It started off as some sort of thing with the Boy Scouts … like I was going to work at summer camp and I was waiting for word back from the camp director who eventually told me that my position had already been taken. Instead, he had this other thing that he thought I might be interested in… 😉
So we were in this big, marble building in Washington, D.C. and the President was about to give a speech – possibly the State of the Union or something that was going to be televised because it was a really big deal! I don’t really remember why the scouts were there, but they kept moving us around in the crowd as more people showed up – first it was a small-ish gathering and we were under a tent a ways away from the stage, then as they started filing in school kids and other people, we were right up next to the stage.
By the time it was ready to begin, we had been moved back to where we were right at the opening for where the President would appear before going on stage. It was kind of strange because there were picnic tables and catering, so at least I got a little snack in that somebody else immediately came and cleared away as soon as I was done, so that was neat! But most of my time was spent fiddling with my camera in hopes of getting this once in a lifetime perfect shot…
Apparently this attracted some attention because at two points someone from the Secret Service stopped by my table to chat – he wasn’t mean or anything, but just asked for my name and email address, scribbled it on a piece of paper, and then walked off.
This happened just after they opened a curtain enough where I could see a bunch of people mingling backstage, so I took a few pictures. It wasn’t long after that that my Dad appeared behind me (in his scout uniform … I wasn’t wearing one) and discretely slipped me a memory card of some photos that apparently he had taken that he was afraid was going to get confiscated.
But the real cool thing happened when it was time for the Prez to make his appearance, for when he came out of the curtain, somehow it brushed up against my table and he was able to grab my camera before I could really say or do anything! He grinned at me and asked me my name while the crowd was going wild, and then made a comment into his microphone about me trying to get a picture with him, calling me out by name on national television.
Then President Obama handed the camera back to me and posed for a quick selfie with me before going on stage.