"It was imprudent of us, in the first place, to become authors. We could have become something regular, but we managed not to.
We were lucky, but we were also determined." Roy Blount Jr

"I don’t change the facts to enhance the drama. I think of it the other way round, the drama has got to fit the facts,
and it’s your job as a writer to find the shape in real life."
Hilary Mantel

Thursday, May 01, 2008

Kids in the House

Back to the State House today for the very pleasurable duty of meeting and greeting fourth grade schoolchildren from my own town, who were there for their tour of the building. Their House, the People's House, as the Director of our Visitors' Center often reminded them.

They came in two batches, one tour at 11:30 (about 40 kids) and another at 1:00 (about 20). During their time in Representatives Hall, checking out the chairs and the voting boxes, they asked some very probing questions of their three representatives from our district (the fourth had a family commitment). They were able to watch the Senate in action, from the small and stuffy gallery, and were recognised by our State Senator, who presented each class with a flag that had been flown over the Capitol.

Their last stop on the tour was the Executive Council Chamber. The Governor emerged from his adjacent office to chat for several minutes with each group. He asked them how they spent school vacation week (last week). Quizzed them on their knowledge of New Hampshire factoids (state insect: ladybug; state amphibian: red-spotted newt; state fruit: pumpkin) and their favourite school subject.

We gleaned some factiods about the Governor. He's got five cats at his house. One of them is called Harry Potter.

After photo ops, the kids got to shake his hand.

It made their day. They were glowing. Here's a pic of the first group.

It's moments like these that I marvel how intimate and accessible our state government is. One of the moms in the group works in the deli from which the Governor orders his lunch every day. While in the Hall of Flags, a constituent and fellow parishioner wanders through.

Here's the Governor with one of his fans from the second group.

The proud and distinguished young gentleman pictured above was quite the best-dressed of our visitors, in a bright white shirt and tie. A future legislator, perhaps?

I was standing next to the Visitors Center doorway as the last group headed out, single file. When he passed me, the white-shirt-and-tie boy grinned and told me, "The best place ever!" I could tell he truly meant it. (And such a comment may be confirmation that he has a future in politics!)

On days like this one, I wholeheartily agree with his sentiments!

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