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Last spring, I had lunch with Mark White, the former governor of Texas. I wasn’t attending some huge conference where he was the speaker. It was just Mark and me and Joe Holley, a friend who worked with the Houston Chronicle and got us all together at Mark’s favorite restaurant, The Reef. I got there a little early, so I went to the restroom to check for fashion disasters. Usually scattered and in a rush leaving the house, I’ve been known to put my shirt on inside out or miss a button.
When I got back to the hostess stand, Mark was waiting by himself. “Well, this is awkward,” I thought. “Mark?” I asked. “Linda?” he responded. “I looks like Joe is late as usual,” I said, shaking his hand. ‘Let’s grab a table and stick him with the bill,” Mark said, and any awkwardness disappeared.
We were early for the lunch crowd but heading to the back table, he was stopped by at least two people he knew. Once we sat down, another man came by to introduce himself. Mark was enthusiastic and gracious, even drawing me into the conversation. This tall former state leader with the reddened face and the prominent nose was definitely admired.