Celebrating the 4th at the White House
Entertaining at the White House was every bit as interesting an experience as I had expected. I had plenty of stories the first time I worked a White House event a few years ago. This one, involving a brand new administration and a completely different kind of event was sure to have it's own tales. We weren't even 50 yards past the front gate when we found the first story to be shared.
Kelly Cheatle and I got to the grounds at exactly the same time as John Reid and Nikki Fontana. Upon entering, a rather excited Secret Serviceman approached John and asked, "have you seen my gun?" A very shocked John, started to wonder if we really wanted to be at the White House on a day that a member of the Secret Service misplaced a high powered weapon. Thankfully, it turned out that Todd Neufeld and Don Caldwell arrived a few minutes before us, and he was simply refering to a balloon Tommy Gun that Todd had made.
The event was fantastic. There were certainly the little glitches you always expect to encounter at a large gathering of any sort, but nothing that I believe any of the guests were aware of. All the guests saw was a display that made for an incredible photo opportunity consisting of a few hundred balloons and the smiling faces of military heros, White House staff, and their families.
It was a long day in the heat. Without a couple of tents overhead to work under, and the spray of the fountain behind us, we never would have been able to spend three hours constructing the piece outdoors. Indoors, the sculpture would have been much more elaborate as we wouldn't have been fighting the wind. Who knows? Maybe we'll get another invitation to do something inside. :-)