Sunday, May 2, 2004

Visit has Golden Lamb cooking

By Jon Gambrell
Enquirer contributor

Members of a White House advance team survey the scene as Richard Salada (on balcony) applies a coat of white paint to the Golden Lamb on Thursday.
The Cincinnati Enquirer/GLENN HARTONG
LEBANON - From business owners to Democratic dissenters, President George W. Bush's scheduled stop Tuesday in this picturesque Warren County seat has nearly everyone stirred up.

Bush, who will be in town Tuesday for a speech during an Ohio campaign swing, will be the first seated president to ever visit Lebanon, which has hosted 11 other presidents either before or after their presidencies.

"Having the president of the United States is such a tremendous honor to our community," said Mayor Amy Brewer.

Warren County's GOP registered roughly 1,300 people for tickets to the event. According to Les Spaeth, executive council co-chairman of the county's Republican party, no one will be able to enter the block surrounding the president without a ticket.

Presidents who visited Lebanon at some point in their lives:
• John Quincy Adams
• Martin Van Buren
• William Henry Harrison
• Ulysses S. Grant
• Rutherford B. Hayes
• James A. Garfield
• Benjamin Harrison
• William McKinley
• William Howard Taft
• Warren G. Harding
• Ronald Reagan (the only one who didn't spend the night)
Source: Warren County Historical Society
"It's just with the security in this mixed-up world," he said.

Bush will visit The Golden Lamb, becoming the 12th president to stop in at the famed inn and restaurant.

Paul Resetar, managing partner at the Golden Lamb, said "the phone's been ringing off the hook" since the announcement last week.

"Eleven presidents have been here when most of us weren't here," he said in a chorus of ringing telephones and voices. "Now, we are part of the establishment. We are excited and proud to be associated with a place that has this historic value."

Plans haven't firmed on where Bush will speak. Secret Service agents have been in town for days in preparation.

The Golden Lamb will be closed for lunch Tuesday and Lebanon's city building will close at 11 a.m.

Meanwhile, a "Democratic Unity Picnic" will be held from 1-6 p.m. Tuesday at Harmon Park, on East Street. Alicia Shelton, a member of Citizens for Progressive Change, said that while it wouldn't be a protest potluck, there would be some signs among the crowd.

"This is to show there are Democrats in Warren County," she said. "It's not a radical or huge protest by any means."


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