Why did President Bush miss the festival?
One morning during the festival while opting to walk to the National Mall, a Streetplay staffer heard a man calling to him from the parking lot of the Washington Post office as he passed it. Identifying himself only as "Deep Gore" and hiding his face in the shadows, the broad-shouldered, stiff-backed man started a conversation in a patronizing monotone voice:
Deep Gore then jogged away into the darkness muttering the words, "recount, my ass." What he'd given us were internal White House documents showing that the President not only planned to attend our stickball game, but was preparing to have Pennsylvania Avenue set up to host it--as well as using a side of the newly renovated Washington Monument for Ace-King-Queen. He'd also obtained a participant badge for the Folklife Festival so he could be a part of the Streetplay team.
So what caused Dubya's change of heart? An internal White House memo explained all. Apparently, former First Lady and Dubya's mother, Barbara Bush, asked the coordinator of the President's schedule to tell her son that he was busy and couldn't attend or help plan any of the Streetplay games we'd planned for the festival. She apparently didn't want her son to "be seen playing in the gutter."
Well, it's not the first time an old lady has kept kids from playing in the street in front of her house.
Editor's note: Streetplay actually did invite President Bush to the Folklife Festival, and we did receive the letter as seen in this piece. However, Al Gore doesn't hang out in the Washington Post parking lot muttering inscrutable epithets, and we're sure Barbara Bush would love to have seen her boy playing in the street with us.
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