Sunday, July 9, 2017

Oh My God, It's Obama!

by Pa Rock
Citizen Journalist

Barack Obama will no doubt go down in history as one of our nation's most out-going and approachable Presidents.  He truly enjoys interacting with ordinary people.

Several years ago as I was standing in a long line outside of a Phoenix bookstore waiting to have a book signed by Jimmy Carter,  I began chatting with the strangers who were next to me in line.  Our topic of conversation centered on the times that we had actually seen U.S. Presidents, and each of us had a few stories to tell.  The most memorable tale, at least the only one which I remember to this day, came from the lady who was standing behind me.  She said she had run into Barack and Michelle Obama on the grounds of a hotel in Colorado during the very brief time that he was a United States senator from Illinois.   It was after Obama had delivered that memorable speech at the 2004 Democratic convention, when it was obvious that he was a rising star in national politics.

The stranger beside me said that she had introduced herself to the Obamas and that they had cordially shook hands with her.  She then asked if she could get her picture taken with the senator, and Michelle obligingly took the woman's camera and snapped a couple of shots of Barack and his fan.  The lady ended her recounting of that chance encounter by pulling up those photos on her camera and showing them to the gaggle of very impressed on-lookers.

Barack Obama had been approachable before he got to the White House, and his open nature did not close when he assumed the highest office in the land.  Over the eight years of his presidency America bore witness many times to Obama interacting with ordinary Americans, and particularly with babies and children, always with that infectiously happy smile on his face.

Earlier this week the former president was traveling inauspiciously when a surprised woman spotted him in a terminal for private planes at the Anchorage International Airport.  Jolene Jackinsky said that she was walking across the terminal holding her six-month-old daughter, Giselle, when she spotted a man in casual attire that she thought bore a strong resemblance to President Obama.  As she got closer, Jolene thought, "Oh my God, it is Obama!"  At that point the still active statesman approached her and asked, regarding Giselle, "Who is this pretty girl?"  The still stunned mother handed her daughter over to the delighted ex-president, and then proceeded to snap a few pictures of the two.

And with those snapshots of Barack Obama and little Giselle, America was given a brief glance back into happier times.

No comments: