On Tuesday, May 4, department of music faculty member Dawn Stone sang a selection of show tunes and patriotic songs for a crowd of more than 2,500 people gathered in Lebanon, Ohio, to greet the arrival of President George W. Bush. The president’s eight-bus caravan stopped in Lebanon before continuing on to a campaign rally at the Cincinnati Gardens in Bond Hill.
Stone, along with pianist Jay Mills, performed 30 minutes of music at the Golden Lamb Inn where President Bush met with supporters, including U.S. Rep. Rob Portman, whose grandparents own the historic restaurant and inn. “It was a really exciting day—Lebanon was so beautiful,” said Stone, who changed the words from the Showboat tune, “Can’t Help Lovin’ Dat Man” to “Can’t Help Votin’ Republican.”
Bush was the 12th president to visit the Golden Lamb, but the first sitting one. “I’m proud to be the first sitting president to visit here…Actually, I’m a standing president right now,” he said, speaking from a podium. Bush arrived at 2:00 p.m., too late to hear Stone’s performance, but they exchanged greetings before he entered the Golden Lamb to meet with the restaurant’s kitchen staff.
Stone regularly entertains at the Lincoln Day Dinner, a Republican fundraiser, and was tapped by Warren County Commissioner Pat South to perform during the president’s visit. “I’ve sung on Broadway and throughout Europe, but this was the most exciting thing I’ve ever done,” Stone said.