During January 1999, I was in 5th grade and had never missed a single day of school in my life. I broke my streak, which I took a modest amount of pride in, to attend the inauguration of then Governor George W. Bush. My mother and grandparents went with me, but the highlight of my trip was being interviewed by a local news station who thought it was a unique story that a 10-year-old would choose to drive 5 hours and miss his first day of school for a political event.
Fast forward to 2011. As I stood outside the Texas State Capitol watching the inauguration of Governor Rick Perry and Lieutenant Governor David Dewhurst, I could not help but think about the previous experience. It was a great memory, as well as a unique opportunity for me to see politics and government at a young age.
Governor Perry and Lt. Governor Dewhurst harped on the need for less government and more freedom for the people of the great state of Texas during their speeches. I hope that turns into a reality, but we will see.
After the main ceremony, we feasted on good, old-fashioned Texas BBQ. I know I was supposed to be there taking in the festivities, but honestly, we all know that food is a major part of the experience so it became my main focus for close to 90 minutes. I searched the area around our table for extra pies that were left sitting out that I could grab. I contemplated going back for seconds, but my first plate full could have fed a small army so I showed mild restraint and kept from indulging in another.
Following lunch, my mother and I met with the Lt. Governor in the Senate Chamber for a few minutes after he finished an interview in Spanish with a news crew out of Houston. As expected, he was eloquent and chose his words carefully. I liked his demeanor and attitude more than I expected. He has the "political speak" down very well.
Later that evening, we attended the Governor’s Inauguration Ball. Great Texas musicians Eli Young Band, Pat Green, and Clay Walker provided the entertainment that lasted for hours. Once again both the Governor and Lt. Governor spoke about the bright future for our great state and seemed overly optimistic with regards to our economic future.
Overall, the day was a lot of fun. It is always nice to be around thousands of prideful Texans while eating good food and listening to great music.