HANCOCK COUNTY, MS (WLOX) - It was late January 2006 when then First Lady Laura Bush came to Hancock North Central Elementary School to check out the Katrina recovery progress in the area and to thank the volunteers who were helping the KaBoom organization erect a new playground for the students at the school.
I was assigned to cover the KaBoom build for WLOX News. Shortly before the First Lady and a string of other dignitaries were scheduled to make speeches, I needed a personal pit-stop.
The only restroom facilities were away from the event staging area, inside of the school building, so I began to make my dash to the nearest bathroom.
As I made my way inside the school and down an empty hall, lined with several class rooms, I came to one room that was packed with several well known faces.
There was Mrs. Bush. The sight stopped me dead in my tracks. To see our nation's First Lady just feet away from me shocked me. I had seen her on TV millions of times but to see her in person surprised me.
Even veteran news reporters can be star struck. I stood frozen in the doorway like a deer being spot-lighted. When I stopped, two gun packing Secret Service men in dark suits and dark glasses stated moving; moving toward me.
I felt as if I was about to be tackled and sacked by the First Lady's front linemen. Just as the Secret Service men were about to approach me, I saw another famous face in the classroom, Brett Favre, then a star quarterback for the Green Bay Packers.
The famous football player from Hancock County shouted, "Hey Al."
Brett's acknowledgement of me was enough to stop the First Lady's defense dead in their tracks realizing they need not tackle me. Brett then walked up to me and gave me a friendly hand shake.
I had interviewed the Hancock County native on several occasions in the past; mainly when the Brett Favre Forward Foundation would hand out checks to local charities. Brett saved me from eating turf or should I say the classroom floor.
I had always been a Favre fan, but after that day, I became one of his biggest fans. By the way, after I left the room, I did finally get to make a quick trip to the restroom before the speeches were delivered.
AL SHOWERS III