‘Theeeeey’rrrrrre heeeeeerrrrre!’

Here’s the latest POTUS vacation dispatch from the Vineyard by our faithful, far-flung correspondent, Ray LaPorte.

Air Force One flew over Vineyard Haven harbor last evening on a glide path to Otis Air Base. Its shimmering light-blue hull and contrails in the fading sun at 10,000 feet signaled that within the hour an armada of helicopters in military formation would soon fly the First Family to their vacation home here on Paradise Island. And thus would begin Fox News’ endless assault on the propriety of presidential vacations, especially on toney Martha’s Vineyard,  when the world is swirling down the drain. This will soon be followed by the family-values crowd chiming in with something nonsensical and hypocritical about him, despite the fact that this President spends lots of vacation time with his children. But I digress.

I had every intention of posting my “Apocalypse Now” video of the low-flying helicopters and their impressive formation and noise and the accompanying speeding Coast Guard cutters while coincidentally aboard my friend’s sailboat participating in our highly competitive weekly Thursday evening club race. However, with a reef in the main and gusts to 20 knots, I had my hands full trimming sheets and jockeying around marks and 15 other boats, so my Blackberry remained in my bag below. My Francis Ford Coppola helicopter scene will have to wait. Suffice to say that I have seen it many times here, and it is still impressive. They sure know how to make a grand entrance laying a heavy carbon footprint.

Unlike the very social Bill and Hillary here a century ago, when they would show up anywhere and at anytime (even at my neighbors’ place once), the Obamas remain very private and out of sight. Their rare and spontaneous public moments are telegraphed only when the advance team in ninja SUV’s descends moments before their arrival. The sad post-9/11 reality is that their free movement options are limited for security reasons, which must be a source frustration especially during the few vacations they take. At least that hideous black tour bus didn’t come with them.

Gotta go, GaGa’s outside!

Hold on. False alarm. It’s the President going to the Bunch of Grapes Bookstore (no kidding, real time)!! Now I’m stuck inside the security perimeter and can’t get lunch. We pray for Labor Day.

—Paparazzi Ray