The president of the United States came to New Mexico this past week. He went to Carlsbad though, he didn't stop to visit us here on the High Plains.
It's not the first time someone from the White House has been nearby and didn't drop by to see us. In 2004 President Bush came to our side of the state but he went to Hobbs.Hobbs! What was that about? But that same day First Lady Laura came here to give a speech.
I got to thinking about close encounters I've had with presidents and presidential types over the years.
My father managed a big ol' hotel in The Southland back in 1968.
Presidential candidate George Wallace had dropped by our town. On my way to school I noticed a big hub-bub at the front of the hotel. I walked up like Forrest Gump, sticking my neck out, rubbernecking to see what was going on and here came George Wallace down the steps. I knew he was running for president and he'd been on the evening news.
He was shaking hands. He reached, grabbed mine, shook it and said, "Good to see you, son."
I went to my first class, band, and told my teacher I just shook George Wallace's hand.
"Did you wash afterwards?" he asked.
I was just a kid. I didn't understand politics.
There was that time President Nixon's Air Force One flew over our house. We lived near the city airport so passenger jets flew low over our home. heard a different kind of jet engine sound that night and knowing The President was coming to town I dashed outside and watched in fascination as the giant, four-engine Boeing 707 with "UNITED STATES OF AMERICA" emblazoned on the side flew over our house. Cool.
Maybe I'd have better luck meeting these types of folks if I ran for office.
Nope ... I still don't understand politics.
Grant McGee is a long-time broadcaster and former truck driver who rides bicycles and likes to talk about his many adventures on the road of life.
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