The President’s Visit Posted by: Dale Franks
on Thursday, October 25, 2007
Well, trying to cover the President of the United States isn't as easy as covering the fires. it seems that the president is accompanied by a reporting pool. If you aren't part of that pool, you're just a civilian. So, I came up a bit short on the president's visit to Escondido.
I did get to see the president ride by in his motorcade. He's sitting in the back seat, on the passenger side. You can see his profile.
At least, you can on the full-size image. If you blow it up. A lot.
Unlike yesterday, when Sec. Chertoff left, today the entire campus of San Pasqual High School was blocked off by the Escondido police and the CHP. The closest you could get to the school, where Marine One was parked on the football field, was across the street. I did, however get a few good pictures of Marine One as it took off.
So the extent of my coverage of the president's visit consists of a picture of a car, and a helicopter.
I had pretty much the same experience here in Rochester when I tried grabbing photos of RR when he visited Rochester some years back... in support of his re-election bid, to put a date on it.
To make matters even worse than you had it, Dale... at least in terms of being able to get a clear photo... was the idea that ven here in NY he was so damned popular. His appearance was a freebie at the War Memorial in Rochester... Ideally, back then about 20,000 people when set up in what they used to call ’festival seating’... I heard it actually exceeded that by about 5000; the fire marshals were having fits that day. I did have my press pass, but it wouldn’t do me very much good, given the number of people that were in Bldg. Besides, the girlfriend was interested in seeing him as well. Continental eve her outside, and in that crowd it probably wasn’t the best idea. (Shrug)
As a result of that crowd, I never did get into the building. They had speakers, that they borrowed from someplace, shoved out the windows of the building, that had been tightened the PA system so that we could hear the president speak. You could hear it all over the downtown area. We stood out in the rain, on the front step, and listened.
The only really fun part of the day, came when, in the middle of the speech, a couple of anti Reagan protesters showed up. Let’s just say we knew they were Reagan supporters by the way they were dressed, even before they held up their signs. Between the clothing and the hair, they both look like they come out of the tangle with a city bus.... and lost. Bozo the clown couldn’t have done a better job. The signs, were almost as predictable as the dress. Reagan’s going to be the end the world, Do you really want this man with his finger on the button, yada yada... go away. I think one of them actually was a Daniel Ortega supporter.
Finally, I couldn’t stand it anymore. Loudly, so the crowd around me could hear me, (and believe me, my voice carries went I want it to) I asked if they had been sent by the committee to reelect. The crowd around me laughed for a good two minutes. I caught several slaps on the back, and some guy handed me and my girlfriend a cold one each.
They took down their signs and went home as quietly as they’d come in, glaring at us the whole time. Since I had about a half a foot and about 100lbs. on the guy, I figured the girl was the biggest threat. It never materialized, however.
For all that though, all I got was a picture of the limousine, quite similar to the one you’ve posted here. It was that picture of yours that brought that memory back.
Don’t feel bad, that that’s all you got, Dale, Picture wise.
At the time I was friendly with a photographer from a local television station who is something of a legend hereabouts. He retired some years ago, and died a very short time after that. I ran into him later that same week of RR’s appearance , at a story we both happened to be working. I asked him whether not he had caught anything of Reagan on stills. He responded that no, all he caught was video, and that from inside the building. I’d forgotten the local stations had decded to do the coverage live. He remarked as how he’d never been able to catch on film the president the way I was trying to do it.
He did suggest, however, that being outside was probably the best deal I could’ve had given the conditions inside the building. They had a heck of a time getting it ready for the concert the following night.
I notice that the Santa Ana winds seem to have died down some concurrently with Bush’s visit and Arnold’s press conferences. That is no coincidence, comrades. Heeding the old saying ’fight fire with fire’, someone finally thought to bring in some politicians to orate at strategically chosen locations, knowing that their hot air would counter the Santa Ana winds. Another ’Mission Accomplished’.