July 27, 2009
White House doorbell
Set into the fence surrounding the front side of the White House is this curiosity. An old doorbell?
I pushed the white button, which obscures words underneath that read, "Push Button." Dana said, "Think Obama heard the buzzer?"
After I'd pushed the button a few times and called attention to the oddity, bunches of tourists gathered round to photograph the weird welcome plaque. I hadn't taken a picture yet.
I had a telephoto lens on my camera and had to change to a 50mm, but as I fished around in my bag for the lens a police officer shouted, "Ladies and gentleman, this area must be cleared. Please move to the other side of the barricade. You can take pictures from there."
I couldn't take a photograph of this DC doorbell from anywhere but right where I was standing, so I hung back, changed my lens and took the picture. Other folks hung back, too.
The officer was not happy. "Ladies and gentlemen, I SAID, 'This area must be cleared.'"
I gathered my stuff and left. About a dozen people stayed at the fence, looking at the contours of the Oval Office and admiring Michelle Obama's vegetable garden off to the left of the cool old entry buzzer.
"PEOPLE! I'VE ASKED YOU TWICE. THE THIRD TIME, I WILL TAKE POLICE ACTION, COURTESY OF THE SECRET SERVICE."
The people moved.