Since we were without tickets for Barack Obama’s visit on Saturday, I’d suggested (the previous night) that we head down to the gym ‘to see what we could see.’
So G, the one who remembers everything, woke up on Saturday morning, rallying us to a fully awakened state. ‘Come on, get up, it’s time to eat breakfast and then we’re going to try to see Barack Obama.’ I loved that he incorporated ‘try’ in the sentence. A cautious realist, like his mother.
So all the Johnsons got up to start the day. But post-breakfast there was a noticeable lack of enthusiasm among the male members of my family. G decided he was perfectly happy playing instead of going to see Brockahbawma. J was glued to the computer undoubtedly checking fake sports (fantasy something or other) and H was gearing up for his morning nap. Defeated, I resigned myself to missing the event. Especially since it was now 9.15am and the speech was scheduled to start around 9.45am.
But as it goes in this yin-yan household, just as I decided we weren’t going, J decided we were. So we ran around the house like crazy people trying to get everyone dressed and out the door. It was 9.36am by the time we parked the car and walked to the gym.
I figured our best strategy would be to find the bus and hang out there in hopes of seeing something. But first we decided to check the entrances to the gym. One was marked ‘do not enter’ but the other was not. So we walked towards the unmarked entrance and climbed the steps, fully expecting to be turned away by the security detail, especially when they realized we were ‘sans billets’ as the French would say.
But, they didn’t turn us away, or ask for our tickets. They asked to see our bags and wallets and frisked us with their magical scanners. Somewhat incredulous, we proceeded.
And that’s how we got to see Barack Obama – standing, from our second floor vantage point in the gym. Sure, the people who’d stood in line for 4 hours on Wednesday and who’d lined up late Friday or early Saturday got to sit on their bottoms in a chair.
But we invested exactly 25 minutes of our time, got to hear the same speech and see the man from a reasonable distance (not that my camera would confirm this)…..
And two of the Johnson boys made the front page of the paper. (Top left corner – you can see J & G peer over the rail.)