After Emporia stop, Obama passes through Western Tidewater

Published 10:17 am Wednesday, October 19, 2011

COURTLAND—Macellette Wiggins was in a rush to get to the grocery store Tuesday night.

It wasn’t because of any last-minute item she had forgotten. Rather, it was a chance for the Courtland woman to see President Barack Obama’s motorcade pass through town.

Southampton High School freshman Kayla Wiggins and her mother, Macellette Wiggins, waited at Food Lion in Courtland for about an hour-and-a-half until President Barack Obama’s motorcade passed by while traveling down Southampton Parkway. -- Dale Liesch | Tidewater News

“We had heard about it around noon,” said Wiggins, who was accompanied for the excitement by her daughter Kayla. “We didn’t make plans, because we thought he’d be gone by the time we got here.”

Timing was crucial for the Wigginses and others who wanted to catch a glimpse of Obama as he made his way from Emporia, where he spoke at Greensville County High School, to Hampton. Obama was on a tour of North Carolina and Virginia to promote his American Jobs legislation.

The Wigginses arrived at the Courtland Food Lion at 5:30 p.m. and waited until around 7:15, when the motorcade passed by.

From there, the motorcade continued on Route 58 bypass east through Franklin to the Route 258 exit east of the Blackwater River. From there, the motorcade wound near the paper mill, on to Walters Highway and through Isle of Wight County toward the James River Bridge, said Rusty Chase, chief of emergency services for Isle of Wight County.

“It was a real surprise,” said Kayla Wiggins, a Southampton County High School freshman. “I didn’t expect (Obama) to come to this small town, and I didn’t expect to see him.”