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Take Five: Rep. Mike Bost

It’s time again for Take Five, when HOH  talks with a member of Congress about topics relatively unrelated to legislative work.  

This week, Rep. Mike Bost, R-Ill., speaks about giving a dog mouth-to-mouth, his love of cruises and how he came to be the owner of a beauty salon.  

Q. As a firefighter, did you ever save kittens from a tree?  A. No, but I actually am one of the members of my own fire company that actually — and this is not joking — I had [a boy and a girl, about 5 and 6 years old] that was crying. Their dog had had smoke inhalation … [and] everyone looked at me like, “Are you going to do it?”  

And I was like, “OK.”  

I didn’t think it would work. … All the other firefighters were going, “I’m not going to do it, that’s a dog!” so I went ahead … [and] it worked! I was able to do CPR on a dog. We jokingly say that I was the only one who had a save on “mouth to snout.”  

It was just a normal fire scene that we went on and the dog had gotten a lot of smoke inhalation. It was a puppy. [It was] really strange because … it’s just trying to modify what you do anyway, and somehow the dog came back around and it was fine.  

But, as far as getting cats out of trees, actually that’s an old wives’ tale, because most firefighters don’t want to take a truck out of commission to get a cat out of a tree.  

Q. How did you get into the beauty salon-owning business?  A. It’s called the White House Beauty Salon. It has nothing to do with politics; it’s because it was a big white house that was a boutique for years that later became our home.  

My wife is a cosmetologist. After I came home from the Marine Corps … she was wanting to go into a career where we could actually pay for putting our children in Christian school, and so she went back to school to become a cosmetologist; and she’s very, very good at it.  

We began to look and thought, “we could do this on our own,” and in that way, we bought the beauty salon.  

[When we bought it, we said,] “Why don’t you just call it the White House? Everybody knows where the white house is.” And we’ve owned the White House Beauty Salon for 24 years.  

I do fold a mean towel. … I know how to wash and fold towels — so I’m good at that.  

Q. You are planning on sleeping in your office while you’re in D.C. Why? A. I heard a statement by one congressman, “That way you don’t forget where home is.”  

As a Marine, I can feel home just about any place. … The office is going to have normal stuff that I would’ve had in my other office, too [in the Illinois legislature], just pictures of my kids and grandkids and things like that.  

Q. Where is your favorite place to vacation outside the district? A. Now, I would say that my favorite place — and my district is a great place to vacation — but I’m a big cruise guy. I really like cruising, and it’s always been a really relaxing time for my wife and I.  

So we like to have that solitude. She definitely … likes the sun, so if it’s a southern cruise of some sorts it’s best. If it makes her happy, then that’s good, that’s where we go. If it’s just me, I like to go somewhere I can hunt.  

Q. Did you play any sports in high school? A. I did. I wrestled and I played football up until the time that I wanted a car instead — and then I worked a lot so I could pay for my car, and I ran cross country. … [Now that I’m] an adult and married, I play softball quite a bit and I run. In 2011, I ran the Marine Corps Marathon, right here in D.C.  

I didn’t say I did a great time, I just said I did it.  

The 114th: CQ Roll Call’s Guide to the New Congress

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