Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Lunch at the White House

You may recall an earlier post focusing on an invitation my wife and I received to go party down with Laura Bush at the White House.

It was all because of this ornament on the Presidential Christmas tree (and about 350 others).

(official White House photo)

This year the theme of the White House tree was the National Parks, and each park was asked to decorate an ornament for submission to the White House.

These Plain, gold, plastic, ornaments where sent out to the superintendants of the various parks. The boss at Antietam asked me if I'd decorate the one for the battlefield. I said how about if my wife (she's the actual artist in the family, I'm the cartoonist) and I collaborate on a design? He said sure.

We got to work

The idea we came up with was pretty simple: stars, stripes, snowflakes, and little vignettes of Antietam scenes.

You can see more of Virginia's work at: http://www.indepaper.com/

Here's what the rest of it looks like. (click on images for larger views)

Here's a link to all the finished ornaments http://www.nps.gov/pub_aff/whho2007/WebPage-Thumb.00001.html

The finished ornament got boxed up and returned, and a month later we got the invitation for the artist and designers reception at the WH. It was a very fancy afternoon shindig, red room, blue room, Marines, all that jazz. Mrs. B came downstairs (sort of) and gave a brief and upbeat address and voiced her appreciation of the Park Service. Then she went back upstairs and all the designers and park artists returned to food, drinks, and merriment. It was a lot of glittery fun. We enjoyed ourselves.

Unfortunately we adhered to the camera ban that's posted on the WH visitor's center website. So, of course, we were practically the only ones there who hadn't brought a camera. Kind of a bummer for this photography-based blog.

Well, others may have gotten photos, but I got plenty of...

Presidential napkins!


Ranger Mannie

p.s. In response to Drew's comment below, all of the ornaments will end up somewhere within the collections of the National Archives.


Jim Beeghley said...

Congrats Ranger Mannie!

DW@CWBA said...

Beautiful work! I wonder what happens to it after Christmas...

Anonymous said...

Great work Mannie. Your lovely wife and you are extremely talented. And its nice to see that the White House took the time to acknowledge it. Lord knows they usually miss the boat on everything else! Well done.

Laura said...


I came to visit your blog after seeing this Presidential holiday video about the parks. What a funny coincidence!


Hope you are well.