"It’s really just kind of nonchalant," Kalagher said of the reaction from the other gamers and staff inside the arcade, where the girls visit several times each trip. "You’d expect a little bit more, but it’s just kind of, whatever."
But that ambivalence only applies to the outward reaction to the first daughters’ presence. Inwardly, the staff - and the buzz from the streets - thinks it’s pretty cool. "I mean, it’s the president of the United States’s daughters," Kalagher said.
(PICTURES: Obama on the Vineyard)
Several doors down Circuit Avenue and across the street, Jake Gifford sits in his shop, The Lazy Frog, a bright-green wonder emporium filled with kites, Frisbees, board games, and, of course, frogs, wishing the first family would stop for a visit. That will not happen, he said, because of the store’s location in the middle and not near the ends of Circuit Avenue.
"The first year he came, Secret Service would come in, and a couple of them would buy stuff for their kids," Gifford said. "But he’s never coming in or the kids, they say."
Secret Service agents once told him the shop’s position and proximity to neighboring shops make the buildings too hard to secure, he lamented.
"And," he moaned, "we have got the funniest stuff."
The Secret Garden, a souvenir shop housed in one of the Vineyard’s quintessential gingerbread houses, is another place that pines for a presidential visit, even as some customers openly grumble about Obama’s substantial entourage locking them out of their favorite Vineyard respite, the Wesley Hotel.
“I would love to just be able to see him walking down the street,’’ Bree MacLean said between customers. Then again, she mused, maybe it is the seclusion of Blue Heron Farm in Chilmark that keeps the Obamas coming back to the rock seven miles off the Massachusetts coast.
Much of the Vineyard is, after all, off the beaten track.
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