John and Holly Hennenfent of Galesburg, Illinois knew their grandson Gage Maska would love the chance to see Air Force One land at the Quad City International Airport.
With an aunt who works in the white house, Gage knows quite a bit about the commander-in-chief.
“Just sometimes he is called Obama,” four-year-old Gage explains.
The scene at the airport was the four-year-old’s dream; planes, army guys and even dogs.
“They [the dogs] sniff for bad things to hurt the president,” Gage says. “They are special dogs.”
But once the plane landed, after hours and hours of waiting, Gage’s grandmother says his enthusiasm was dwindling.
“It landed and we got to watch it. It was pretty exciting and then he got a little antsy,” Holly says, “He was like ‘ok, we’re done, I’m ready to go.’”
Finally making his way around the crowd, the president was just feet away when John became worried that his grandson would miss the opportunity of a lifetime.
“I have Gage on my hip and you see Gage just move back, getting shyer and shyer,” John says. “The only thought in my mind was he was going to snub the president! I thought oh, that won’t be good.”
But luckily, the president said just the right thing. President Obama looked at the timid child and said, “How about a high-five, bud?”
Gage says couldn’t deny the president, “I gave him a five, high-five.”
He calls the moment cool, but the moment doesn’t quite top his list.
“Well there is cooler things to do,” Gage explains. “Well just like going boat riding or going on the airplane.”