From News Hounds: An Accidental Newspaper Life on Martha’s Vineyard

Diesel met President Obama and family as they whizzed by on their bicycles in the Manuel Correllus State Forest. Molly and I, like so many others, had got a tip about the cycling. Lots of Islanders have police scanners and VHF radios, which they monitor to see where the fire is or the car crash or the boat aground. Word of anything minor or major gets around quickly.

We collected Diesel and rushed to what we thought might be a useful vantage point, where we found a press pool of astounding numbers and a similarly large Secret Service troop. The security team scanned us for weapons, admired Diesel, who admired them slobberingly in return. Besotted, I suppose, by Diesel, the guards allowed us to walk along beside the bike path, between it and the press gaggle kept fifty yards farther away, who were certainly cranky over the unusual access granted us.

Around the corner came the Obama girls, their mother, and then the president. Diesel was instantly transported, not so much, I admit, by the figure of the president as by the bicycles that, unrestrained, he might very well have chased.

“Good morning, Mr. President,” we said, and the president, recognizing what he took to be adoring onlookers, spoke to us.

“That’s a really big dog,” he said. We’d heard that before, of course, but it seemed to mean so much more coming from him. Really, though, I don’t know if Diesel took it in as he should have, what with all those spinning wheels.

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