Scenes Around Jackson Photoblog

First Lady Michelle Obama @ Brinkley Middle School (3.3.10)

Posted in 2010, Color, Digital, Photo Post by William Patrick Butler on March 8, 2010

so i noticed, early last week, that First Lady Michelle Obama was going to be coming to Jackson, MS as part of her Let’s Move campaign.  She was going to be visiting two of our local schools with Gov. Haley Barbour and his wife Marsha Barbour (who’s really been the main one spearheading a healthier mississippi with her Let’s Go Walkin’ Mississippi campaign)

i remember thinking “wow, sure would be great to get a chance to photograph her. ah well, not even sure how to make that happen” and i went back to doing whatever it was i was doing.  jump to the next day and i’m dropping off some photos to lacey up at the JFP and i notice a print out of the same news article i read lying on a desk and i mention “yeah, the First Lady is coming to jackson” and lacey says (and i’m paraphrasing here) “yeah, we’re trying to see if we can get in to see her.  oh, would you be free wednesday to shoot some photos for us of her if we can arrange it?”

“uh, yes.”

“ok, i’ll email you the details.”

and that is how i found myself up at Brinkley Middle School at 9am (had to get there early to be pre-screened by the Secret Service) watching the controlled chaos unfold as i waited (with all the other press people) to see/photograph the First Lady.

the program wouldn’t actually be starting for another couple of hours but the line was already as long as you see here

a little better view of the line.  and this line kept growing as the day went on.  this was an invite only event so all the people you see here were invited.  so odds are they either were or knew some kind of city big shot 😉

a reporter (and her assistant) for the local Fox news affiliate.  (i have completely forgotten her name)

all the video crews getting set-up.  the walk way area behind them is pretty much where they kept the press pool at.  i took most of my shots of Mrs. Obama in that space to the left of the guy in the black jacket that’s setting up a camera to the left of the photo there.

heh, i like that sign

they start letting the kids into the auditorium

hand made signs and event t-shirts are a go!

waiting for things to get started

Secret Service don’t play.

re-arranging some of the VIPs

the student who got to start the program

reciting the Pledge of Allegiance

the school choir singing The Star-Spangled Banner

giving a short speech before the entertainment part of the program begins

the entertainment starts as the cheer squad runs out

and after the cheerleaders exited, the school band and drill team took the stage

and the band kicks it off

yeah, that’s how far back i (and the rest of the press) were

making their way back to their seats

LoL, i just had to include this one.  this was part of a short video presentation about eating healthy.  that was a plate rapping about starting the day with a good breakfast.  LoL, sorry, it just tripped me out

the kids on stage are getting excited…

the governor and mrs. barbour walk out on stage with the school prinicpal, Dr. Leroy Pope, taking the lead

and the crowd. goes. wild!

i know these are photos and not video, so it’s hard to explain just how loud this place got when she walked out

the young lady (Tiffany Thomas) sitting next to her won a school essay contest.  so her prize was to get to introduce Mrs. Obama. 🙂

Mayor Harvey Johnson, Mrs. Barbour, and Gov. Barbour

dr. pope making the opening remarks

mrs. barbour beginning her remarks

ok, this was a pretty funny moment.  mrs. barbour had just said something to the effect of “I’ve never heard people cheer this loud for you Haley!”  LoL

gov. barbour begins his remarks

introducing the First Lady.  wow.  what an honor.

the kids weren’t just cheering for the First Lady right here, they were also cheering for their classmate that did such an awesome job on the introduction

heh, i love this photo

Mrs. Obama begins her speech

and she wraps it up 🙂

making her way down the front of the stage to meet people

and this is where it turns into a rock star like madhouse as everyone rushes to try and meet her

(this was about as close as i could get because the Secret Service was trying to not have everyone crowd around her and i’m not in the habit of disagreeing with grown men with guns that have the legal right to shoot me)

talking some stuff over with the First Lady’s people

one of the First Lady’s photographers.  man, i would love that job 🙂

and this was my last photo of Mrs. Obama before the tide moved me outside and she went into the back

Mayor Johnson outside the doors of the auditorium

doing some meet and greet

Mayor Johnson and Dr. Lonnie J. Edwards, JPS Superintendent

outside on the front steps, a family being interviewed by the local media about the experience

in fact, everyone was being interviewed it seemed

and that was that 🙂

i still can’t believe it, y’know?  there would be times i would be looking through my view finder, thinking to myself, “i can’t believe i’m actually photographing the First Lady of the United States!”

so, many thanks for the JFP for arranging everything and for offering me the chance in the first place 🙂

if you want to see video of the First Lady’s speech, just click here

if you wanna see video of her trip to Pecan Park Elementary (the first school she stopped at) click here

so, in closing; awesome?

awesome! 🙂

have a good one everybody

see ya next post

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9 Responses

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  1. Rion said, on March 10, 2010 at 5:40 pm

    All kinds of awesome man. I have a feeling this is only the beginning. Keep it up, I wouldn’t be surprised that you do eventually become a Presidential Photographer.

  2. Jen - The Sis said, on March 13, 2010 at 1:28 pm

    THAT’S MY BRO!!!!!!!!!!! So very cool brother of mine. I wish I could have been there with you but seeing your pics I can at least ‘feel’ how exciting it was. Good job 🙂

  3. Bettye Taylor said, on March 14, 2010 at 11:47 am

    I want to thank you for sharing your pictures. When I graduated from then Brinkley High School in 1969, I could not have dreamed that some day the First Lady of the United States would actually visit my school. It brings back my memory of marching in the crowd behind Dr. Martin Luther King when I was seventh grade. That march along with many other aspects of the struggle brought about that visit to Brinkley. I was so proud to tell my students about the First Lady visiting MY former school.

    • William Patrick Butler said, on March 14, 2010 at 4:48 pm

      wow, i didn’t even know Brinkley used to be a high school back in ’69, that’s really interesting.
      and thank you very much for your comment, i was honored to be there.

  4. anthony said, on March 18, 2010 at 3:11 am

    awsome job !!!!!! you had to think about your uncle when you saw the veggie beacon on the talking plate lol. the pictures are great and you just went down in history with those awsome shoots of that whole event, proud of you nephew

  5. sutton bcn said, on November 3, 2012 at 12:00 am

    Very great post. I simply stumbled upon your blog and wanted to say that I have really loved surfing around your blog posts. In any case I’ll be subscribing in your rss feed and I’m hoping you write once more soon!


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