The Wainwright family of Mint Hill was visiting the Mast General Store in Banner Elk on Monday when they got a surprise visit from President Obama. The president arrived as they were in the store.
“The Secret Service were scanning customers and their bags. A PR man was advising everyone that the president would be there in five minutes. He said we should shop normally,” Casey Wainwright said. “Photographers lined one wall as the president came in, smiling and shaking hands. Everyone gathered around to see him.”
The family consisted of Mason (13 months), grandparents (Suzanne and Buddy), and great-grandmother (Onetta Black).
Suzanne was holding Mason as he held out his arms to the president and Obama took him in his arms. “Immediately cameras started clicking and President Obama asked how old Mason was. He said he was a good looking boy as I managed to tell him that Mason was one-year-old,” Casey explained. The chief White House photographer gave Casey his card and told her to e-mail him for photographs.
“After the president was gone, we were barred from leaving the store until Obama had left the area,” Casey said. “He boarded a big black bus with many other black vehicles following him. What a day!”
Story and Photo by Casey Wainwright