President Biden's strolls through downtown Nantucket during his presidency have created some memorable moments over the past three years, but none quite like this one.
When we got word that the Bidens were headed to the Brotherhood of Thieves again for lunch, I walked over from Main Street to see if I could get a seat at the bar and perhaps get a photo of him walking into the Broad Street restaurant. Manager Jonas Baker politely informed me the restaurant was full, but I told him to let me know if one opened up, and I remained outside on the sidewalk. When he came back outside and approached me, I thought maybe he was going to say my seat was ready. Nope.
"The Secret Service specifically told me not to let YOU inside," Baker told me, again very politely.
Oh well. I laughed and walked over to the deck of the 21 Broad Street inn next door and waited. Sure enough, President Biden and First Lady Jill Biden started walking up Broad Street right in front of us, so I pulled out my iPhone and started recording. I was shocked when President Biden stopped right in front of me, saluted, and pointed at my head.
"Your hat," President Biden said. He was pointing to my USS Nantucket hat, a gift from a friend who had been part of the welcoming committee when the crew of the newly commissioned LCS boat - the USS Nantucket - came to the island for a ceremony. It looked like the hat you might see a Navy veteran wearing, and President Biden had obviously made that assumption.
At a loss for words, I blurted out "I appreciate that. Yeah, USS Nantucket," as he started to walk away.
"I appreciate your service," President Biden said before entering the Brotherhood.
The moment - which we, of course, posted online - has now been viewed more than 2 million times across our social media pages.