My day driving Vice President Cheney

Last Friday, I arrived home to find a message on the machine from the GOP state coordinator. (I have been volunteering quit a bit lately.) She asked if I would like to be a driver in VP Cheney motorcade next Tuesday (August 10). I am not sure who I will be driving, but I thought it would be a cool opportunity nevertheless. I had to give them all my information from birth date, social security, driver’s license and past residences; they had to do background and presumably driver record checks. They ended the call with that I would be contacted later.

I found out on Monday that I would indeed be in the motorcade, but would need to purchase a new sportcoat. I used to have closet of suits from when I was working for First Dakota National Bank, but two residence moves ago gave them away because when would I ever be 2XLT again. Unfortunately, now I am — at least a 52PL. I had hoped to put off til I reached a more permanent size. On being Portly, that has to be the second label to put on someone clothes shopping – second only to labelling your kid “Husky.” I have dropped 8 or 10 sizes and was somewhat encouraged by the nearness of normal store shopping. However, spending $150 somewhat offended my Dutch frugality. I am told it can be taken in another 6-8″ along the sides, but am cautous to put my hope that the sportcoat will look good afterwards.

You might laugh at my evangelism, but I actually had a conversation with the Navy chief corpsman that travels with the Vice President about the Atkins diet on the way back from the event. As we were pulling up to the airport, they started commenting on diets and high protein diets. (How bad they were, blah, blah) I spoke up saying I had been on Atkins diet, and it was certainly working for me. The women in back started talking about something else, but the nurse and I continued talking about the diet. He could barely believe the 80 pound loss in 4 months. I might have even changed his mind about the “all meat” (his words) WOE. A little evangelism is never a bad thing, right?

I will tell my personal favorite story of the day besides shaking the Vice President’s hand and watching him play with his grandkids as he shooed them up the ramp of the steps. In these political things they drop balloons and confetti from the rafters – no big deal, everyone has seen it. Well we were getting ushered in to the vehicles, the speech had just ended and the family and staff were piling into the vans. The VP was doing the hand line thing for a few minutes. Anyhow, one of the Secret Service men brough balloons out for 2 of the grandkids. Being a dad, I know what fun it can be when kids miss out on their balloons, so when one of the balloons got away (really windy), I thought I was going to hear some crying. The balloon however floated almost directly my way about 8 feet in the air. I jumped up and grabbed the balloon, and got to hand the balloon to the grandkids. Being a guy who never was accused of being “Air” anything, I believe I might have had a bit of hang time. Don’t think I could have made the catch again if I tried or had the wind blow the balloon my way any better.

I will post some photos from the Motorcade on the Photoblog.


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