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Former President Bush to speak in Woodward

The Associated Press Modified: May 6, 2009 at 10:05 pm •  Published: May 6, 2009
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He was taken aback when the Washington Speakers' Bureau called to let him know Bush had agreed to attend.

"I was just, 'You're kidding me.' ... For a town this size and where it's located, this is just something you don't expect," Laubhan said. Woodward is a city of about 12,000 people located 140 miles northwest of Oklahoma City.

Laubhan said many people helped him in organizing the event, and he credited letters of recommendation from Sen. Jim Inhofe, R-Okla., and Rep. Frank Lucas, R-Okla., for helping convince Bush to attend.

Bush's last public appearance in Oklahoma was in September, when he visited the state Capitol and attended a private fundraiser for Republican presidential candidate John McCain. He was in the state for less than five hours.

He also spoke at Oklahoma State University's commencement in 2006, landing at Vance Air Force Base in Enid before heading to Stillwater by helicopter.

Laudham said the visit from a former president could be a once-in-a-lifetime event for an "oilfield town out in the middle of nowhere."

"It'll just be one for the history books," he said.