It is incredible how fast word spreads on Martha's Vineyard. Of course, like everywhere else, the important thing to remember is that not all those words are true.
The library where I work is just down the road a piece from where the Obamas stay on the Vineyard. When I pulled into the parking lot last Thursday morning, the day the president was arriving, the first thing I noticed was the news trucks.
Plenty of them. Mostly white. At various intervals throughout the day some overdressed reporter would emerge and stand there in the glare of a spotlight while a camera guy filmed his or her every word.
Crowds gathered along the road, reportedly for miles (but that may be yet another exaggeration), lined up hoping to get a glimpse of the first family when they arrived for their own personal taste of island magic.
Looking out our library windows didn't yield much information, but our patrons, thank goodness, were happy to share any tidbits of intelligence they'd gleaned, whether these were actually true or not.
Obama had arrived, came one early report, and apparently the car he was riding in had guns pointing out every window.
That report was soon demolished by the word that it wasn't the prez who'd arrived, but Michelle and their daughters, and they'd smiled and waved good-naturedly at the crowds along the road.
So much for the smoking guns, I thought. Although that particular report about guns pointing out car windows would surface again and again over the week, till I finally concluded it must contain some grain of truth.
Later on that first day, a patron came in smiling broadly. "I didn't even know he was coming," she confessed. "And then there he is going by in a car as I arrived. How cool is that?"
Pretty cool if you ask me.
Whether you agree with him politically or not, it's hard to shrug off the desire to obtain a genuine presidential sighting. I mean, my goodness, he's right here. Where I live. A real live president.
The reports of his whereabouts fly back and forth throughout the day. Facebook statuses, texts, calls from the kids and their friends. As to what's actually true, your guess is as good as mine.
They closed off the road while we were having dinner out the other night and I got very excited. But alas, within an hour it had reopened with no sign whatsoever of the leader of the free world.
Time is growing short, I know. His Vineyard vacation is almost over. I do promise, however, that if I actually lay eyes upon him, you'll be the first (okay, maybe the second) to know.