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Mike Pintek on: President Carter's Visit
Mike Pintek Q: Any reaction to hearing Carter is coming?

MP: President Carter comes to tour Three Mile Island. Brings Rosalyn with him, brings an entourage of reporters in a pool, I wanted to be in the pool but I couldn't. One of my friends was, though. They go to Three Mile Island, we watch the motorcade go in, and he tours the Island and I forget how long it took. And then he goes to Middletown, to the gymnasium, I believe, and holds a news conference there, to speak to the people. They actually let people, as I recall, citizens come in. Because he really was speaking to them, and there were bleacher seats where the reporters were, and we plugged our tape recorders in, so that we could record President Carter's words. And I remember being on my two-way radio in my news car, talking to one of our people back at the station, saying, "Boy, I'm going to try to get into this news conference, but I don't have credentials. I don't have any White House credentials. I don't know how much luck I'm going to have, so be prepared to, you know, rely on the networks for any sound, any tape of the President." And one of the network people somehow was on our same frequency, on our two-way radio, and the guy broke in and said, don't worry, I've never seen security this lax in my life. Well, in fact, he was right. I went to the gymnasium, and I said, WKBO news, and they said come on in. Well, fine, I walked in, so then here comes the President, reassuring everyone that the Federal government's doing the best that they can, they have the situation under control. I've toured the Island, everything seems to be, I forget exactly what he said, but basically a reassuring type of a statement.

Q: How did you respond at that point?

MP: I felt, listening to the President, who had once again -- here was this leader who had come to the scene, to see for himself what's going on. There was a certain reassuring air about it. One of the things I remember is that the weather was kind of gray that day. And when the President left, and we went outside, I remember the sun kind of blasting through the clouds. It was like, I don't know, the second coming. I guess my emotions kind of intensified the reaction, but that's what I remember. I think a lot of people felt better. Everybody seemed to feel better, they seemed to be more lighthearted. Still grave, but yet there was a lightness about it.

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