Tuesday, October 27, 2009

What a GREAT Day!

At 11:02 a.m. this morning, President Barack Obama's entourage of marine helicopters (there were six of them) flew over my house on his way over to Arcadia to to dedicate a new solar energy facility. You can read about the visit here:

When I heard the copters coming I darted out on my lanai and saluted him. I even had a few tears streaming down my cheeks as he went by me - unfortunately about 500 feet up. Its funny how when I lived in Washington DC and heard Helicopter 1 flying around all the time I thought nothing of it...just another day in Washington. However today it was a big freaking thing hearing the same helicopter. Maybe now the difference is the guy sitting in there getting a ride.

Contrast that to June 22, 2001 when I was walking back from a meeting down town and I passed the South Lawn of the White House enroute to Main Interior to catch a shuttle bus back to our office.

As I passed the southwest corner of the White House, over by the Old Executive Office Building, I saw the gates open and lights started to flash. Out came an obvious Secret Service black suburban with blue lights flashing. Behind it came another SS suburban and behind it was the decoy limousine. The fourth vehicle in line was Dubya Bush's limousine.

I'm standing 30 feet from him as his limo darted out of the White House exit. As it did I looked in and there was old George Dubya looking back at me. Instinctively my right arm darted out and my right hand formed into a ball except for the middle finger of my hand that soon found itself fully extended - and pointed at Bush's face.

He saw me, I saw him, I didn't hurl and the Secret Service took my picture. Later that day I emailed Bush and asked him to credit me with the image in the picture. I never heard back from Dubya on that one.

That salute of Bush was necessary. Today's salute of a real leader was satisfying.

Even more satisfying was about two hours later when I was at the home of my Barack-hating Republican sister. As I was leaving her house Barack's entourage of helicopters flew over on its way back to Sarasota International Airport. I couldn't help but laugh at the irony of the greatest President since Jimmy Carter flying over the house of a Republican who thinks he's even lower on the totem pole than Rush Limbaugh. Sweet justice I would say.