Saturday, March 14, 2009

Chasing Hillary Chapter 10

CHASING THE MOTORCADE


Chasing Hillary was never so easy as when musician, Melissa Reaves, joined me on the road. Of-course chasing Hillary is never easy. It even verges on the impossible. As Donovan sings, "You may as well try and catch the wind".


Melissa Reaves

Melissa is one of the great Southern musicians. She's played with just about everyone at one time or another. From Robert Plant of Led Zeplin, the Pointer Sisters, Cindy Lauper, Little Feat, and Gloria Gaynor, to Doc Watson and Lou Rawls, Melissa is the queen of her craft.
One of the benefits of having this traveling musician as your driver is her knowledge of practically every town and city in the South. Even if Melissa doesn't know the town, she has an almost psychic sense of direction.
One of our favorite past-times on the road was trying to catch the motorcade. This is not as easy as it sounds. First of all, the motorcade doesn't have to play by the rules. There's no such thing as stoplights or speed limits. The police help them by blocking off streets and escorting them through. They travel at incredible speeds most of the time, like 95 miles an hour on the highway.

Melissa and I try and try again to catch the motorcade. Melissa is relentless. One day she even successfully chased the Hillcopter. I'm sure Hillary must have noticed if she looked down, a brightly-colored vehicle steadily following below.
But even with Melissa's excellent driving skills and knowledge of the fastest way in and out of every town and city, we just aren't quick enough.
That is until one day in West Virginia...
We are on the highway coming from one Hillary rally and going to the next. Melissa is using her psychic senses to discern where the motorcade might be. I think it's way ahead of us, as it usually is, but Melissa thinks it's behind us. We play this game practically every day now, as we travel from rally to rally around the South.
"Oh my god, I think that's the motorcade coming up behind us!" Melissa says while cruising down the highway. I'm skeptical, as we always think we see the motorcade, and it never turns out to be.
"Oh shit! It IS the motorcade!"
The first police car whizzes past us, then an official looking vehicle. Hillary's motorcade begins to pass us one by one. When Hillary's Range Rover passes, the tinted window opens just a crack, and a long telescopic lens appears out of the vehicle. We are being photographed by someone in Hillary's car.
The motorcade is traveling around 95 miles an hour, a little much for my 1989 Toyota Corolla. The petal is to the metal.
A couple of police cars pass us and we think it's the end of motorcade. We are hell-bent on riding this wave so we hop to the left lane. "BEEEEEEEEEEP! BEEEEEEEEP! BEEEEEEP!" We are being forced back into the right lane by more official vehicles. Our hearts are beating wildly as we play this game.
A police car passes with it's lights and siren on. This HAS to be the tail end. We hop back onto the left lane and gun it.
We're on, and we're not being kicked off! We keep up the speed, 95 miles an hour right behind a police car. We are definitely breaking the law!
As we enter the town where the rally is going to be held, we are still traveling at a break-neck speed. Police have blocked off intersections and are out in the road waving us through. It's like riding a wave that is much too big, you can't stop or you might get killed. We burn through stoplight after stoplight with the speeding motorcade.
The police guide right into the rally site. We are in so much trouble if this goes wrong. We speed into the rally site, as on-lookers cheer for Hillary. They think the Hillcar is all a part of the show.
As the motorcade wave makes it's last turn into special top security parking, we make a split second decision that we better not push our luck, and keep going.
This has got to be the ride of a life-time! Police standing by the side of the road just wave and smile.
Melissa and I just look at each other and laugh.

We stayed outside of the rally that day and entertain kids with the Hillcar, quite possibly because we are afraid to go in and face the music.



This photo was being taken as Melissa sees the motorcade pulling away.
Hillary rolls down her window and waves at us.


Hillary allowed us play in her motorcade that day. If she didn't I think we would have wound up in jail.

The photo of the Hillcar on the highway taken by someone in Hillary's vehicle, appeared on her website slideshow the next day.
We found out later from Hillary's photographer, that secret service took the photo. Unfortunately I don't have the photo.

I feel certain that when Hillary wrote saying that she "sure misses seeing the Hillcar everywhere she goes", she was referencing the period of time in which Melissa Reaves, Hillary-Chaser D'jour, was behind the wheel.