…just passed within a block of our house!
Turns out the street at the edge of our neighborhood — two houses away from ours — is a convenient north-south thoroughfare for Leaders of the Free World on their way between Sky Harbor Airport and resort row up on the shoulders of Camelback Mountain. George W. Bush used to pass by every time he was in town en route to his favorite Phoenix digs, the Royal Palms, and on this trip the Obamas are staying at the Phoenecian.
Yesterday afternoon, we missed President Obama by a middle-aged minute — we were still hurrying over the front garden wall when the shiny black limos, trailed by mysterious subdued gray vans, zipped past the end of our street. How disappointing! I’d even made a polite sign about health care reform, with markers and a box to brandish, but we were too late.
So as E left for work this morning, he called home to say the police units were once again positioned along every side street, including ours. Determined not to be so lame this time, I waited until I heard the chopper overhead, then grabbed a camera, a hat, and my sign and went out to wait at the corner in the shade of a mesquite tree. On the other side of the street a bunch of kids from the local parochial school were already out baking in the sun, and there was a sweaty pink cop who told me to stand back from the road. In just a few minutes, flashing lights could be seen up the road. Then steadily rolling down off Camelback Mountain towards us came a phalanx of motorcycle officers, some vans, two or three black limos with tiny side flags whipping, just like in the movies, white vans with clear windows crowded with Secret Service agents, Press Corps, and others, the mysterious gray vans again, an ambulance, and other serious-looking vehicles deemed necessary to keep POTUS safe on his way to a Stimulus Support speech at the Convention Center downtown.
Did I see the Prez or First Family? Nope – just heavily tinted windows. I was waving, so I didn’t even get a picture of their limos (if they were in them!), just some of the auxiliary vehicles. But to me the important thing was that I was there with my mild little message, and for a split second in time, the President of the United States might have seen it.
That, and now I can add Presidential Motorcade to the Yard List.
(All photos A.Shock)