Tuesday, October 18, 2011


President Obama in downtown Boone, October 17, 2011
Photo courtesy of High Country Press
Yesterday was such a surreal day. I heard rumors that the President would be driving through town on his bus tour after leaving Asheville and on his way to Wilkes County. Here's the series of serendipidous events: First, I met my Ex, Fred, and his friend Lynn at Woodlands Barbeque in Blowing Rock for lunch and we jokingly speculated that maybe the Prez would stop and have lunch with us. The man loves Barbeque, after all. When we finished eating we were not allowed to leave because the road was closed.

There was a policeman directing all cars that were on the road into the parking lot next door, telling them that the road was closed by order of the Secret Service. (And, as a side note, this policeman happens to be one of my neighbors.) At one point a car tried to leave and I heard Stacy say to him "If you want to go to JAIL, just try leaving this parking lot!"

And then...

Finally... here was the big black bus! Our first clue was a group of State Trooper motorcycles followed by several State Trooper SUVs, all with lights flashing.

And, then he was gone. It took about an hour to get home from there, with several detours. First, I tried to come home on the Blue Ridge Parkway, but traffic was not moving, so after waiting forever I turned around and took the main road back into Boone. I tried to go the back way to Deep Gap, got stuck again, turned around again, found another back road and when I was within 2 miles of home the road was closed again. Because, guess what? Here came the big black bus again!

Apparently, while I was stuck in traffic all over the county, the President went to Mast Store in downtown Boone. I happened to catch him again on his way to Wilkes County.

It was a thrilling, but exhausting afternoon. I'm grateful that we decided to get lunch where we did and that I had my camera with me. I don't care what your politics are, it's exciting to be able to say you saw the motorcade for the President of the United States go by. You can read Fred's rendition of the day here.


Alice Walkowski said...

How exciting Zoe, At the 2008 PMC Conference at Purdue, I was in a class next to the room where the future president Obama was to give a speech. When we went to class it wasn't a problem, although I wondered what all the men talking into their lapels were doing. When we wanted to go to the bathroom though we had to be checked before we went and after. They closed the door to the classroom too so we couldn't see. One of the female guards was more interested in what we were making in there . Never got to see Obama, but knew he was right in the next room.

Zoe Nelson said...

Oh, it is exciting! I didn't get to see his face, either, but it was fun seeing the motorcade. And, if my Ex hadn't invited me to lunch I would have been home all day and missed it!

fredracey said...

Well done, Zoe! It sure was fun! I'll remember that day for a long, long time and am glad you were a part of it.