• August 21, 2015
For those dwindling faithful still with me lost in the funhouse on the road in a pilgrim’s progress in this my summer of love, today’s installment may ring, as Mark Twain might say, a stretcher. see On the Road. Destination Little Bohemia in the South Wedge.
On August 22, 2013, President Obama enjoyed a stopover lunch at Magnolia’s on Park Avenue while on a bus trip from Buffalo to Syracuse. Does his brief stay really count as a “Presidential Visit?”
No inaugural train (Lincoln, 1861), Monument Dedication (Harrison, 1892), political rally (Johnson, 1964, Carter, 1980, Reagan, 1984) or leftover signed chalkboard (George H.W. Bush, 1989) as described here. When President George H.W. Bush visited Wilson on May 18th, 1989
And does two years really count as an Anniversary? Five, yes. By then we’ll have a new President. (Can Magnolia’s lure The Donald for a power lunch? Will Bernie pick up the tab as did Obama?) In ten, still in his prime what will Obama be doing? My prediction. Sitting in a different chair on the Supreme Court. At twenty five, hopefully still alive rounding out his legacy when another D & C blogger sits here. At fifty, ranked and pondered by Presidential historians — that is if Magnolia’s and the US Presidency still exist.
Actually, after speaking with Magnolia’s owner Susan Palermo and staff members who were there two summers ago, I realized anew what a cool footnote in Rochester’s history was Obama’s cameo.
As Susan explained, both locals and out-of-towners still consistently drop by to see the chair and photo montage, often snapping their own pictures and asking her questions. Many remember the “where were you” day vividly. Others, especially visitors to the Park Avenue Festival, never knew about the lunch or only dimly recall. The montage attracts the curious of all sorts: Obama supporters (and detractors), the political junkie, or just those fascinated by lived history in their midst. To staff members who shook President Obama’s hand, August 22nd will always be a special day. Hostess Devin Congdon (pictured) says every day people ask if Obama really ate there and what did he eat. The same grilled cheese and soup as I, now the Obama Special.
Susan will be at the café on Saturday. So come by if you haven’t seen the montage. She will be happy to fill in any details.
Finally, as I sit in the Presidential Chair, I am announcing the commencement of my own campaign. This year — when the people speak — I plan to topple Rachel Barnhart from her perch as the top blogger in Rochester! Sorry, Rach. Hey, if Donald Trump can be leading in the polls in this my summer of love, so can I. See Visiting a Talker haunt: the Brickyard Trail with Leslie Frances and Audrey
For all Prez visits see: