Capitol prepares for services honoring Gov. Kathleen Blanco
BATON ROUGE - Wiping down glass and going through the steps, organizers put the finishing touches on preparations for Thursday's ceremony.
People spent the entire morning unpacking and setting up display cases filled with mementos of late Governor Kathleen Blanco's life.
"Certainly we wanted to make sure that people who come to visit the capital when she lies in state tomorrow will get a sense of who she was," said Kim Reed, Blanco's former deputy chief of staff.
A sense of Governor Kathleen Blanco, the first female governor of Louisiana, the Queen Bee.
"When she was governor there was a legislator who accused her of being 'heavy-handed' and said in a negative tone that she thinks she's the 'queen bee'. So she joyfully adopted that motto and began wearing a queen bee pin, and so the staff also bought our queen bee pins as well," Reed said.
Each item has a story behind it.
"This is the suit she wore for her inauguration. The picture is here, and so I was so surprised and delighted that her family brought the suit," Reed explained. "Her blue dog painting... George Rodrigue was a student of her husband's, Coach, and so the blue dog painting was part of her inauguration celebration as well."
Also inside: letters from President George Bush, a certificate from the Pope and dozens of awards and medals for which they didn't even have room.
"Her faith was important, her family, and certainly her political career. And so you see cases here that reflect those categories of her life."
Governor Blanco will lie in state at the capitol from 1 to 6 p.m. Thursday directly across from this display on the senate side.