by Melissa Brunner
The day after the President's State of the Union address, my hometown of Manitowoc, Wisconsin took center stage. It was the spot President Obama chose to visit and tout his proposals from the night before.
My older brother was the first to tell me last week of the upcoming Presidential visit. It's pretty big news - our town of 35,000 doesn't host a President every day. (Although it has become accustomed to visiting PGA players, with Whistling Straits just a few miles up the highway! Gary Woodland - give me a call if you want to know where to find good ice cream when you visit!).
Anyhow.... my mom called this morning in full excitement mode. "Are you at work?" she asked.
"No, mom, I'm waiting for a doctor's appointment."
"Oh, are you okay?"
"Yes, mom. Just a sore toe."
"Okay, that's good. How do you find out the President's motorcade route or as they as secretive when they visit you, too?"
"Well, mom, you don't find out the route, but you can probably guess where the car will turn to go into the business."
"Okay. We might try to see it. We don't have this happen every day, you know."
So, this afternoon, my phone rings again. "How's the toe?" mom asks. "It's fine," I reply. "Good. We just missed the motorcade," my mom informs me. Seems the President was quite a bit ahead of schedule. They tried to see him on the way in, were told he was early, so they thought they'd grab a quick lunch and catch the spectacle on the way out. They got back moments after he left. So, what do they do? They hop back in the car and drive the roughly 40 miles to the Green Bay airport, just in time to catch Air Force One taking off. Mom thought that was pretty cool.
I shake my head and smile at my mom's excitement, but then I realize how fun it can be when something out of the ordinary shakes up our lives. My mom's day wasn't motivated by any political loyalties - I couldn't tell you who she voted for in any election. It was the President of the United States making his way to our small town on a day when a lot of people wanted to know what he had to say. Yeah, I guess that IS pretty cool.