Tech Grad, Lubbock Native Led Decorating The White House For Christmas
Lubbock, TX (KCBD) - Susan Tolkmitt is a Texas Tech University graduate and Lubbock native. He led his team of 21 to decorate the East Room and Green Room at the White House for the holidays during Thanksgiving week.
He says it all started with another Texas graduate who took an interest in his work. The creative director of the executive headquarters visited the Nest Egg store at 40th and Ave. Last year G.
White House creative director John Botello walked into the store. He looked at the trees and started talking to me about decorations, Tokmet said, and then said, "I decorate the White House." "Oh God!"
He asked Susan if she wanted to decorate the White House and then called her in September to see if she was interested.
She told KCBD that she gladly said yes, excited to lead the decorating team.
"I was a captain, one of ten," Tukmet said. “And I had a team and decorated. My team decorated the East Room and the Green Room."
According to him, this year's theme was "We the people" and it was decorated by a team of people from all walks of life.
"You might have some decorators, some florists, but I also had an American officer, a hotel manager and a nurse," Tokmet said. "There were a lot of different cases and a lot of work."
His team was tasked with selecting lead vocals and a green-room chorus, so they added some chimes.
"Wooden bells were made and beautiful bells were hung on ribbons in the windows, which we repaired, then capes," said Tokmet. "So it was a very interesting room."
Tolkmitt studied ornamental horticulture at the Texas Institute of Technology. He says he wouldn't have brought all that Christmas cheer to the White House if he hadn't spent his time as a Red Rider.
"I was a teacher, but I was also vice-dean at the Technical Institute. We mentored students in the internship and then worked with teachers over the summer, so that was good for me,” Tockmett said.
Talkmitt's only regret is that he didn't put Raider Red on the White House Christmas tree. He says he'll be back next year if given the chance.
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