Douglas takes a turn as a Make A Wish tour guide

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(Host) A visitor to Montpelier got a special tour of the historic Statehouse on Wednesday. Sixteen-year old David Underwood’s trip to Vermont was sponsored by the Make A Wish Foundation, which grants wishes to children who face life-threatening illnesses.

David is from Sanford, North Carolina and is living with leukemia. He’s a history buff and wanted to visit state capitols in New England. When he got to Montpelier, Governor Jim Douglas was his tour guide. Melanie Underwood is David’s mother. She says her family had no idea that they would meet the governor.

(Underwood) “We did not know until we got to the airport in Raleigh on Sunday morning and the Make A Wish representative gave us an itinerary. So this is a huge surprise, a pleasant surprise, and one that we’re very grateful for. His humor, blended in with his knowledge, I think makes it very easy for my son to listen to him and find him very interesting.”

(Host) Governor Douglas is a history buff as well. And his personal tour was filled with details of Statehouse lore. At one point, the governor showed the Underwood family the huge granite columns that survived a fire in the 19th century:

(Douglas) “It was in January of 1857 when there was a constitutional convention that was going to be held in the Statehouse. The janitor came in on a particularly cold morning to get the fires going and it just got out of hand.”

(Host) Later in the day, the Underwoods toured the Calvin Coolidge historic site in Plymouth. On Thursday, they’ll visit the State capitol in Concord, New Hampshire.

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