The Dallas Morning News chose John Claybrook as its "Good Kid of the Week" last Thursday, and they asked him to name two people he’d like to meet. He picked Shawn Johnson, the Olympic gold medalist and "Dancing with the Stars" champion, and George W. Bush, former President of the United States and Dallasite. The next day, Bush’s office called and asked if Claybrook would like to come in for a chat with the former President.
So they met at Bush’s Dallas office at 10 a.m. Tuesday, and they talked for about 40 minutes. "He said, ‘Well gosh dang it, John, have a seat,’ and then he asked me about myself," Claybrook says. The Lake Highlands graduate is about to start as a freshman at Texas A&M University, and he thinks there will be pressure to conform to other people’s ideas. So he asked Bush how he "upheld his integrity throughout the presidency."
"He talked for about five minutes, but the thing that struck me the most was, he said, ‘Stick to your guns and hold your principles above popularity,’ which I thought was pretty strong," Claybrook says. He wanted to meet Bush because they have similar political and religious beliefs. Now he describes the President as welcoming, personable and genuine. "He was just a very cool guy and had a lot of cool advice. He’s definitely someone to look up to."
More after the jump.
Bush sent Claybrook home with personal notes to his parents and younger brother, and he’s mailing an autographed picture of their meeting. It’s 40 minutes that Claybrook will never forget.
But he’s still waiting to hear from the Olympic gold medalist. "That would be the only way it could get any better right now, is if Shawn called and wanted to go on a date or something," Claybrook says.