Richard B. Cheney photo

Interview of the Vice President and Mrs. Cheney by KCWY News-13

May 27, 2006

Casper Events Center

Casper, Wyoming

2:45 P.M. MDT

Q: First of all, thank you so much for allowing a few minutes to get to know more, a little bit more about you two.

We've always heard you married your high school sweetheart, Lynne. And we heard about you throwing 100-pound bags of bentonite. What were you doing during the time he was doing that?

MRS. CHENEY: What year would that have been?

THE VICE PRESIDENT: Well, I worked in the bentonite plant the summer I graduated from high school briefly and got another job after that.

MRS. CHENEY: Well, I was working for Tom Struck, who was an oil man downtown, and still a good resident of Casper and fine supporter of all things Wyoming.

Q: Fantastic. How did you all meet?

THE VICE PRESIDENT: Well, I knew her when we were in the eighth grade, but she wouldn't have anything to do with me until I was a junior in high school. Actually, we double-dated with others first. And Lynne was dating my good friend Tom Fake, and shortly after that I asked her out. And when I first asked her out, she said, are you kidding? Which I took to mean she really wasn't very interested.

MRS. CHENEY: No, but I just meant, oh, that's great, are you kidding, that's great.

But it's also the case that we -- both of us were reading our way through the old Carnegie Library. And Dick was in the history section. I was in the fiction section. We didn't cross paths, but we've compared notes so we know that one summer we were both in there a lot.

Q: When you come back, a lot of memories come back?

MRS. CHENEY: Oh, yes.

THE VICE PRESIDENT: Oh, sure, yes.

Q: A Casper native said she grew up near you, Mrs. Cheney, in West Ridge. She said you were quite skilled with the baton and the band. When was the last time you --

MRS. CHENEY: This is all true. (Laughter.) There used to be a rule you couldn't be a baton twirler unless you also played an instrument. And so Blaine Cuba (ph), who used to be the head of the band here, tried valiantly to get me to play anything. Once he had me carrying a French horn home. None of it ever worked. It was all just a cover, and I -- so I got to baton twirl anyway.

THE VICE PRESIDENT: She was a good baton twirler. (Laughter.)

Q: Excellent. When you guys started dating, where did you hang out?

THE VICE PRESIDENT: Well, we had to be very careful because Lynne's mother was the secretary to the police chief. And usually it was that when we arrived home after a date, she already had a full report on wherever we'd been so --

Q: I heard you at the RNC talking about driving through Casper. I think you said one A&W and the other.

MRS. CHENEY: One A&W to the other. The Brig it used to --

Q: The Brig.

MRS. CHENEY: -- it was an A&W for a while I think.

THE VICE PRESIDENT: Yes, there were two A&W's for a while, yes.

Q: So we did have --

MRS. CHENEY: But Dick didn't do that very much. I was always kind of disappointed that he didn't understand how worthy a thing that was to do, was drive from one A&W to the other endlessly.

Q: Now it would be no -- I'm afraid. Probably, wouldn't you think? How about Rex's and Al's?

THE VICE PRESIDENT: Yes, used to be able to get the "Flying Saucer." It was a hamburger smashed down flat with some kind of special machine they had.

MRS. CHENEY: It was really good.

THE VICE PRESIDENT: Rex's was pretty good.

Q: You're both very busy people, of course. You've done so much. And what is it you miss most about when you get to come to Wyoming, when you get to Casper?

THE VICE PRESIDENT: Well, we get to Jackson periodically because we have a home up there. And we get to Casper periodically because Lynne has still got family -- her brother and sister-in-law and their family all live here. My dad passed away in 1999, and that's when we sold the old house out on Texas Place. But Casper is -- it's in our blood. It's where we grew up. Wyoming was a fantastic place to grow up in the 1950s. We got a great education here. We've still got a lot of friends and a lot of memories. We were back two years ago for our 45th high school reunion.

MRS. CHENEY: That was fun. And you miss the wide open spaces. When Dick was -- when he first moved here, he lived in the last house on the east side of town. And so there's nothing but prairie. And even though it's now built up a lot more, there's that sense of openness, that big sky is something that doesn't exist many places. And I think that's something we're always glad to get back to.

Q: And is this where you want to come home?


MRS. CHENEY: Wyoming will always be our home, for sure.

Q: What are the things you get to do when you get to town, even though right now you have to have advance teams, all the security and various things, difficult to just come home and do things?

THE VICE PRESIDENT: Well, it is. But this afternoon we went back and visited the people who now live in the house that Lynne lived in when -- well, even before I knew you which was back when you were, what 10?

MRS. CHENEY: About 10 years old, up in West Ridge. And it was fun, meeting nice people and the neighbors across the street that I hadn't seen for a very long time. So I think Casper for us is -- the biggest thing is people, people that we've known for a very long time. Dick and I used to go door-to-door. We were reminiscing about that. When he was running for Congress, we'd go knock on doors. And people were so nice and supportive then and to whom we owe a great deal.

THE VICE PRESIDENT: I ran six times for Congress, so those statewide campaigns were an important part of our lives. Our kids grew up campaigning and for well over 10 years that I served in the House of Representatives, that was a very, very important part of our lives.

Q: Our own Pete Williams has told me a lot about those experiences.

THE VICE PRESIDENT: Pete worked for us. I hired him away from his job here in Casper, and he went to work for me in Washington -- both on Capitol Hill and then at the Pentagon.

Q: That's right. You were president of your senior class.


Q: Now you're just Vice President. How do you feel about that?

THE VICE PRESIDENT: Well -- (laughter) -- I'm honored by having held both positions. Put in those terms.

Q: Very good. Well, we want to thank you so much. Thank you so much for this time.

END 2:51 P.M. MDT

Richard B. Cheney, Interview of the Vice President and Mrs. Cheney by KCWY News-13 Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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