On Saturday morning, April 24, 2010, I met the President of the United States in my own backyard! When we got up that morning around 7:30am, we noticed some unusual activity on the Grove Park Inn golf course that backs up to our house. There were the black SUVs parked in various spots along the course, there were the casually dressed, muscular men with binoculars peering about, and then there were the guys in golf carts without any golf clubs. We called some of our neighbors to join us, and everyone met in our backyard to watch the happenings. My kids were still in their PJs.
Once we got into our backyard, more neighbors started showing up. Ryan and Anne Hammonds and their kids, Elllie and Will came over. Katie Campbell showed up with her two dogs. Several neighbors from down the street came up. James Johnson, his family and their dog dropped by. Soon, we had a small crowd.
Within about 15 minutes, two guys, one wearing a bulging nylon jacket, pulled up in a golf car and announced that they were with the Secret Service. I fully expected they would tell us to back up or maybe even get lost. One of the neighbors preemptively asked if we had to leave, and the Secret Service guy said we had every right to stay on our property and could do whatever we wanted. Then he added, "Almost." Then they asked if anyone had any weapons or metal objects in their pockets. They said a guy with a security wand would be coming by in a minute to search and scan us. We were still just thinking we might be lucky enough to get a waive or a nod from the President.
The Secret Service wand guy searched everyone, just like at the airport, and one neighbor lost his pocket knife. Then the Secret Service guys asked us to please keep our hands out of our pockets when the President came by.
At this point, we could see President Obama starting to tee off on the sixth hole - which runs along our backyard. The President pulled his shot a little to the left, as a lefty might do, and his ball landed a couple of feet from the creek. Then came the surprise of the day...
President Obama, driving his own golf cart, pulled right up to where we were standing in my backyard and stopped. He got out, and said to his golf partner, "I'm going to meet these guys."
We were shocked. I think everyone's jaw hit the grass. Then the President walked over to us with a big smile on his face and started shaking hands. He met all of us, including our children. I managed to take a few pictures.
Here are a few more pictures that I took and a video by our neighbor Paris that's on YouTube:
I had my youngest little boy on my hip and our big old dog beside me when I shook his hand. My wife actually met him first, then she introduced me and each of our boys. He said, "Good morning Brian," and I said, "Good morning Mr. President; it's nice to meet you." A few more handshakes and off he went, jogging across the fairway.
The President was extremely nice, gracious and very friendly. We were all thrilled to meet the current leader of the free world. God bless America.