Saturday, July 19, 2008

Week Six (Karen)

Even though we visited Border Patrol, went out on a run with Samaritans, dined with Duke Alums and incoming freshmen, and witnessed community confrontation against Isabel Garcia, the one thing that stuck with me this week was President Bush's motorcade.

The procession. The pomp and circumstance. All for one man.

A home video of the motorcade; fast forward to 1:50.

Tucson went to great lengths to receive President Bush, and we first came into contact with his visit when the police officers and police cars lined up and down Broadway Blvd. blocked our path back from the Duke Sendoff Party. Bright lights and show of force brought fear and confusion, so much so that we thought there was a hostage situation amongst it all. To make things worse, no one really knew where to go. We followed a trail of cars, hoping that someone would lead us through a side neighborhood. Despite our best attempts, we found ourselves stuck between an officer, parked cars, and a line of lost drivers.

So Sarah pulled us over, and we waited. But we were not the only one waiting anxiously for the motorcade to past. On the corners, there were families sitting out on lawn chairs waiting. Suddenly, a roar approached, and a dozen or so motorcycles flashed by, quickly followed by a hodgepodge of other vehicles.

I missed President Bush's flagged limo among the line of vehicles. Perhaps that was the point. Disappointed? No, but more so annoyed that he brought our part of town to a halt. What for? A fundraiser for a local political figure. Yet, if you asked me if I would like to meet President Bush, I would still say yes. He is the president after all. It just amazed me how far Tucson went to celebrate his stay when it led to more inconvenience than celebration.

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