By JOHN E. BIALAS
Broadmoor Bureau Chief
I was on my way home Monday night around 6 when I saw police barricades on the east and west sides of rundown commercial property where Hewes Avenue meets Railroad Street in Gulfport, two blocks north of Highway 90 and the beach.
Hewes was part of the route for the Donald Trump motorcade from the airport to the Mississippi Coast Coliseum in Biloxi, where the president spoke in support of Mississippi Sen. Cindy Hyde-Smith in advance of her runoff Tuesday against Mike Espy.
One police car was parked behind each set of barricades and I thought it would be interesting to get a picture of the barricades and the police car in the lot of a long-shuttered Railroad Street convenience store.
It’s not unusual to see police activity in our neighborhood of Broadmoor, which is just west of Hewes and Railroad, but the scene of barricades for a presidential motorcade near our house was a first for me.
I drove about 20 yards past the barricades, parked my car in a dirt-filled side of the avenue, got out of the car, walked to the barricades and took my picture. The photo is at the top of this fine piece of quality journalism.
I got back in my car and drove a couple blocks north to the corner of Hewes and 25th Street, just two minutes from our house. As I took a left turn, a police officer driving south on Hewes stopped me.
We were right in front of a historic church, St. James Baptist.
He walked up to my car and motioned for me to roll down my window, but the man was impatient, so he opened my car door and told me, “GO!”
I told this rude rube I was going home.
“GO!” he said again. “START YOUR ENGINE! THE PRESIDENT IS COMING!”
I asked him why he stopped me.
“BECAUSE YOU STOPPED DOWN THE STREET!” he said.
A presidential road block would have been the best barricade.
Seems like one of his fellow officers saw me taking the picture and alerted him.
Among the things I wanted to say to the officer who stopped me:
If the president is coming now, it seems kind of early because he’s not scheduled to speak until 8 p.m. and it’ll take the motorcade only 10 minutes or so to get to the Coliseum. Maybe the president has a 6:30 dinner reservation at Mary Mahoney’s.
I’m sure he’s your president. He’s not my president. I would never vote for him.
If you arrest me, do you think the next president would pardon me assuming Trump isn’t re-elected?
Can I take a picture of you for my blog?