The City of Levelland is getting some unique publicity right now. On a recent humanitarian trip to Africa, former president George W. Bush donned a Levelland, Texas baseball cap.
The hat was a gift from Levelland's mayor, Waymon Jackson, who has a personal link with the 43rd president.
Waymon Jackson's son, Ronny, may have been born and raised in Hockley County, but now he is Director of the White House Medical Unit. Ronny has formed a close relationship with the Bush family over the years and that's how a little piece of the South Plains ended up on the former president's head.
"Ronny dearly loves the Bushes. He loves Laura and George and he likes Daddy Bush, too. It's just something to talk about and it's exciting," Jackson said.
George and Laura recently spent time in Livingstone, Zambia as a part of a Bush Center initiative focusing on women's health and empowerment. And this is actually the second Levelland hat the former president has worn in Africa.
"The first hat was when Ronny was in Levelland. I gave him a hat from Levelland and told him to give it to Mr. Bush," Jackson said.
That hat now sits behind glass at the Bush Presidential Center in Dallas, but Jackson says when Bush decided to return to Africa, he knew he couldn't do it without a new Levelland cap.
"He called me and told me to bring some hats. He said Mr. Bush is going to need another hat when we go to Africa," Jackson said.
While Levelland couldn't be farther away from Zambia, residents we talked to said they're excited to see Bush 43 supporting their city.
"Wow, that to me makes history. That puts Levelland on the map for sure," Tammy Castro said.
"I think it's pretty cool. He's got a cap on, little town Levelland, 30 miles west of Lubbock," Joe Sanchez said.
Jackson says he can't think of a better person to represent his city on the other side of the globe.
"We're real proud to have a little extra close relationship with him," Jackson said.
Jackson purchased the first hat from the United in Levelland, but when he returned to buy Bush's second cap, they didn't sell them anymore.
Jackson had to special order the ball cap for the president. He says they're currently working to make them available again.
LEVELLAND, TX (KCBD) - The George W. Bush Presidential Library has a full gallery of pictures from the president's visit available here: http://bit.ly/1d0QrEw