Phone Message Transcript: November 21, 1999
[appearing on Anne's fan phone line]
It's Sunday, November 21, 1999. I want to thank you for all of your messages. I know that it is difficult for you to be leaving interesting messages when I don't take the time to put a message on the machine. The fact is I have been feeling kind of down and sometimes it is very hard for me to make a message. It seems to take an energy that I don't have, but I am very comforted by everything that you have to say. Actually, everything is fine and good here. The weather is sublimely beautiful. New Orleans has had mild days, the trees are still verdantly green, and there are flowers everywhere. There have been lots of tourists in the city enjoying everything that is beautiful.
We recently hosted President Clinton at St. Elizabeth's Orphanage and I just want to tell you about it briefly. It was one of the most exciting events of my life. The Secret Service came in weeks before the President was to arrive and they told us that they wanted him to go through the portion of the building that is Stan's art gallery. My husband has his art gallery at St. Elizabeth's and a lot of his paintings are there on the left side of the building, as you are inside it. Well anyway, we were all set up. We had done everything that the Secret Service wanted and my wonderful sister-in-law, Nancy Diamond, who runs St. Elizabeth's, had worked beautifully with the Secret Service to get everything ready. And then came the moment, when the President was going to come across the street, from Sophie Wright high school and enter our hallway and be with us for a fund raiser for Congressman William Jefferson. I am telling you, I was more nervous I think than I have ever been in my life. I mean it is very, very nerve racking to go on live tv shows, to know that you might have a coughing fit on the Today Show, or that you might stumble and fall going out to meet Rosie O'Donnell, but meeting the President of the United States was absolutely overwhelming. Of course, I have met him twice before but this was under my roof, in St. Elizabeth's. Well, anyway, he finally came into the building and he looked like he had walked right out of CNN. He looked marvelous. He was just wonderfully handsome, wonderfully cheerful. I took his hand and I said "Mr. President, we are so glad to have you. You are my hero." all of which is true. And then we visited for a few minutes. Stan was there, my son Christopher was there, of course the Secret Service was everywhere. And then we commenced our long walk down the Hall of Art, as we call it, to the room at the end, where the President was going to be photographed with numerous people that had contributed a great deal to this fund raiser. And as Stan said later, "There we were, walking down the hall with the most powerful man in the free world." It was really quite inspiring. Of course, he continued to be charming and he made small talk with us and we finally reached the room where the photographs were to be taken and he was extremely informal with us, inviting me to get back into two photographs with other people, after I had been photographed. Finally, I was whisked on out by the Secret Service. It was time for me to leave the great man and time for other people to be with him and I went to the other areas of the building where a great deal of food was being served to all the people who had made contributions and come to the buffet. It was terrific. It was just absolutely terrific. I guess the most important thing I can say about President Clinton is that he is extraordinarily natural and down home and charming. There is nothing phoney about him. There is nothing stiff about him. He was just great. He was just absolutely great. I am in his camp squarely. I think he is doing a wonderful job for his final years in office and of course, I want Gore to win. That is my feeling and I will back Vice-President Gore and if we can get him to come to New Orleans, we'll host him too.
In any event, I just wanted to tell you, one of the people who called had asked me how did it go with the President - and that's how it went. And of course, we put all of our support behind Congressman William Jefferson, but he didn't win the Gubernatorial race but nevertheless, he did a good showing and all of that went well.
What else do I have to tell you - - What else do I have to say. I guess I had some questions to ask you. I wanted to ask you what does the history in my books mean to you? Like, if you read a book like PANDORA, what does it mean when she talks about the Roman Empire and the Roman Emperors, when she says things about how Rome was disintegrating or she talks about the factions in early Christianity. All of that means a great deal when I write it. I strive to make it very accurate. But I wonder sometimes if you expect it to be accurate or if you even read it. I would love to hear about that. I would also like to hear how you feel about the character of Marius. Marius has been, of course, in THE VAMPIRE LESTAT, he has been in THE VAMPIRE ARMAND, and he is a major character in PANDORA. And I would love, he has never had his own book though, and I would love to know how you feel about it.
Okay, I have been talking for four minutes and 58 seconds, now it is 59 seconds. I am going to go off and I hope that you will leave me messages. I love you all very, very much. I want to say love to so many of you out there by name - Anna Lisa in Chicago, Jonathan in Ft. Lauderdale, Michael in San Diego, and many more of you. I wish I could remember all of the names. Believe me, I have your messages and I love you. Take care.