Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Presidential Hand Shakes

Dayton Airport and Vandalia about 1954
I’ve mentioned the notable people my Grandfather and I met here, here, here & here.

I haven’t yet mentioned the two well-known people Mom shook hands with.  Both of these "celebrities" were politicians (and Irish!).

Both of these meetings happened at the same place.  The Dayton Airport (the same place my Grandfather met Orville Wright).  At the time of all these meetings the Airport Terminal was on Dixie Drive.  This is the area that is now used for the Dayton Air Show.

The first person Mom shook hands with was John F. Kennedy.  During his Presidential run he had a campaign stop in Dayton.  It was announced that he would spend a few minutes at the Airport for a "meet and greet."  Mom, Dad & Aunt Norma went.  For some reason he arrived quite a bit later than expected and not many waited.  Both Mom and Aunt Norma really wanted to shake his hand and they hoped, with such a relatively small crowd, that they’d be able to.

Dad was helping both of them get up to the “rope line” and Mom got close enough to touch his fingers, although she said that she wasn’t able to really shake hands.

Unfortunately just as Aunt Norma got her chance, he turned away.

Éamon de Valera

A few years later Éamon de Valera, a leader of the Irish Independence movement and eventually President of Ireland, visited Dayton.   Mom & Dad were among the crowd greeting him at the Airport.  This time the crowd was much smaller than the one greeting Kennedy and Mom was able to shake de Valera's hand.

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