Claremont Insider: Remember Where You Heard It First

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Remember Where You Heard It First

We ended last Saturday's photo essay of President Obama's visit to Pomona (and Claremont--we promise) with a photo illustration of the presidential limo speeding past Mayor Corey Calaycay's home, on the way to cruise La Verne we averred.

So you can imagine our total lack of surprise when we read that Obama actually did travel by limo to La Verne and debarked at Brackett Airport, at Fairplex and Puddingstone Drive, boarding the Marine One helicopter awaiting him to take him to the Jay Leno show and his rendezvous with "Special Olympic" destiny.

David Allen covered this "secret stop" Tuesday in the Daily Bulletin,

IN HIS visit last Thursday to the 909, President Obama didn't stop only in Pomona - he made a stop in La Verne as well.

For his return trip to L.A., the president flew out of Brackett Field, La Verne's general aviation airport, aboard his helicopter, Marine One.

"It was very exciting," airport manager Jared Fox-Tuck told me Tuesday. Of the obscure facility, he admitted: "A lot of people don't even know we're here."

The White House, which apparently did know Brackett was there, had phoned the airport a week prior to inquire about using it. The Marines and Secret Service then visited in person.

Once the airport passed muster, the original plan was to land the president at 9 a.m. before his 10:30 appearance in Pomona.

However, fog on L.A.'s Westside prevented Marine One from taking off as scheduled. The president was driven to Pomona and the five choppers - his chopper-cade? - instead landed in La Verne at about 10:30 a.m.

The airport was locked down, with no flights departing or arriving. When the motorcade arrived from Pomona at about 11:45 a.m., Obama was swiftly transferred to Marine One for his flight to L.A.

"He wasn't here very long. There was no shaking hands or any of that," Fox-Tuck said.

The ULV Campus Times Online had already covered the story well, and had a nice image by Stephanie Arrelanes besides. Can't anyone get a picture of the front end of that limo?

Real photograph by Stephanie Arrelanes

Our President
from photo by Stephanie Arrelanes