It was 101 degrees, and that’s not even counting the heat rolling off the tarmac. At least the side of the runway along the airport parking lot had grass, as opposed to the miniature desert along the outer fences off El Placer we had just visited (and which I was still carrying around inside my shoes). Worth the price of terminal parking.
I’d brought my camera, hoping to snap a few quality photos of Air Force One while talking to locals and tourists around the Palm Springs airport Saturday about what they thought of the presidential visit. Satisfied with the shots I had gotten, I was heading back toward the car when a tiny voice caught my attention.
Plenty of parents had brought their kids out to get a look at the airplane of the president, who is in town for the historic Sunnylands summit, but this girl was something else. She had a USC baseball cap and a small American flag clutched in her hand, standing at the top of a hill with all four limbs stretched out like a starfish and shouting, “America rules forever!”
Her dad was shooting a video of her waving the flag with Air Force One in the background. As I approached, though, her attention span started to wane.
“I’m still waving this flag,” she yelled, starting to sound a little dubious. “Are you done yet?”
I couldn’t help but laugh at that as I passed them, and when her dad turned around to laugh with me, I had to introduce myself and ask if I could take her picture. When I explained I was with The Desert Sun, her face immediately lit up.
“You mean I get to be in the newspaper?” she asked me, bouncing on her heels.
I told her I wasn’t sure her picture would make it to print, but she still seemed excited about the possibility of it going up online.
I snapped a few shots of her as well as some with her dad, but she was so over-the-moon about the whole thing that I knew I couldn’t leave without getting an interview with her on video: