Its 9:02 am May 31, 2007. As you may or may not be aware my company Diamond Cutters International
manufactured the major league soccer championship rings for the Houston Dynamo. A couple of
weeks ago I received a request from the team to make a commemorative ring for the President of the
United States (P.O.T.U.S) George Walker Bush and a necklace for the First Lady. I was stunned!
I also was informed that I was invited to the White House with the team to deliver the mementos
in person! So, on Monday May 28th, Memorial Day Rick Antona (my V.P. and general manager) and
I flew to D.C. to participate in the visit in the East Wing on Tuesday the 29th at 2:00 p.m.
It was my first time in the White House and all I can say is the place took my breath away!
We got a tour of the Red Room, the Blue Room, the Reception Room, the Formal Dining Room where
President Bush hosted the Queen of England at snazzy white tie dinner just three weeks earlier
and then we were ushered out on to the Truman Balcony where we saw the Commander in Chief
fly in on his helicopter! It was very surreal. Within a few minutes, however, our meeting
was over and we were on our way to Reagan National Airport to fly back to Houston. It went by
so quickly, it was almost as if it had not happened. I was told that the commemorative ring we
made for President Bush would one day be included in his presidential library. I have had
items displayed at the Smithsonian but it felt real cool that the ring my company made for him
would be displayed for eternity.
As I think back to those few minutes with President Bush I couldn’t help but think how tired he looked.
It was as if the whole weight of the world was placed squarely on his shoulders. I guess in
many aspects it is. Over the years I have been a critic of our Commander in Chief and even took some
delight when he would flub a line or two during press conferences or addresses to the nation. I’ve
written in the past that I thought our President wasn’t curious enough or even bright enough for the
position he holds. But let me tell you I wouldn’t want his job for all the money in the world!
When I looked into his eyes I saw a man who has died over 3,474 times; once every time he was
informed that another American had died in Iraq or Afghanistan. I knew that President Bush is a
man trying to do his best and wants nothing more than what is best for our country.
Talk to you next time,