We didn’t even know that George W. Bush had been in Los Angeles today. According to the White House, he was visiting troops at the US Army’s National Training Center at Fort Irwin, California. Fort Irwin is in the Mojave Desert and I don’t know why Bush would have to fly by helicopter out of the Veterans’ Administration complex in West LA, but that is precisely what he did.
My parents live on the edge of the VA complex, separated from it only by a small grove of giant eucalyptus trees with a chain-link fence through the middle of it. We had seen four military helicopters fly out on Sunday, which was unusual, and we wondered what was going on.
Today we were at Angel Stadium and we saw the Angels beat the Texas Rangers 5 to 3. We got to see K-Rod pitch – very cool and he got the save. On the way home, we couldn’t help but notice that there were a bazillion cops lining our street. If we had been just a few minutes later, we would not have been able to get home at all as the cops completely closed the street shortly after we had driven by.
My parents and my sister went out for a walk and got stopped by some cops who informed them what all the hullabaloo was for. My mother then called to tell me.
I went out onto the upstairs terrace to see what I could see. Those eucalyptus trees seriously interfere with visibility, but the helicopters were there and I also spotted a couple of people on the ground looking at me looking at them. It was quite a while later that the president’s motorcade entered the VA grounds. It was a huge motorcade – three limousines, a bunch of police cars and other cars, and too many motorcycles to count. It took the motorcade a couple of minutes to reach the helicopters, but then they all took off very quickly. The first one flew straight at me, but then veered off to my left. The second flew straight at me, but then veered off to the right. The third and fourth took off together and then flew away from me to the east. They were all army helicopters with “United States of America” printed presidentially on the side.
It just figures that when you suddenly find yourself within range, you realise that you don’t actually have a high-powered rifle or a rocket launcher handy.*
* This is a joke – however disrespectful and tasteless – so please do not send security personnel after me. Thank you.