A Presidential Affair

It is not too often that a political celebrity makes his or her way to our neck of the woods. However, being located only a block away from the Reno Convention Center, it seems that when celebrities like this do come to town to speak at the convention center, our lives at the shop are greatly affected. Take for instance when the Commander in Chief of the United States comes to town.

That’s right, President Bush made a visit to Reno to speak at the convention center to a national convention that was being held there. This visit was actually a landmark visit in that he was the first active president to have spent the night in the Biggest Little City. (What an achievement I might say!)

Knowing that the President was to arrive at the convention center around 11:00 a.m. that morning, I didn’t think that I would have any problems getting to work at 10:00 a.m. But boy was I wrong!

Amy watches the President’s motorcade in front of Southgate Coins

Four and a half blocks of South Virginia Street were completely blocked off to public traffic – starting at 9:30 a.m. that morning. I had to instead sweet talk my way to work that morning by promising one of the Reno policemen that I was who I was and that all I wanted to do was to get to work.

I think that the entire Reno and Sparks police force was working the presidential arrival as all that could be seen were the black and whites up and down the street and sidewalks.

About three and a half hours after the president arrived at the convention center, the street outside our store began to slow down again. The police cars and motorcycles were out in full force once again and started to stop traffic. Knowing that this meant that it was time for the President and his motorcade to make their way back to the freeway, Rusty grabbed the cameras and took to the streets in hopes of capturing our president in a picture for this very weblog.

Well, we waited, and waited, and waited some more for the motorcade to make its way down Virginia Street. And in the meantime several Reno policemen on motorcycle bikes stopped and stood by Rusty who was waiting on the sidewalk. Marie and I got worried that they would think that he was there for more suspicious reasons than to simply take a picture, so I ran out a small American flag to Rusty to have him wave around. You know, because waving an American flag automatically means that you don’t mean any harm.

Southgate Coins views the President pass by on Virginia St.

Finally, after what seemed like fifty million motorcycle cops passed the streets and twenty-five million police cars passed by, the presidential motorcade rolled passed our store almost fifteen feet away from Rusty standing at the sidewalk. There were two identical Cadillac limousines that passed by but we aren’t sure which one held the president. Rusty thinks that it was the first car because a man held a thumbs-up to him.

Whether you agree with the man or not, having an American president breathing the same air you are and looking at the same scenery you are is something special. I know that I will never forget that morning – especially seeing Rusty waving that American flag.

Happy Columbus Day weekend everyone!

--Until Next Time, Amy