Friday, November 07, 2008

Obama, Me and 249,998 other People in Chicago

Everyone had assumed that I would attend Obama’s election celebration in Chicago - everyone except me. I was just tired and thought I would stay home and post a blog for my family to share comments. My friend from New Hampshire called and said, “You're going to Obama’s event on election night, aren’t you?” And my niece emailed me from Oregon with the same question. I began to feel obligated to represent all my Obama friends from around the country. So, when my husband, Bob, said, “Let's go to Chicago Tuesday.” I rose to the challenge.

I sent out emails to friends inviting them to come along but had only one taker, my good friend in activism, Karen. It was up to me to make the arrangements. I printed out “tickets” from the Obama website, googled mapped Chicago’s transit route and cancelled Wed. off from work.

Decked in our Obama shirts and pins, we jumped in the car after work, drove to O’Hare Airport and rode the blue subway line to downtown Chicago. With a little difficulty, we figured out how to put the subway ticket into the entrance gate. We were rescued by an AFSCME union woman in a green Obama shirt when we looked confused as to which way to head to Grant Park.

Downtown Chicago at night is fun but remove all the cars, add a glittering skyline, and mix in thousands and thousands of very happy people you get real excitement. The flow of people carried us down Michigan Avenue. Still not sure of where we were to go, we jammed up the stream to ask the very friendly cops the directions to the entrance for the ticket section.

Ticket holders go to the right; non-ticket holders to the left- to the back of the park. The rest of the 250,000 people were left on the surrounding streets. We were lucky, we had “tickets” or so we thought. We moved in a long line 50 wide through the gates as they checked our credentials in a very loose fashion. No bags- keep on moving. Telephone calls to our daughter updated us on the progress of the election. Pennsylvania is Obama’s YES! Slowly we move in mass and 45 minutes later we file through final yellow-ribboned checkpoint.

“What is this? These aren’t tickets, you can’t come in!”

I argue back, “Look, it has my name on it. I printed it off my computer from the Obama Website.”

No, no this is just a piece of paper, not an official ticket!” she answers. The three of us are walked over to another official and she confirms the previous worker’s statements. We knew it would be physically impossible to walk like a salmon against the river of people. We refused to move.-- “OK just go in!!!” She waves us on.

75,000 people were admitted to the slanted grassy grounds with a podium and large screen TV. The lower part of the bowl-shaped area was filling up. The slopping sides with the better view, were full. We didn’t care; we squeezed in between SEIU Union members, 20-somthings and young African American couples- these people and 74, 988 others!

I started to hyperventilate and panicked, could I stand like this for the 2 hours waiting for Obama to come on stage? I wondered if the people concerned about the chickens in small cages in California would care about us. Good news, Ohio goes for Obama--- yes, yes, yes! We did the math, add CA, WA and OR. This is going to be a quicker night than we thought.

Not drinking since 4 PM helped me control my bodily functions while I was trapped. Being thirsty was a small price to pay. Several of us figured if we all moved together we could sit down on the grass and still be able to breath. 8 union members and I sat down in one unit. We could see the clear sky and stars above the pillars of legs but still hear the sound of CNN announcing that Florida was added to the Obama column.

We all smiled and shared stories of campaigning in surrounding states. We talked about the first time we met Obama live. After two years of working, we felt every minute was worth it to be here on this day. During a standing break I took pictures of the crowd, watched the TV screen and checked through the binoculars to find the stage.

At 2 minutes after 10 PM CNN declared Obama the winner! The crowd shouted in unison. It was New Years’ with hugging kissing and crying. Pictures flashed, people jumped and arms waved above the crowd.

The sound system played inspirational music and we waited in anticipation as the entourage of cars with flashing lights approached the back of the flagged stage.

The beautiful America’s first family dressed in matching black and red, walked on the stage holding hands high to the crowd. Obama addressed the nation with his eloquent words. How wonderful to know this man will be our president and speaking to us and for us as a nation. A wave of true joy washed over me lifting me up as I heard myself spontaneous shouting “Yes, Yes, Yes.”

The aching pain I had trapped in my chest for the last 8 years melted into comforting warmth.

My sister and co-workers worried about us being in danger. The opposite was true; right here in downtown Chicago people of all ages, races and backgrounds came together to celebrate with Obama. Obama “got it”. We are not just a conglomeration of individuals, we are a one America.


Weekend Open Thread

Obama Pictures and McCain Pictures


Thursday, November 06, 2008

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Tuesday, November 04, 2008


Hubby put up our Christmas tree lights tonight
because they're blue.

That little dark spot near the bottom
of the tree is a campaign sign...


Election message from Howard Dean


Monday, November 03, 2008

Election Day Suggestions from Columbus for Obama

From my inbox...

It's here! Tomorrow we have the chance to make history! The campaign is expecting record-breaking turnout! This is great news and now all we need to do is vote and help get out the vote.

There are a number of the things that you can do to make your (and others) line wait not only tolerable but enjoyable and and even fun. True!

First, the campaign is doing it's part. They will be supplying hamburgers, snacks, water and in some cases a local band playing a set!

Here are some things you can do:

* Bring a lawn chair for yourself and even more for others. People will love you for it.
* Strike up a conversation with others in line if they seem interested in talking.
* Bring newspapers, magazines and comic books. You can share them with your line neighbors once you are done reading them.
* Bring a crossword puzzle or use the one in the newspaper. You may even find someone who'd like to help you.

If you help one person stay in line, you will be making a difference.

Thanks so much every one. Tomorrow we will make history!

Monday Open Thread

funny pictures
moar funny pictures


Sunday, November 02, 2008