State of the Union and The Rolling Stones

I’ve been quite for a while. Time for some fun stuff.

What do the Rolling Stones have to do with the State of the Union address? For me, quite a bit.

In my book, Confessions of a Government Man, I told a lot of tall tales about adventures during my lengthy government career. One “confession” which I omitted had to do with both the Stones and the State of the Union.

On State of the Union Day in 2003 I was at a GSA conference in Oklahoma City with a large contingent of senior level GSA Public Buildings Service officials. No, it was not a Las Vegas type party but a working conference. It was symbolically held in Oklahoma City in order for GSA to present awards to some of our local employees for their efforts following the Oklahoma City bombing.

As fate would have it, on the first day of our conference we found out that the Stones would be appearing the following night at the arena just about the time George W. Bush would be giving his speech. We should have expected that something was up because the groupies were starting to arrive at our hotel.

Most of us were “invited” to listen to the address with our commissioner in one of the function rooms at the hotel.

This was a dilemma. Well, I was a short timer so I had nothing to lose. I was not a Stones’ fan and neither were several others involved in the caper but I couldn’t pass on the opportunity to see legends perform.

At lunchtime of speech day a delegation walked over to the arena and actually was able to score ten tickets at a reasonable price. What was going to be our excuse for not attending the commissioner’s function? We decided to worry about it the next day.

I called my kids from the arena to tell them I was at a Stones’ concert. They thought I was smoking some of the stuff which was permeating the arena.

The concert was great. The groupies partying all night in the hotel were a bit of a disturbance since we had to go to work the next day.

The commissioner actually was quite understanding. When we met in the morning he rattled off the names of some Stones’ albums and kind of indicated that the only thing he was mad at was that he wasn’t invited to come with us.

For more pithy commentary check out the links to my blogs and YouTube presentations on my website.

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