Remarks at a White House Reception and Barbecue for the California and Texas Congressional Delegations

September 23, 1981

They're darned good at that for Easterners. [Laughter] Well, I think everyone out here has told you how grateful we are. We have been superbly entertained. We've been superbly entertained, but I think everyone would agree, also, we've also tonight been inspired. Thank you.

I want you to know the truth: We're all guests. Not only the Statler Brothers but that wonderful dinner. Our friends, the Santa Ynez Barbecuers from Santa Ynez, California -- [applause] -- I don't know whether the custom exists anyplace else, but out in California in a number of communities, there are people like themselves for whom this is a hobby. But I don't think they've gone quite so far as this group has gone, because they came here as volunteers, and they brought the meat, and they brought the stuff to burn to cook it, and everything else, and we're all -- -- [applause].

Of course, I was a little surprised. I thought finally something had happened in Washington in which I could leave off a necktie, and I came here and everybody looks like lawyers from the East. [Laughter] Well, let's pretend they all just came here directly from the office. All right. And a lot of them are nodding, ``Yes, we did.'' [Laughter]

Well, to all of you, Nancy and I are delighted that you have been here. We've enjoyed this, and I know from the way you've reacted that you have also. [Applause] And I think that for that lady they sang about, that if we just remember that every once in a while we cross a lot of State lines and we cross a lot of party lines, but if we just remember that if every once in a while we get together and break bread and realize how much we have in common, we'll discover that everything will be all right as long as we talk to each other instead of about each other.

So again, just a heartfelt thanks to all of you for the wonderful entertainment and a heartfelt thanks to all of you for coming and to those who fed us so well. And with that, I'll get off of here because I haven't got an encore. [Laughter] As a matter of fact, I haven't even got a get-off line except, ``Good night.''

Thank you all.

Note: The President spoke at 8:45 p.m. following a performance by the Statler Brothers on the South Lawn of the White House.