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Holiday Dinner at the White House

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white house invitationOn December 17, 2013, I had the pleasure of going to the White House for dinner with President Barack Obama and first lady, Michelle Obama, with my sister, Atty, an Ambassador nominee, Crystal Nix-Hines. This was actually the second time I have been at the White House for a holiday dinner. I had the honor of being there as a guest of former President Bill Clinton and his wife, first lady, Hillary Rodham-Clinton. I was the 4th person in line to get in and the last one to leave. I stayed as long as I could and breathed in every experience in the House.

Each time I am there, I am moved by the history and grandeur, the beauty and the elegance and the power and the majesty of the place. As I walked from room to room throughout the East wing of the people’s House, the history of our country is set before my eyes.

I looked at George Washington’s swords, pictures of the 4 Indian Chiefs of tribes who came to the White House to sign peace treaties with the President of the time. Oil paintings of our presidents and first ladies adorn the walls throughout the place. Jackie Kennedy in an off-white full length gown, and Nancy Reagan with her full length gown in glowing red, were the most elegant. I see the only painting of Benjamin Franklin with his wig on. I’m told he hated wearing the rug because it was so hot.

I visited the red room, ate at Jefferson’s table in the green room by myself. Rather bold I might say. But after all it’s my house as well. Every room in the East wing of the White House was adorned with Christmas trees, lights, and wreaths galore, a white house replica made out of white chocolate, and flowers made out of the image of the two White House dogs. We were serenaded with Christmas carols sung by an armed forces choir as we came in and left, and music all evening by the Coast guard band.

I looked at the place-settings designed by the various presidents. The place settings of Ronald Reagan and Clinton were the most elegant to me.

And all that food prepared by the chefs. From rack of lamb, steak, raw bar, vegetables, potatoes, wild rice, etc, were placed on a table as far as the eyes could see. And a table with all kinds of desserts. I could eat as much as I could hold in my stomach and indeed I did. Great wine and spiked egg nod to wash it all down was provided all evening.

I met lots of people, and leaders from around the country and shook the President’s hand. But the greatest moment was when I met the Butler Mr. James Jeffries, who I heard was there working, and who I tried to find throughout the evening, coming within 30 minutes of losing the opportunity because we all had to be out by 8:00 pm. As the clock was coming around to 7:30 pm, a secret service agent took me to the kitchen and there he was. Elegant in his tuxedo and bow tie. Mr. Jeffries was gracious taking a picture with me. He told me he worked at the White House as butler since he was 17 years of age. He has worked at the House for 54 years and has served 11 Presidents. What a legacy. I also met the next generation of butlers.

All in all a fantastic evening.

I put a few of the 120 pictures I took in the photo section. Enjoy.


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