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From the Courthouse to the White House

From the Courthouse to the White House

Posted: Thursday, November 20, 2008 4:13 pm
By: By Russell Cherry

From the Courthouse to I remember my first visit to the White House. Ronald Regan was President, and his wife’s name was Nancy. Sgt. Grady Mealer and I, along with a busload of other soldiers, made the trip from Camp Pendar, Va. We would make a fast tour of our nation’s capital during daylight hours and return to camp that night by the same route we took to get there. The bus arrived in Washington very early one Saturday morning and went into a reserved parking facility. From there we walked a short distance and boarded a train that would take us by the Pentagon and on into the heart of the city. I had never been to this place and did not really know what to expect. Ours was not to be a guided tour, and we were free to roam around and see the sites that were of interest to the each of us. Washington was not at all how I had envisioned it to be in my mind, although I’d seen pictures of it in schoolbooks and on calendars and such. We were told there was no way we could see everything there was to see in one day. My eyes did see the Lincoln Memorial, Vietnam Wall, Washington Monument and the Smithsonian Institution, just to name a few. The Capitol Building was undergoing renovation at the time we were there and was much larger than I expected. To me Washington is a big park with green grass, monuments everywhere and vendors selling souvenirs, etc., in great abundance. The last trek on our tour was the White House. I asked the young guard at the closed gate if Ronnie and Nancy were at home. Someone had made a threat, and no one was being allowed inside the grounds at that time. Several large gravel trucks had been parked in front of the building and tourists were politely asked to look at something somewhere else. I would estimate that the young uniformed guard at the front gate was in his mid 20s. “Are Ronnie and Nancy at home?” I asked with a smile. “Do you know the President or first lady?” he asked in reply. “You go tell Nancy that Russell Cherry and Grady Mealer from West Tennessee are at the gate and see if we are invited in,” said I. He laughed out loud and said, “You are a crazy fella and have a funny way of talking.” Suffice-to-say, we never did get to see Ronnie or Nancy. Believe it or not, my sweet wife, Gladys, and I dined at the White House on Nov. 7 of this year during the evening hours. My birthday arrives on Nov. 6 and Gladys’ on Nov. 8. And we received an invitation to go to the White House for a meal to celebrate our birthdays. I left work at the Courthouse on Friday afternoon, rushed home, bathed and jumped into clean cloths that my wife had laid out for me on our bed. We climbed into our little red Neon and drove to Sand Hill Road in Martin and entered a chauffeured automobile that was to take us to the White House. As we dined on delicious food from an extensive menu in the “Angel Room” our two hosts entertained us with sparkling conversation. We did not see George Bush or Laura; Barak and Michelle Obama were not there either. Sitting across the table from my wife and I in this upstairs dining room was one of the most beautiful women I’ve had the privilege of knowing. Her name is Kathy Bonds, and she is a nurse by profession, and she was escorted to the White House by a handsome man whose name is Justin Bonds (no not 007) who is our son-in-law. She is our youngest daughter, a mother of three girls, and this White House Restaurant, built in the 19th century, can be found across from the city park in a little town called “Troy, Tennessee,” a place to eat good food and thank God for it. In His service, Bro. Russell Cherry wcp 11-20


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