In this note, Bill Jeffcoat gives us a look at what it was like having the President in Abilene for a visit:
I think it was in 1953 and President Eisenhower was going to come to town. The Secret Service came into the Studio and requested of me to bring my high watt lights down to the Eisenhower Museum and man the switches for off and on at their signal.
I said, “I really do not have time to do that as I am going to be busy trying to take some photos there.”
He (the Secret Service agent) simply said, “The President would want you to do this for him.”
Well, while it was not a command, how could one refuse a request like that.
And so I did it and a funny thing happened. I turned up the light, then moved away to take a photo, and somebody tripped over the cord and the tall light fixture crashed to the floor with the globe exploding like a bullet shot! Next thing, the Secret Service men had their guns out in the Museum, afraid somebody mean had fired a gun. Ike did not pay it much attention as he was viewing photos of his football team from West Point. Meantime, I was out a $25.00 high priced light globe. I never sent a bill to the government – heck, I would never know where to direct the billing anyhow…