Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Hello..Mr. President

-I told some of this story on the radio Sunday...but it bears another...and more detailed...visit here.

This kid...(well he's my kid)...now 24-year-old Stewart Calhoun continues to have amazing moments in his young life. Another came to him this past week when he got a call from a friend asking if he wanted tickets to see The President. Yeah, that President.

"Well, sure". Why wouldn't someone want to see the President of the United States in person. You'll remember Mr. Obama was visiting Los Angeles last Thursday to meet with The Governator, L.A. Mayor Villaraigosa, do a town hall meeting, and make an appearance on the Tonight Show with Jay Leno. Stewart's friend Paul had done some work for the Obama team during the election campaign and has some Democratic party ties. Paul told Stewart he had two second-row tickets for the town hall event.

So, off Stewart, and friend Dan, went to the meeting thinking they had reserved seats in the second row. When they showed up several minutes before the thing got started, they ran into an enormous line. This, after having to park many blocks away and practically run all the way just to get there in time. Thinking they had reserved seats, they sought out a security person at the entryway to the building and asked if they could just go in past the line of, what they thought were, hopefuls. The security guy says...something to the effect..."These people all have tickets and are hoping to get in just like you. They put out too many tickets for the building to hold everybody."

Unhappy at that news...the crafty Stew and Dan managed to (and he wasn't taught this by his dad) sneak into line at the first available spot. As the line continued to dwindle, it was made clear that not everybody was going to be allowed access due to the fire marshall's maximum. And, as it got closer to starting time, Stew and Dan were the last two people allowed in the building. All others were turned away. Whew!

There was no place to sit. Standing room only. So security people began telling those without seats to stand in certain places where they could get a peak at the stage. Just about the time Stew was settling into his standing place, Governor Schwarzenegger was finishing his introduction of The Prez. Young Calhoun found himself near the spot where Mr. Obama would enter the hall and climb the steps onto the stage. The President came out to the cheers and shreeks of those assembled, he began to shake a few hands. And, although we don't have a photo to prove it, the young fellow that we've been so proud of since drawing his first breath at St. Luke's hospital in Chesterfield in December of 1984, shook the hand of Barack Obama. What a moment for him!!...or anybody for that matter. What we do have on DVR is the town hall meeting...and Stewart in the background of a shot where someone near him was asking a question of the President during the Q&A. That's enough proof for ol' Dad of the hand-shaking claim. You're welcome to read some of Stewart's thoughts on the day at his blog.

Stewart's been in Hollywood now for almost two years trying to catch fire in the acting business, and has had many more of these Forest Gump-type moments in his life than a sensible person could reasonably expect. The frequent serendipitous happenings in his life make me believe that there is some sort of star guiding his steps...or other-worldly entity at his back. That's just one of the reasons his mother and I have always believed in him, his ability to perform, and have easily dealt with his choice to enter the iffy world of show business. Some people just seem to have "it" thrust upon them to accompany their talent. If you were around the young fella for a while...or heard some of the coincidence stories...you'd understand. Some things are meant to be.

Stardom, or not, it never hurts to have a Presidential hand shake in your memory bank.

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