Early risers hope to greet Obama
Posted March 20, 2009
Stephanie Arellanes
President Barack Obama’s motorcade, traveling from the Edison Electric Vehicle Technical Center in Pomona, turns onto the 10 Freeway Thursday morning, en route to Brackett Field in La Verne. Obama visited Southern California this week for a series of events, including a town hall meeting in Costa Mesa and an appearance on “The Tonight Show.”

Jonathan Smith
Copy Editor

President Barack Obama visited Pomona on Thursday, stopping at a local electric-vehicle testing center.

The appearance was part of his first week-long trip to Southern California since being elected.

Several University of La Verne students came out at the crack of dawn sporting Obama T-shirts and other emblems to show their support for the 44th President at the crack of dawn.

Obama’s helicopter was rumored to be landing at Brackett Field airport early this morning, but actually ended up leaving from the La Verne airport on to his next stop, a taping of “The Tonight Show With Jay Leno” in Burbank.

“It’s another monumental moment in history, especially being a student at La Verne,” graduate student Ashley Joseph said. “

Whoever thought the first black president will be in La Verne?”

“This is exciting,” said the University’s Dean of Admission Chris Krzak, who waited Thursday morning with the others.

“Just having Barack Obama is fabulous and exciting.”

Joseph, with ULV students Erica Holmes and Keisha Clay, came out to Brackett Airport at 6:30 a.m.

Joseph displayed homemade colored signs.

One sign featured her phone number with a message for Obama text her.

Joseph was among the thousands of people who trekked to Washington, D.C. ,in January to witness Obama’s historic inauguration.

She said it was an event worth experiencing, despite the weather.

“It was cold and there were so many people, but it was so worth it,” Joseph said.

“I thoroughly enjoyed myself and it was nice to be around Barack Obama lovers.”

“People were crying and laughing and singing and dancing,” Joseph said.

Early this morning Brackett Airport employees waited patiently for Obama’s arrival.

Some held flags in their hands. Members of the University community also stood waiting.

But as time counted down, it was soon apparent President Obama was not landing at Brackett.

After hearing the news of Obama’s non-arrival, several of the students rushed to Towne Avenue to get a glimpse of the president in his motorcade as he headed to the electric company.

After arriving at Towne, the students got their wish as the Obama motorcade and entourage passed by after exiting the 10 freeway.

“I came here to see my president, the guy I voted for,” Clay said.

“It was well worth it, even for that small glimpse,” Joseph said after witnessing Obama’s motorcade.

For most in attendance, this marked the first time they had ever been in the presence of a president.

And it came at a good time, since several of the spectators were happy with what President Obama is doing so far.

“I think his positive and optimistic campaign was really hopeful,” junior Jolene Rojas said.

“He’s on it,” Holmes said.

Clay said she agreed with a lot of Obama’s plans for the future, but she believes Obama has a lot to do.

“I really like Obama’s position on education, I also like his stance on the economy,” Clay said.

“I think he is doing good but he still has a lot of work to accomplish, but I believe he could do it in two terms,” she added.

“The fact that he’s young and innovative is why we need him as president,” Kazak said. “And thank God he is president.”

Jonathan Smith can be reached at jonathan.smith@laverne.edu

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