Greencastle family has egg-citing experience

Staff Writer
Echo Pilot
Eric Husband and his children shared mementos of an exciting morning in Washington D.C. Miranda, left, Amaya and Issac have souvenirs of the 2011 White House Egg Roll: a newspaper featuring their photograph, admission tickets and a commemorative wooden egg.

Little did the Husband children realize Easter morning that by the next day they would have seen President and Mrs. Obama in person, their photo would be splashed across newspapers and the Internet, and they would have memories to last a lifetime. Miranda, 11, Issac, 9, and Amaya, 4, not only had the good fortune to attend the White House Easter Egg Roll, but they also caught the attention of an Associated Press photographer as they participated in an event that dates to 1878 and President Rutherford B. Hayes.

"We kept it a surprise," said their dad, Eric. "When they woke up we gave them each a golden ticket."

Through his work at the Martinsburg, W. Va. Air National Guard base, he was one of a few employees to snag four passes to the celebration on April 25.

That Monday morning started early, and the family, minus mom and older brother, dressed up for the occasion. They made it to Washington D.C. in no time and found a parking spot easily. They passed through security and joined the crowd waiting in front of the Washington Monument. At 9:40 a.m. the Husbands were among the 6,000 people on the White House lawn for two hours of fun and games, part of the 30,000 who were admitted overall.

The Easter egg roll was just a small part of the experience. As the children swatted hard-boiled eggs with a wooden spoon for a couple yards, they were in focus for that photographer, who captured one egg as it was airborne. Though it appeared to be Miranda's, it was actually Issac's.

"It broke and hit someone's leg," he said with a grin.

The siblings enjoyed the multitude of activities geared toward exercise. The 2011 theme was 'Get Up and Go!', in line with the first lady's focus on ending childhood obesity. They ran an obstacle course, played ball games, heard the Obamas read a story, and listened to live music, including a performance by Willow Smith, daughter of Will and Jada Pinkett Smith.  Children's costumed TV characters made the rounds, as did the Easter Bunny. Mrs. Obama walked by.

"We were so close, so close," said Miranda. They estimated she came within 10 feet of them.

Visitors were treated to lemonade and snacks during the warm day. By noon, the crew was headed back to Greencastle.

"They crashed," Eric said. "It was a once in a lifetime experience they'll remember."

Then the family discovered the photograph went national. It was published in the Express, a free daily publication of The Washington Post, with a readership of 300,000, and in other venues.

Issac, concerned that the school would not excuse his absence, worried for naught.

Eric sent in a copy of the newspaper page, stating his son had been at the White House. Who could argue with that?