"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

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

A Day in the House

I had the text of this post written and when I saved I only got the pictures. So for the second time around I'll have to be more pithy, I've got very few brain cells left.

It was the strangest House session I've ever experienced, including ceremony, hospitality, tension, insults, a challenge to the Senate, and raucous behaviour.

At the start of the day we marked the annual Lafayette Day, the anniversary of the Marquis de Lafayette's last visit to New Hampshire. On that occasion he addressed the Legislature and planted an elm tree on the State House lawn. The tree lived a long time but eventually succumbed to Dutch Elm disease.

Today the Comte de Lafayette, a direct descendant, was with us to mark the 185th annivesary of the visit and the tree-planted. In the morning rain he planted an elm tree hybridised to be disease resistent. And then he addressed the Legislature as his ancestor did.

The Honour Guard.

The most decorated French veteran of World War II. The Comte is behind him.

A historian gave us a descripton of Lafayette's heroism, military feats, and his visits to New Hampshire.

A representative--a former Speaker of the House and son of a Speaker--exhibited a gavel used by him and his father, created from the wood of the elm tree that died.

The Comte was gracious in his remarks about the friendship of our two nations and his pleasure in being here today.

The Speaker presented him with a memento made of NH granite.

We then returned to our business. We concurred with Senate amendments to House bills, or non-concurred and requested committees of conference. We essentially issued a challenge to the Senate and required them to give us an answer by 3 p.m.

Then we had to set aside our differences and smile for the photographer who took our Class Photo.

I was smiling, because I knew we were having our annual Ice Cream Social at dismissal. Which occurred at 2:00.

The Sergeant at Arms, the Majority Leader, and the Governor. I guess he heard about all the craziness in Representatives Hall and came to check on us before we were called to order.

The Senate agreed to our challenge--demands--and agreed to form commmittees of conference to attempt compromise on the budget reduction and revenue enhancement bills.

We adjourned at 6 p.m., just as the 5K Road Race--a fundraiser for the hospital--was staring. All the streets round the Capitol were closed or closing, but I managed to get out and cross the river to meet our FFTNC for a quick supper at Boloco. She's spending the night at the Lodge.

After a day like this, I'm in desperate need of lake time. So I'm headed there tomorrow!

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