LONGVIEW, TX (KLTV) - A Longview man has taken his love of politics and the presidency one step, or maybe one giant leap, beyond: he has built his very own Oval Office.
“It took 5 years of planning, 8 years of building, and a lot of purchasing items to be displayed in here through the years,” said Ron Wade, the man behind the idea.
You would be hard pressed to find any differences between the real and reproduction; the crown molding, curtains, carpet, even George Washington’s picture above the fireplace are all identical. Wade didn’t stop there, his office is even full of items that either spent time inside the real Oval Office, or belonged to a former president at one time or another. For example, a set of white chairs that sit by his desk were originally purchased by Jackie Kennedy for use in the White House.
“Practically everything in here belonged to a president, was used by a president in the Oval Office, or somewhere in the White House,” Wade added.
The idea started when Wade bought a replicate of the Resolute desk, a 19th-century partners' desk used by several presidents in the White House Oval Office as the Oval Office desk. Wade didn’t realize the desk was so big, so he decided to build his own Oval Office around it.
“I’m a normal person; my wife would say otherwise,” said Wade.
The main difference is the size; Wade’s Oval Office is only three-quarters the size of the White House, mainly because building it any larger means it would’ve come to close to his neighbor’s house.
Wade was also a personal friend of former president George H.W. Bush for some 50 years. Wade said his fascination with collecting presidential memorabilia started in 1964 when Bush ran for senator.