Posted on April 18, 2010
We’re thrilled that President Obama is coming to Asheville for his personal vacation.
It seems peculiar that he would choose our mountains, when he has all the privacy and beauty of Camp David, or could jet off to some more exotic locale. I like to think that he loved the Asheville vibe while he was campaigning here. He picked up lunch at 12 Bones then and no doubt got a glimpse of our youthful (in attitude, if not always in years), hip, artsy and active culture.
Maybe he’ll drop in on a studio or two at the Weaverville Art Safari, or better yet bid at the silent auction on Friday, while he’s in town. Michelle Obama would look great in some handmade wearable art created by a Weaverville artist.
We can certainly use the exposure. Tourism has taken a hit from the recession. People still visit the Biltmore Estate, but on a budget. Everyone has downsized, so folks we would have gotten as guests here in better times are shaving expenses by staying at chain motels and eating fast food. We like to see the president stay at the Grove Park Inn (if not Inn on Main Street!) just to show there’s no reason to slum it. Bad food and bad beds should be stimulus enough to come back to comfort.
President Obama will be here when the mountains are at their best, full of redbud and dogwood blossoms, as well as delicate mountain orchids, trilliums and fiddleneck ferns. The songbirds are back and harmonizing. The days are sunny and the nights are cool. It’s a time we are thankful for the end of a harsh winter and the promise of a dawning summer. There is hope in the air, and we need our president to nurture that hope. Welcome home to Asheville, Mr. Obama.