Meeting Ross Perot

WifeGeeding and I attended an engagement party Saturday night for her friend that is the nanny for Ross Perot’s grandchildren.  The Perot family was nice enough to host the party at their house, and was this a night to remember for a down-home kinda boy from Mineral Wells, Texas.

When we drove up to the estate one could not help but notice that the driveway was lit by a plethora of candles, which was a nice little touch, and we were promptly greeted by a valet.  As we walk towards the house, we pass by some very professional security guards that instructed us where to go once we entered the courtyard.  I never been in a mansion before, and this was everything I thought it would be and more.

After WifeGeeding and I did the meet-and-greet with the soon to be married couple, we promptly explored the mansion with dropped jaws in tow.  The party was catered by one of the local upscale Mexican restaurants and came complete with a mariachi band.

WifeGeeding started doing what girls at a party do, having a bunch of yackity-yack with her friends.  I decided to check out the library were I found an autographed baseball signed by Mickey Mantle.  It was then that Mr Perot entered the room, and it was really just us two in there so I introduced myself.  Yes, I’m taller than him, but when I shook his hand I was in a stage of awe.  After all, this guy put together Operation HOTFOOT, is a billionaire (sold EDS for $2.5 billion in 1984), ran for president, was parodied on Saturday Night Live and The Simpsons, owns one of the four remaing original Magna Charta documents, is a Dallas icon, and much more.

We had a very pleasant conversation mostly about my father and his military experience, but as we walked around I noticed a picture of he and Prince Charles on the wall which lead me to ask him what that picture was about.  Turns out the Royal Family presented him with an award named after Winston Churchill in which he humbly expressed to me he didn’t deserve.  I so very wanted to ask him for a picture of us together, but just felt it would have been in poor taste.  The encounter was surreal, and I have to say I was very honored to meet him as I admired him since jr. high.  I just didn’t have the heart to tell him that I made a pinata of him when I was junior in high school for my Spanish II class.  He was running for the presidency at the time.  Basically the pinata was a head with big ears.  Wish I had a picture of it, it was actually pretty cool.  Guess if I had him autograph the picture of the pinata that would have been really tacky.

Later in the evening I struck up a conversation with the head chef and manager of the household.  I had all sorts of questions for him about his background, how he got that gig, and how people of wealth act behinds the scenes.  Turns out the Perots are first class people and aren’t pretentious in the least.  He lives on the grounds and have been working for them for the past 11 years.  Who knew that a student in a vocational school in Minneapolis would be working and living with a billionaire?

The only other memorable experience of the night also occurred in the library.  WifeGeeding and I were talking to some folks as she leaned against the wall, but accidentally made a large painting move.   I promptly moved to try to save it from falling, but it turns out it wasn’t falling, it was turning,  WifeGeeding found a secret compartment!  I made sure to return the painting to its original setting as Mr Perot sat on the couch chuckling at me.  We later found out that the secret compartment did nothing more than hide a plasma television . . . at least that was what we were told. 😉

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