Wednesday, April 14, 2010

"The Guy in the Windbreaker"

President Obama slipped away from the White House Press Corps the other day, but he couldn't hide from my Swarthmore College buddy Tom Satterwhite, who published his account on the Washington Post Local Opinions website today:
The guy in the windbreaker
By Tom Satterwhite

The other day, while I was waiting for the light to change at Chesapeake Street and Nebraska Avenue NW, I saw about eight big black sport-utility vehicles approaching.

My first thought was, “This looks like fairly heavy artillery, but it can’t be Him ... where are all the motorcycles, the press and the 10,000 police that always seem to trail behind?” The lead car turned onto the street ahead of me and started up the hill toward the Fort Reno Park athletic fields.

Nobody got out to redirect traffic, and I followed the procession up the hill. Then the caravan stopped, and while I watched, a guy in a black windbreaker and a few agents got out and started walking up a hill on the right toward a small crowd of people milling around for no apparent reason. I thought, “This is too much. What is going on?” So I parked in an illegal spot, got out and walked over to the field where an agent inquired, “Can I help you?”

“Are we allowed to go on the field?” I asked. She smiled and said, “Of course. It’s public property. See the agent over there.” Another agent, who seemed to be about 10 feet tall, came over, scanned me with a wand, and said, “Thank you. Go ahead.” When I got to the top of the hill, I realized some girls were playing soccer, and the guy with the black windbreaker, who was now pretty close, looked me in the eye for a second. Still mystified, I turned and asked one of the coaches, “The president is here because ... ?”

“His daughter is on my team.”