We arrived at 09:15, which I found out later was a little on the early side. This was both good and bad, because it did provide us a chance to get our feet on the ground and see what was going on and see what was going on; the down side was that the Fire Department had sent over a truck to go with us, as well as two CHP officers, and they all arrived after we had already left. It didn't impact the ceremony at all, just that it would have been fun to have had all of them there and we would have made a bigger entrance... and Jason deserved the bigger entrance. He drove himself in his truck, with Gracie, and the rest of us followed close behind in our car (and obviously the Freedom Riders).
The ceremony it self was done very well, and there were several news teams filming and cameras set up everywhere. There was at least five others with professional cameras, and then the guests with their cameras. I think I was able to get maybe 6 or 7 shots, and handed my camera to a few other people, who took some pictures for us. Bottom line is that there were a bunch of pictures taken and we were shown on a couple of the news stations, as well as being posted on the Gary Sinise Foundation web site - www.garysinisefoundation.org and on their FaceBook page. I'm posting a few pictures here as well. We got to see a rendering of the house, and what it is to look like when it is built, and it looks wonderful. One of the things I didn't do was to take a picture of the rendering, so I will have to see if I can find it somewhere else.
The actual ceremony only lasted for about 30 minutes, and then another hour of working with the news organizations. I initially thought that only Jason was going to be interviewed, and discovered that Linda and I were sot out by them, so we were all kept busy. I was thankful for all the people who chipped in and helped with the girls, and the best part was that the girls new several of the people who were there, so it made it that much easier. After all was done we were able to head out and get some lunch, and checked out a Mexican restaurant in Fallbrook. The name of the restaurant is Tekila (sort of a twist on blending tequila and technology) and the bottom line is that the food was good, so we will probably be going back.
We headed back to the house, and found out that going down I15 and then 163 to 5 to the house was faster than going straight down I5. I took the shorter route and didn't drive any faster than I would normally go - I had the girls in the car with me. Jason and Linda were in the truck, this way we could both take advantage of the commuter lanes. I got home ahead of Jason by almost 5 minutes.
We did get to see Billy Wagasy one last time to end the day. He came by to check on Jason's new chair, to make sure it was working properly and that Jason was happy with it. He stayed for a short visit (he still had to drive back up to Los Angeles) and we got a few more pictures, then he was on his way. After this there were several phone calls, and then we were able to get dinner ready and we sat down and ate. Linda gave the girls a bath, and shortly thereafter, they were in bed. The day was finally winding down. We are hoping to be able to catch some of the late news to see if any of it made it on, so we could see it. We know it was shown because people have told us, we'd just like to see it for ourselves. Thank you, for all the continued support and prayers. Take care and stay positive.
|Jason with 8 of the Freedom Riders|
|People gathering for the ceremony|
|Getting ready for the presentation of the colors|
|A nice couple|
|One of the interviews|
|This is Jackie|
|This is Stacy|
|Stacy and Jackie with Jason's Godfather, Steve|
|Stacy and Jackie with Jason's Godmother, Yolanda|
|I think you probably know everyone here|
|Stacy and Jackie by the fountain|
|Jason with his grandparents - Joe and Jess|
|Billy presenting Jason with the new chair|
|Billy holding Stacy|
|Billy holding Jackie|
|Jason in his new chair|