In the 1980’s I worked in the Missouri Governor’s Office for then Governor, John Ashcroft. Many of you will recognize the name as our US Attorney General not too many years back. I realize he wasn’t exactly popular and many didn’t agree with his position on things, but that isn’t what this babbling is about, so I won’t go there.
My job title was Fiscal Officer. A better title would have been Low (Wo)man on the Totem Pole of Senior Staff. I never knew what the challenge of the day would be.
See the picture of then Governor Ashcroft presenting a paper mache apple to then President Reagan? That was one of the challenges of the day.
Education seemed to be the platform of every politician in the 80’s. Ashcroft presented himself as the Education Governor. So when Ronald Reagan was coming to Missouri for a visit, Gov. Ashcroft decided he wanted to present him with a LARGE apple. You know, an apple for the teacher… Unfortunately he decided this only four days before the President was to visit.
Since dear hubby (who I get so much mileage out of in this blog) was an art teacher, it was only natural for the Gov. to ask him to make the apple. Jim is not one to shy away from a challenge! He bought one of those big bouncy balloon balls, took it into school with him and he and his students made a paper mache apple. Now anyone who has ever worked with paper mache knows it takes time for each layer of paper to dry. They had fans going day and night to dry the pasted paper as it was applied thin layer after thin layer. His students thought it was cool to be part of making something to give to the President of the United States and showed up before school, during lunch hours, free periods and after school to work on this apple. Jim put the final touches on it, painting it candy apple red and lettering #1 Teacher.
This beautiful apple was presented to Reagan at one of the local high school’s assembly, but only after it had been x-rayed by the Secret Service. I didn’t get to go to many of the high profile events, but this is one I got to attend (do you think it had anything to do with the fact that hubby came through in a pinch?) Dang I was proud of that apple. And as the President boarded Air Force One, he was carrying the apple. How’s them apples…
I had no idea a photo was sent to Reagan for a personal message to Jim. Hot diggidy! A signed photo of President Reagan! Or is it… I don’t think we’ll ever know for sure. Is the signature real or a robo-signature? What do you think?