When Billy wrote about Obama coming to Lakeland I thought it was nice Lakeland would get a look from the national press, but not something I’d bother going to see. Even today at lunch, I told a friend I doubted I’d try to see Obama. I’ve never considered a politician as someone I’d want to “be close to.” Standing in a crowd hoping for a glimpse of a celebrity has always felt like a cult of personality. Even if that person could be President.
Then I came home from lunch and found an email informing me that the area around PJ’s Dream Home Center of Lakeland was looking like the scene of a prison lock down. Police parked along the street, all PJs entrances closed, and an Orlando TV station was pulling their truck in behind a nearby liquor store.
Ok, the last didn’t seem unusual, but the rest screamed Obama.
So, I figured I had a need to follow up on what we’ve posted this week. I went to PJs. Actually, I ended up at the parking lot of the liquor store. Four or five people stood outside debating how Obama would arrive. The consensus was that he’d land a helicopter in the cattle field next door.
I couldn’t see Obama choosing to evade cowpies if there was any another route. That route ended up being a drive up US 92 from Winter Haven.
Obama finally showed up and went into a trailer to talk. I’m sure you’ve seen the video on the regional news.
While I stood there, a rumor was passed along that after the meeting Obama would go to Munn Park. So we wasted a few minutes and went to Munn. The park had a few dozen people there for the same reason.
About 4:30 a Lakeland Police Department officer walked through the crowd to inform them that Obama had changed his plans and would not come to Munn Park.
A few in the crowd didn’t believe the officer and decided to stay. I decided to go.
The moral of the story? I think I’ll leave tracking the politicians to Billy. Now, if you hear Elvis Costello is tuning his guitar at Mollys, or Milan Kundera has stopped by the library to renew his card, you give me a call, send me a text, or drive by and pick me up.