Mock Man meets Macho Man
The Donald Trump Experience
Roughly a 15-minute walk from my house is the Pittsburgh-Butler Regional Airport. This was the site of a historic moment in the history of Butler County, a sitting president and a major Presidential candidate visiting the county. Not since John F. Kennedy ran for president has a major candidate campaigned in the area. As you probably guessed, the political nerd in me had to attend the event.
The build up to the rally was unique to say the least. It was first reported by some random guy on Facebook saying that the President was going to have a rally in Butler County. At first I thought that this was some Facebook journalist who just made up the story. Since I do live close to the alleged site of the rally, I did some investigating and the pieces started to come together. At the airport itself there were bleachers and an unassembled stage near one of the hangers. Whilst at the airport, I stumbled upon a member of law enforcement that I happened to know, and he confirmed the rumor about the rally.
The rally was officially announced and I acquired expedited tickets through a classified source that none of you have the security clearances to know. I was very excited for the rally to say the least. It was on Halloween, so that was cool I guess. I was geared up with a school camera because I’m a real journalist. Speaking of being a real journalist, I decided the night before the rally that I should apply for a press pass as the Editor of The Knight Times, the official publication of KHS, to see what would happen. The next morning I checked the website, and to my surprise, I got approved.
Around 12:45 the decision was made to make my way toward the rally. The end of my road and the surrounding area were filled with barricades and police cars, so that was an interesting sight for sure. I got up to the airport and got into the expedited entry line. I ended up not really needing a press pass because my camera was allowed. I got through security with minimal problems. It somehow was less of a hassle than getting through the school’s security. Once I rounded the corner of the main hanger, I saw the stage and all the chairs. The pure amount of chairs was absurd. Also, the massive fracking rig with an American Flag on the top was a nice touch.
I got to my seat which was to the right of the stage. I ended up with a pretty good seat. I sat on the end so I could easily take pictures around anyone in front of me. It was about an hour and a half before anything of note happened. The first speaker to come out was Congressman G.T. Thompson. He passed it off to this woman who was running for something. I honestly never figured out who she was or the position she was running for. The next speaker was Sean Parnell. Personally, he was my favorite speaker other than President Trump. He came off as a really relatable guy. Although he didn’t flip Congressman Conor Lamb’s seat, I believe that he has a bright future in politics. Also, his President Trump impression was quite impressive. Following Parnell was my representative Mike Kelly. For some reason, I remember the song that was playing when he was walking to the microphone was “Gloria” by Laura Branigan. His speech ended with him saying we need to put our helmets on and vote. It would have passed as an inspirational speech from a coach easily.
After those speakers there was a rather long break. Occasionally a mic check was performed, but not much else. That time was filled with what was a surprisingly short playlist for filling times. Such songs consisted of “Piano Man” by Billy Joel, “Eye of the Tiger” by Survivor, “Beat It” by Michael Jackson, “Bye Bye Bye” by NSYNC, “Macho Man” by The Village People, and “In the Air Tonight” by Phil Collins. I can neither confirm nor deny if I attempted to air drum the solo of “In the Air Tonight” every time it played.
Another favorite thing of mine to do whilst waiting for the President was to observe the Secret Service agents. I have always found the Secret Service fascinating for some reason. Also, I was trying to figure out if the President was en route. Before you say it, yes I know that the President has a code name. And, yes, I know that his code name is “Mogul”. It’s public information. Wow, do I sound like a nerd by knowing that. Also, if you are wondering, I am taking submissions for what my code name should be when I am President. The current betting favorites are Yinzer, Tall Guy, Parliamentarian, Nerd, and finally Mockingjay.
Back on topic now. It was approximately 6:15 when the three Osprey helicopters that led Marine One landed. “Fortunate Son” by Creedence Clearwater Revival then started to play over the speakers. I got a good laugh out of that unnoticed irony. Marine One then came into view. It was pretty cool to see it in person. Got my personal favorite and what I believe is the best picture that I took at the rally. It will be featured in the 2020-21 yearbook, which if you haven’t bought one yet, you should (www.jostens.com). Marine one landed and blew all of the dust and grass on the runway everywhere. It was a good 10 minutes before President Trump appeared on the walkway to “God Bless the U.S.A.” by Lee Greenwood. The crowd of maskless faces erupted and drowned out the music. The President finally got to the microphone after the hours and hours that I waited. The speech was the stereotypical Trump speech with his catchphrases and off script rants.
The President spoke for roughly an hour and then danced to “YMCA” by the Village People before making his way back to Marine One and off to another rally. The crowd dispersed to the gates in a rather organized fashion. I was going to go get my picture in front of the Presidential podium, but the mic check guy took the seal of the front of the podium before I could get the picture. I got to around the corner by the hanger and may or may not have picked up a Latinos for Trump sign off a table. I walked back to my house in rather good time, and watched college football, and was in bed by 10.
Looking back on this experience, I still can’t believe that it even happened. Like the President of the United States was literally up the road from where I live. Like I can see the airport lights from where I am sitting while writing this article. It is one thing to watch the President speak, but to see him in person is a completely different experience that I will never forget. I will probably have to mention it in a future campaign speech when I hold a Presidential rally at the Pittsburgh-Butler Regional Airport.