern woman has any stress or excitement in her life, she either drinks or shops (I'm betting my Grandmother did both at the same time, on occasion). But since I was only in kindergarten, my mother and expressed our excitement by working hard on what to wear. So, girls, gather round and I'll tell you in gory detail about my dress. It was forest green, had a fitted top with a Peter-pan collar, a full skirt and a sash that tied into a big bow in the back. But the very special thing, the thing I adored about this dress, was that it had a saucy little pattern of hats on it, and some of the hats were....(wait for it ladies)... padded so as to be three-dimensional! I know, sounds weird, and it probably was, but to my five-year-old mind it was unimaginable couture wizardry. Mother, if memory serves, wore a simple sheath dress.
On the big day, we all crowded in to the Oval office to watch my grandmother get sworn in. I have absolutely no memory of the main event. I was five, after all, and wearing very shiny Mary Janes and a fabulous green dress with little puffy hats on it. Who could concentrate on all the mumbo jumbo grown up words? But I do vividly remember, after the swearing in, a very tall President Kennedy bending WAY down toward me, then reaching out gravely, and shaking my hand.
Of course, I still have the dress.
(P.S. - I have a picture of that day and all of us swarming in the Oval office. I'll try and scan it soon and post it here.)