I was watching a CSPAN special tonight about the White House. Laura Bush was giving Brian Lamb and the viewers a tour of the building. I was amazed at how large the quarters are, with very long hallways. I have seen the White House, from across the street near the Washington Monument. I was there during President Nixon's first inaugural week. I was thinking how small the building looked then but how spacious it looked tonight. Right now CSPAN is showing a tour Jackie Kennedy gave Charles Collingwood back in the early 1960's. What surprised me about this one was that it was in black-and-white. I was working in television in 1963, when President Kennedy was assassinated. I had to go back in my memories to recall that color television was just coming into its own then. I remember our television station a year or two later had film or videotape in color, then, but our studio cameras were still black-and-white. So it presented a strange contrast to the viewers, I'm sure.
But I digress.
SWMBO was surprised by Laura Bush's ad libbing ability during tonight's tour. But I recall that she was a teacher, or at least a librarian. And she is an educated woman. So her ability to talk easily about something she loves does not surprise me.
Another surprise was the amount of art on the walls. Some amazing pieces, including one of Mrs. Bush's favorites . . a Mary Cassat painting that has hung since at least the first President Bush's time in the White House.
SWMBO said "I wonder how Barack Obama will feel about all the old black servants there." I said "Well, they're not slaves, they're servants!" I think he'll be okay with them.
It will be an interesting time and I hope to be able to one day see Michelle Obama giving a tour of the White House.