It turns out that my memory erased some of the “uncomfortable” details of my first visit to the White House. (Inspiring—Not a Dump) Cindy’s more youthful brain was able to fill in the blanks of our evening visit to that magnificent house, and her version explained why I was so uneasy when I arrived at the side door.
Don’t you remember when “someone” had the great idea, as we were passing the open gate of the East Entrance of the White House, of just walking onto the grounds? Suddenly, two agents jumped out at us—one with a gun—and stopped us and wanted to know what we were doing there.
We told him we had come to get the tickets, and then I admitted (ok, so it was MY great idea!) that when I saw the open gate, I decided we should enter the grounds. That’s when the one guard called ahead and sent you in to get the tickets while I waited.
When you came back, they asked us if we were interested in going to some club in Georgetown later that evening. I thought you were going to kill me after that!
I remember one of us asked if President Ford and his sons were in the White House, and they said the president was out of town but flying in that evening. That’s why the gates were open. The helicopter came in that way, so I guess they needed to open the gates for more room—or did back then.
So I guess I can now understand why I felt so unsettled. You must admit that Cindy’s version is far more exciting than mine. Boy, security has certainly gotten tighter since those days. Our little escapade did not even make the evening news.