KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) -- John Ashley was 9 years old when his father took him to visit the U.S. capitol as a guest of Congressman Jimmy Duncan. They planned on eating lunch at the cafeteria in the capitol building.
"We started noticing a lot of Secret Service agents in the hallway," said Ashley. "Happened to be one of the days that the President was eating lunch there."
He understood it was rare that the President would dine in that cafeteria. Ashley's group happened to already be seated when the President arrived. For a moment, everyone in the room stood up.
"He walked over and sat down right behind me. And we were kind of back to back. He was more than happy to have his picture with us."
Ashley was the boy in the bright red tie. His friend, Andrew Pitts, also got in the photo because his father had brought him on the visit.
That photo ended up hanging at Farragut Intermediate, where Ashley attended school. Otherwise, he said, no one believed that he had met the President during his trip to Washington.
"The thing that really stood out to me was the fact of how open he was to just saying, 'More than happy to get a picture with you,' just like an everyday person. And it just speaks volumes of a president," said Ashley.