The President parked Air Force One behind my office

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Air Force One - Greensboro Airport 10-18-2006 AF1 President Bush
Photo © Air Force One – Greensboro Airport 2006

President George W. Bush came to Greensboro October 18, 2006 and parked Air Force One behind my office, at Greensboro Airport.

I was working at Select Homes, Inc. in Greensboro on I-40 next to Hwy 68 N exit, just minutes from GSO Airport. The highway is a busy thoroughfare with thousands of cars passing daily. The office was a garage attached to a large white two-story model home. It was a noisy, windy location because of the I-40 highway traffic, plus consistent aircraft traffic overhead.

Two Story Modular Home
Two-Story Display Model I-40 Model Center Greensboro Airport Exit

When I realized it had gotten very quiet and still, I went upstairs with my camera and looked out the window. No traffic. Zero. Never experienced that before. I felt anxious for a moment, then I remembered, President Bush was in town today. I waited and watched for the Presidential motorcade. It appeared from the West and cascaded down the highway in 3 lanes, shifting dark SUV’s back and forth like a shell game with the Commander in Chief, flanked by an armored vehicle that looked somewhat like a road construction vehicle, but with obvious anti-aggression capabilities. The most powerful man in the World and me, right here on I-40, no one else for 100’s of yards, I thought. But, just like most people, the President didn’t stop and drove out of sight East on I-40 as I held my camera looking out the window.

I had hesitated to open the window and lean out with any kind of object in my hand for fear of taking a 50 cal to the forehead. Times were threatening, just 5 years since 911. As the posted threat levels increased, government authorities tolerance decreased.

Air Force One must be parked at GSO airport, I thought. Maybe I could get a picture. I drove up Gallimore Dairy Rd. to Market St. and turned left. I could see AF1 was surrounded by tractor trailers like a circle of wagons in a western wagon train. I knew The Secret Service and local police maintain a strict security perimeter wherever AF1 is parked. I pulled off Market St. and drove on the field as close to the fence as I could, feeling a bit apprehensive. I stood in the door well of my van and snapped a couple pictures. I then drove around to the west side of Air Force One off Airport Rd. and snapped another picture, again standing in the door well. As I slid back down into my seat this time, I noticed two dark SUV’s approaching. I was hoping for a selfie (term didn’t exist yet) with occupants, but they didn’t make contact. I never saw a person, only dark glass. They stopped until I exited the field.

Air Force One Greensboro, NC

Two Guilford County Sheriff’s Deputies rolled in behind me as I drove back out Gallimore Dairy Rd and onto I-40 E. They seemed to be escorting me as I drove to NC Hwy 220 S. They turned off at the Level Cross Exit in Randolph County.

I read on (now WFMY news2) the next day, that one of the President’s destinations was Victory Junction, a camp for children with chronic medical conditions or serious illnesses located in Randleman, North Carolina.

President Bush had also visited Falkener Elementary school, named for a civil rights pioneer, and had lunch at Stameys Barbecue, where he visited with patrons, across from Greensboro Coliseum.

No Child Left Behind

At the school, President Bush addressed a selected group. He spoke about “No Child Left Behind”, a Federal Act of 2001, at the time, the most recent iteration of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965.

Read George W. Bush remarks:  No Child Left Behind & American Education: Address in North Carolina Greensboro, North Carolina October 18, 2006 at Faulkner school.

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Published by Billy Dale

Assess, then reverse engineer desired results, systemizing success.