VIN MANNIX column | Presidential detail brings super perks

June 24, 2011 

Serving on the ceremonial guard with the presidential helicopter, Marine 1, has some nice perks.

Ask Manatee High alum John Scheiding.

During four years on that detail with Presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama, the 23-year-old Marine got to see most of the world.

Denmark, Egypt, Germany, India, Italy, Japan, Norway and South Korea were among John’s stopovers, sometimes two or three times.

His favorites?

Egypt, for one.

“We took a horse ride to the Sphinx and pyramids and that was cool,” he said.

What, no camel ride?

“They’re too mean,” John said.

His other favorite trip?

Ireland last month.

While President Obama and the first lady visited Moneygall in County Offaly, the home of his great-great-great grandfather, John stayed in Dublin.

It was the last big trip before his discharge, so he went out in style.

“We saw castles, some countryside and hung out with the Irish,” John said.

Was the Guinness good?

“They said it’s better over there -- and it definitely is,” he said.

n By the way, his stepdad, Daniel O’Connell, is 66. A former Marine, he is named after the 19th century Irish politician, who fought for his countrymen’s rights during England’s repressive reign over Ireland.

n Melody Swank is 48? No way.

n Bill Edwards brags on daughter, Krista.

The 14-year-old received Lee Middle’s Female Athlete of the Year Award at the school’s sports assembly. Krista followed that up being recognized by the National Junior Honor Society, as well as receiving the Student Council Award, Citizenship Award, Presidential Academic Excellence Award and being named Outstanding Female of the Year.

n Oh, no! Say it ain’t so! The one and only Lt. Dana Tindall of the city of Bradenton Fire Department is about to hit the Big 5-0! Monday’s the day.

n Jimmy Hackett is 29.

n A number of folks are retiring from the city of Bradenton, including:

Dave Roberts, water use analyst, 32 years.

Larna Leonard, planning and community development, 28 years.

Carlos Craddock, detective, 20 years with BPD.

Bev Rhodes Chapin, deputy city clerk, 12 years.

n Nicholas Trent is 10. Hurray from parents Beth and Todd and sister, Samantha.

n Small world? My wife Sherri and I went to her class reunion at Groveport Madison High just outside Columbus, Ohio, and who should be there but classmate Rickie Fraley Kerns, a Bradenton resident for 22 years.

n Sonny and Velma Jaudon will be celebrating more than just our nation’s independence on July 4 with 41 family members.

It’s also their 69th anniversary.

n Oh, no! Stefanie Cocciolone Gross hit the Big 3-0!

n Cait Campbell is 18 on June 30. The MSA honors grad will attend Jacksonville University.

Cheers from mom, Karyn, and future stepdad Tim McCann, the city of Bradenton spokesman, who take the plunge on 11-11-11.

“That’s an anniversary I shouldn’t forget,” Tim joked.

n The Phyllis Marotta Benefit is noon-7 p.m. Sunday at Firkin & Fox, 2505 Manatee Ave. E. A popular waitress there, Phyllis is battling cancer and has no health insurance.

Call 748-7694.

Vin Mannix, local columnist, writes Vin’s People. Call Vin at 745-7055, write him at Bradenton Herald, P.O. Box 921, Bradenton, FL 34206 or e-mail him at Please include a phone number for verification.

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