President George W. Bush

President Eisenhower's grandson, David, after whom the retreat is named (Eisenhower Library)

President Eisenhower's grandson, David, after whom the retreat is named (Eisenhower Library)

The presidential retreat, Camp David (formally known as Naval Support Facility Thurmont) is less than 30 minutes away so Gettysburg is a easy jaunt for a presidential day-trip.

Rumors started flying last Fall that President Bush was planning to take a tour of Gettysburg. Sure enough, his motorcade swooped into town the next day. The Secret Service must not have heard that the Visitor’s Center has moved to Baltimore Pike because, upon passing the old VC on Taneytown Road, his motorcade realized their mistake and (like so many other people every day) they made a quick turn-around in our parking lot! According to Sherry, our staff person on duty, a long line of black limousines and SUVs turning around in our little lot was quite a sight!

Sherry hopped on a machine and followed the group, riding circles around the motorcade when it next paused at the Cyclorama parking lot. To Sherry’s great surprise, the President didn’t get out of his car to take a test ride. (We’re just grateful that the Secret Service didn’t shoot her!)

Members of the Bush family have always been strong advocates of Segways. President Bush #41 and his wife each own Segways. President Bush #43 would frequently give a Segway to a visiting dignitary as an example of American innovative technology. Yes, the younger President Bush famously fell off a Segway because he tried to hop aboard without turning it on!

We’ve invited President Obama to take a Segway tour of Gettysburg but we aren’t holding our breath.

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