LONGVIEW, TX (KLTV) - A Longview man has such respect for the presidency that he had a replica of the Oval Office built as an add-on to his home. The road to that goal began in the 1960’s when he met President Johnson, and George H. W. Bush long before he was President. And that meeting with Bush developed into a friendship that lasted many years.
Sure, Ron Wade has his own Oval Office, but he has some surprising friendships, too.
“Not much special about me except that I’ve been a friend and worked with seven United States presidents. And I was fortunate enough to have known President George H.W. Bush, and his son, for the last fifty years,” Wade said.
He met President Bush during his campaign for U.S. Senate in 1964.
“And I hosted him in our little Republican Headquarters in Gilmer for a whole day. We spent the whole day together,” Wade recalled.
Wade says politics always fascinated him.
“I had been real interested before in the 1960 campaign race when I was ten,” Wade revealed.
He feels that politically:
“We grew up together even though he was considerably older than me,” Wade said of President Bush.
They spoke often until Senator Bush moved on.
“To the White House it was so amazing to see things change over in just a heartbeat after he took the Oath of Office, and while I had been with him and close to him all the time before. All of a sudden we were divided because of the protocol of who’s going to be with the president,” Wade said.
But President Bush didn’t forget Ron Wade and they remained friends.
“George Bush was one of the best presidents that we’ve had in my opinion. He was also one of my very best friends. And he was always generous and kind to me and my family. He certainly deserves all the honor and praise that people can give him. He was a wonderful president and even a more wonderful friend,” Wade added.
Wade says it was his friendship with President Bush that opened so many doors for him, including involvement with seven U.S. Presidents.
Wade traveled to Houston to pay his last respects to his friend George H.W. Bush.