Tracy K. Lorenz ...


It’s always a problem when a person from my younger years keels because, ya know,  that just means I’m moving down that giant conveyor belt towards death myself. So I was kinda bummed when President Bush kicked off, plus he seemed to be a pretty cool guy.  He was a president before the press decided to take sides and basically went his entire term unnoticed.

Except I noticed him once.

It was back when I was working in Grand Rapids, our advertising agency was in the Amway Grand building and I had to go there on occasion to make sure there were no spelling errors in our advertising copy (my editor just gagged).

I, along with a few others, used to park in between the Amway and Devos Hall next door.  This wasn’t exactly public parking but it wasn't exactly illegal either, it was the kind of place you parked but didn’t tell anyone else about because you didn’t want them to snag the prime spot.  Sort of like the lot behind The Church of the Dunes in Grand Haven during Coast Guard but you didn’t hear that from me.

Anyway, I was screwing off up at the agency and when I came out I noticed that they were towing EVERY CAR IN MY SECRET LOT. There were tow trucks lined up and they were taking them all, there were three to go before they got to me.

So I see a cop and I say “What’s going on?” and he looks at me and says “MOVE!” so I say “But these spots aren’t illegal” except all I got out was “But ...” and then he yelled “MOVE!!!!” again with additional vigor and disdain.  Then I looked up and saw snipers on top of the nearby buildings and decided not to press the point. I hoped in my four-door Cutlass Cierra (company car) and drove like
The Bandit minus Smokey.  Something about having little laser dots on your forehead gives you motivation to not question authority.

Apparently President George Herbert Walker Bush was making an appearance at the Amway that night and I (we) were in his parking spot.  His entire route was roped off except for the unmarked lot that the Secret Service forgot about and next thing you know I’m staring at Seal Team Six. 

That right there was as close as I ever got to a president (although I did sit on the veranda at Pinehurst directly outside President Obama’s room but he wasn’t there.) Not exactly a brush with fame but it was almost a brush with death. There are times when you know that people aren’t kidding around and you should just scoot, this was one of those times, as far as I know no sniper has ever shotten a civilian in Grand Rapids and I, for once, didn’t feel like setting the ... precedent.

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