Zulu coconut delivered to President Obama
WASHINGTON -- A specially designed Zulu coconut made its way from Capitol Hill to the White House this afternoon on its way to its presentation to President Barack Obama.
The delegation said the president promised to find a good spot to display it.
The car carrying the gift was driven by Alicia Williams, Sen. Mary Landrieu's office manager. In the front passenger seat was Keith Eccles, the Gretna artist and teacher at Higgins High School in Marrero, who hand-painted the coconut to honor the election of inauguration of Obama as president. The coconut, nestled in a decorated box that once held a Faberge egg, rested on Eccles' lap.
In the back seat was Charles Hamilton Jr., president of the Zulu Social Aid and Pleasure Club, and Zulu first lady Patricia Wade Hamilton.
The presentation of the coconut -- a White House press officer referred to it at as ``the coconut handoff,'' while a Landrieu spokesman called it "the coconut exchange'' -- was not open to the press.
Sen. Landrieu was also at the ceremony along with LaVerne Saulny, who runs the senator's office in New Orleans. Landrieu helped arrange the presentation of the coconut to the president, working with Desiree Glapion Rogers, a two-time Zulu queen, who is now the White House Social Secretary.
by Jonathan Tilove, The Times-Picayune, Monday March 02, 2009, 2:30 PM