THE DAY I SAW BUSH
President Bush -- #43 that is -- will be in Canandaigua, NY, today.
President Bush visiting Canandaigua
President Bush is visiting Upstate New York today. He will be in Canandaigua to speak with a few select senior members of the Finger Lakes community about Medicare Part D.
Security will be tight for the president's visit, even down the county roads that lead to Canandaigua. The secret service is keeping the public away from the places he'll visit. That includes protestors that are expected to show up.
My mother came from Canandaigua; it's where I spent most of my summers as a kid. My great-uncle owned a mammoth "cottage" on the east side of the lake -- we got the afternoon sun :) -- where all us stayed. My late grandmother owned one of those fabulous old homes on North Main St., originally built in 1810, which is registered on the Register of Historic Places.
Although it's a 1.5 hour trip for me, which I've made many times in the past, I will not be able to go. As much as I'd love to see Bush #43, I'm coasting on financial fumes most days as it is, and I really can't afford the gas, no matter what price it is.
I have seen Bush #41, however, in the fall of 1984 when he stopped at the Arnot Mall on a campaign swing. He was Reagan's VP. The schools allowed the students to attend the rally, so I took Zappa. We took one of the buses to the Mall, and during the trip I tried to impress upon him that his behavior was paramount. I pointed out the sobering sight of sharp shooters on the rooftops. It was just three years since Reagan had been shot; security was in evidence everywhere.
We waited in line outside for I'll bet an hour just trying to get into the Mall. Zappa quickly became restless and hauled out a penknife and began to play with it.
WHAT THE HELL ARE YOU DOING WITH THAT?
Whadda y'mean? It's just a penknife.
ARE YOU KIDDING? THROW IT AWAY! THROW IT AWAY NOW!
No! I traded some quality stuff for this knife and I'm not throwing it away!
THROW! IT! A-WAY!
We compromised; he promised that he'd keep it in his pocket and tell them he had it.
I carried a camera case, with my 35mm camera and its monstrous telephoto lens. They pawed through every piece of lint in that case and then had me walk through the metal detector. I held my breath as they questioned Zappa next.
Do you have any weapons?
Yeah, I got a knife in my pocket.
Okay. Walk through the detector.
I'm amazed even now that back then, just three years after Reagan was shot, that they never asked to see his knife.