I still remember seeing the beautiful stainless steel glimmering in the hot Texas sun as the front of the fuselage came into view. I grabbed my best friends arm and all but shouted, there it is, there it is. Then came the screech of the tires as Air Force One touched down on the hot concrete at the old James Connelly Air Force Base in Waco, Texas.
The year was 1976 and President Gerald R. Ford was making a campaign stop in “OUR HOMETOWN“. I don’t have a clue today what he talked about; I just remember the excitement of getting to shake a President’s hand. I do remember that when we were waiting for his arrival, my best friend and I had staked out a prime spot in an oak-tree near the rope line. We were probably eight feet off the ground when the Secret Service agent walked up and said; “you boys down out of that tree, NOW“!
The President walked to the top of the staircase and waved as the Baylor Marching Band played “Hail to the Chief” and I actually got misty eyed. Flags waved, the hot Texas sun beat down on us, and it didn’t matter. We were getting to see a President!
A week or two later, Republican candidate Ronald R. Reagan showed up at almost the exact same spot for his stop in good-old-Waco. While his speech seemed a lot more upbeat, the passion wasn’t in the crowd that day. Reagan wasn’t President. There was no “Hail to the Chief”, and his plane was a chartered Braniff Airlines (painted beige in color) Boeing 727 instead of the beautiful, and sleek Air Force One. But still, I got to shake his hand while hanging on the rope line. I did vote for Ford that year in the primary in case you’re wondering. I could not tell you why today or what prompted me too, but I did. I guess it was because he was the sitting president and to be honest, I wasn’t the most brilliant 19-year-boy back then.
Since my first Presidential encounter, I have been fortunate enough to have attended many campaign events. Honestly, if you include all the campaign stops in Iowa, Texas, Tennessee, and all the rest, I would dare to say, I have shaken the hands of dozens and dozens of candidates and been fortunate enough to have visited with no less than 20 of them. Of course, having become a Tea Party leader of sorts and with Crows Nest, it has propelled me to a position where I do get to talk with many of them today where back then I did not.
Which brings me to the purpose of this instructional guide as to how you get to shake Mr. Trump’s hand and getting his autograph.
If you have never been to a leading political figures campaign event, this needs to be on your bucket list. Believe me; you need to go. I don’t care how far you have to drive or how long you stand in line, ‘GO-GO TO AN EVENT’! They are emotional, they are tremendously patriotic, they renew your spirit of patriotism, not to mention all the selfies and autographs you can collect if you like doing that sort of thing.
Alright then, you now know that Mr. Trump is coming to Fort Worth, Texas for a campaign stop. (yes, I just chose a city, it can be any city)
Most of Mr. T’s events involve going through Event Bright which is a ticket hub of sorts. You fill in your information, and you then print your tickets out. Yes, all of these events are free, unless you’re attending an official fundraising event.
Early on, this wasn’t the case, but now it is. If your event starts at 5:00 PM, plan on showing up at 12:00 or 1:00 PM. While you have a ticket, that doesn’t guarantee you a seat in the arena. If you’re at the Tennessee Vols Football Stadium, then don’t worry about it as this place seats 123,000 rabid football fans. But otherwise, you need to worry. These tickets are strictly to gauge attendance for the folks hosting the event more so than anything else. IE; The Knox Country Republican Party
Historically, the doors open approximately two hours before the event starts. Keep in mind; you will be going through security. Yes, they have metal detectors. No, they do not care that you’re permitted to carry, DON’T BRING A GUN, YOU WILL BE ASKED TO LEAVE OR YOU WILL BE ARRESTED ON THE SPOT! This is the United States Secret Service folks, and they do not negotiate, visit, listen to your theories about the 2nd Amendment or any of that. They simply body-slam you, handcuff you and take you away to parts unknown.
I would recommend that ladies carry a small purse with limited items. Don’t have bottles containing a liquid that they cannot see with the naked eye. Men, leave your pocket knives in the truck and NO SELFIE STICKS are allowed as the ends can be taken off to create a spear type of thing.
Wear loose fitting clothing that is very comfortable. This is a rally; you don’t need a coat and tie. Also, wear your sneakers or another type of very comfortable shoe as you will stand for extended periods of time.
There is usually no food at these events. If you cannot go 5-6 hours without eating, bring along a sandwich or a Powerbar and a couple of bottles of water with you.
Dress patriotic! Break out that funny looking stars and stripes hat and matching shirt. You’re going to have fun, not a funeral wake.
Lastly, make sure you know how to use the camera feature on your phone. Be prepared to meet new friends, meet some famous people such as Campaign Carl Cameron or any number of others.
If you want Mr. Trump’s autograph or a selfie, you will need to be some of the first in line. If that means camping out, then you need to do so. I’m not saying he does it every time, but he does often come off stage and work the rope line signing autographs and taking photos. He loves to do this, and no the Secret Service doesn’t love it nearly as much as he does. But you can (if you’re on the rope) usually score at least a handshake and autograph. Again, if you have not ever attended one of these, you truly should. You will have a lifetime memory to tell the grandchildren about, and it is worth it. Happy hunting and I hope this helped.
Show your patriotism by flying the flag and eagle. Let the world know that this is our last chance and we have to get this right. Support Crows Nest and support Donald Trump with this awesome t-shirt.