Love him or hate him, there was a palpable thrill in the air that couldn’t be denied when President Donald Trump arrived at the Jersey Shore for a fundraiser at a private home Sunday. Those of us who live in or near Long Branch started to feel the excitement earlier this week.

The buzz of helicopters above and the increasing amount of cars parked along Ocean Avenue were a clue that something big was about to happen. Secret Service was lurking around the Elberon section of Long Branch getting ready for the President’s fundraiser at a private home on Sunday.

It’s happened before ... right before Trump was elected the first time, and now that he’s president, you can imagine what the town next to mine was like the day of. It was hard to get anywhere. Streets were blocked off for blocks and blocks, Secret Service guys checking every last blade of grass, casing every area within half a mile of the home. Protesters and supporters clearly visible from my ride to the supermarket. It was surreal.

It was in the air all morning. And whether for or against, at the supermarket, the gas station and the convenience store, everyone had that feeling of the buzz in the air. My friend got pretty close and caught on video POTUS’s staff’s choppers landing and parking on the grass on Park Avenue behind the George Catrambone Elementary School. And then just like that, Marine One landed and President Trump popped out, saluted by his Marine escorts.

Crowds gathered on Roslyn Court at the back of the school to greet him. In this area, it was mostly cheers. Then, Trump disappeared into the $250,000 a ticket reception. People waited, giddily, hoping to catch another glimpse. Or, if they were on the other side, to shout a few more epithets his way. And then, it was over. Marine One lifted off, crowds dissipated, the last of the sunglass-wearing Secret Service guys pulled away. And we went back to being just another Jersey Shore town enjoying just another sultry summer Sunday.

The post above reflects the thoughts and observations of New Jersey 101.5 talk show host Judi Franco. Any opinions expressed are Judi's own.

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