The Inconvenience of World Leaders

Back in 1983 these very important people got together and discussed some very important stuff, I guess. Today, as the Pope makes his way through America and the people of Philadelphia try to figure out how they are going to move around during the weekend, I am reminded of the great week of the G8 in Williamsburg.

Security now must be much tougher than it was then. Today, I need a ticket to get around Philly. Back then I was a punk kid with access to a government van and passes to drive just about anywhere I wanted to go. My job was to install signs to let the press know how to get around Williamsburg. There is a story of youthful folly and government waste in that van, but that should probably go untold. The story is nothing my mother would be embarrassed by, but Reaganomics and the GAO might take a hit for their request that I not put oil in the van despite the warning light blaring the whole time I drove the van. Oops…

The photo, though, that is another story. I used to live on Carter’s Grove Plantation where the photo was taken. The night of the dinner was something else. There were military dudes and state troopers everywhere. President Reagan flew in on a helicopter. The rest of the leaders got to the Grove in limos traveling using the same dirt road that I drove as crazily as an Oldsmobile Delta 88 would allow. As the cars passed by, my brother and I took a break from our whiffle ball game to wave. None of the male leaders had a moment for us. Mrs. Thatcher did have her driver slow down and give us a very English, “Hellloooo, boys.” Pretty cool of her…

The night was the worst. We were pretty much locked in our house. Normally, I would have hit the road and hung with my friends, but once things got going there was no leaving. We could hear the festivities, including a barbershop quartet. Evidently, they were not very good as the peacock that roamed the grounds started to heckle them. We could hear that too. Pretty cool of him…

The next day everything was back to normal. Life went on without any tangible difference resulting from all of the inconvenience. Hopefully, the Pope’s visit will create greater change for Philly that the big wigs from all over brought to Williamsburg. At least I earned enough to by a tape player for my room and got to “talk” with Maggie.