Chance of a Lifetime

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On Tuesday, we flew to Houston to interview Mrs. Barbara Bush about her literacy program that happens Thursday night in Houston. Literacy is an important cause that Mrs. Bush has been championing for many years. As it turned out, our plans got a bit turned upside down, but all for the good. Here is what happened:

If you have read Mrs. Bush's autobiography, you know that throughout her many decades of marriage to the former president, he was forever inviting people to stay at their house or to spend time with them. The book seems to suggest that she never knew who would be spending time with them, since he invites everyone. Our trip was no exception. The original plan was an interview her and then do our show from Houston.

However, the president had two extra tickets to the Houston Astros baseball game, so he invited my producer and me. We jumped at the chance to go to the Astros game and sit with President Bush 41 and Mrs. Bush.

To accomplish this, we had to juggle some things: I had to pre-tape an interview with Beth Holloway Twitty and Dave Holloway's lawyer, John Q. Kelly, immediately upon my arrival in Houston and we had to find someone to guest host the show. My colleague Martha MacCallum was generous to agree to guest host with virtually no notice.

After conducting the interview of John Q. Kelly, we raced across town to President Bush 41's office. At his office, we interviewed Mrs. Bush and the president stopped in and joined the interview towards the end. After the interview ended, the president and Mrs. Bush left for the ballpark. We had to do some things with the tape from the interview before we could leave for the ballgame. We completed our tasks and then met the president and the former first lady at the ballpark.

The weather was perfect and the score was very high (the score was so high that it began to feel like basketball, rather than baseball!)

The president and Mrs. Bush were extremely gracious to my producer and to me. I am lucky to have this job and lucky to have the opportunity to do a "good news" interview, which is one about an effort to promote literacy and to improve lives. No one can emphasize enough the importance of literacy.

Incidentally, the interview with Mrs. Bush and the former president airs tonight. I suspect that we may air it in parts — one part tonight, one part Thursday night — but that is a decision made by my senior producer in New York City. She will make the decision while I am on a flight back to D.C. Hence it will be a surprise to me.

On Thursday, I will post pictures from our trip to Houston, but thought I would post at least one today. After our interview with the former first lady (and her husband, President Bush 41), they graciously agreed to a group picture with our crew. Click on the thumbnail above.

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