I Drove With a Parking Brake on in a Presidential Motorcade

When I was an undergraduate, President Clinton came to give the commencement address. They asked for volunteers to drive the press corp vans, and I figured it would be fun. I have a perfect driving record, and continue to have a perfect driving record, because I grew up in the city, rarely drive, and, in fact, hate driving.

We arrived at a hotel around 6am the morning of the event and were assigned vans. We drove in formation to an airstrip where one of the smaller Presidential planes landed. Members of the press jumped in my van and told me to drive.

I followed behind the secure vehicles with motorcycles zooming on either side of me, flooring the van to keep up. A burning smell and a small amount of smoke started to emanate.

The cameraman sitting next to me asked what was up, and I told him I had no idea.

When we arrived at campus, the press people jumped out of the van and a secret service agent approached my van. He pointed inside. I wasn’t sure what he was pointing at. He pointed again, and then I saw the parking brake was up.