Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Barack Obama in Harrisonburg

I should just let the pictures speak for themselves. Andrew is in bed sound asleep, and that's where I want to be, too. But, I dragged myself off of his bed, where I was cozily surrounded by 8 million stuffed animals, to write this post--it shouldn't wait until tomorrow.

We ended up venturing into Harrisonburg today for the Obama Rally. James had taken the day off and stayed home with Andrew, and I left school at 11:30 so we could go up early enough to get in, knowing that JMU students were planning to start lining up early this morning and that there was a chance we'd be out of luck. All went as planned--our luck even allowed us to cross paths with our friend Sue, who hitched a ride with us onto campus after her preschool field trip to the pumpkin patch with son Jackson. James dumped Sue and me out in front of the convocation center after seeing that there were TONS of people already there at 12:15. Sue and I got in line, and James and Andrew went to pick up Leigh Ann and McD's and park the car. It was a long afternoon of waiting in the cold---we were even graced with a few snow flurries and some hellacious wind, but it was tolerable waiting on the cushiony astro-turf of the soccer field, where our line coiled around and around...and around.

We ended up not getting in to the convocation center--they filled up around 4:15. But our timing was good--just as we found out they weren't letting anyone else inside, we found ourselves at the corner of the soccer field where an impromptu "stump" had been set up--a small, square platform, surrounded by metal crowd-control fencing. Rumor got around that Senator Obama was going to stop there before going inside--a consolation prize for the unlucky thousands who didn't get in, us included. By that time, there was also a line to get inside the metal fencing in front of the platform, so we just positioned ourselves behind the last barrier to wait the last few minutes before Senator Obama's appearance. He made a short speech, came down in the crowd to shake some hands, then went on his way. Well worth the wait--we had better, closer, contact than we would have inside, and we were able to get away before the throngs of people left after the rally.

After escaping Harrisonburg, we decided to swing past the airport to check it out and were able to get in to wait for Senator Obama's arrival, with a small crowd where we saw many familiar local faces. We couldn't get close enough for a look, although the motorcade arrived while we were there and drove right past us. We walked around for a little while waiting for the plane to take off (we could see it, but the pictures are crappy), but Andrew finally said, "I'm cold, and I want to go home." He had been a trooper the whole day, never complaining about being bored just holding onto my coat strings, standing in line, or freezing his little butt off, so we took him at his word and came home to a late, store-bought dinner and some hot chocolate--tired, cold, but happy to have had this experience as a family and with people close to us.

No matter what your politics are, the chance to see the man who might be president in a few months is something you shouldn't pass up. Would I have gone as far for McCain? No way in hell, but that's just me. When deciding whether to go or not, to take Andrew or not, etc...the thought that kept at me was, "This is history in the making. This is a story you'll be able to tell Andrew and that he'll be able to someday tell his own children." So the fact that I've personally been just about disowned over this election is trivial--my father will get over himself eventually, stop sending me text messages that say, "Marxist Socialist!" and getting mad at me when I ask him to stop costing me money to send asinine crap he heard on "the news" he watches. In seven days, the future will be decided, today will be history, and we will have been part of it. It's worth getting a little cold. --T

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Thanks so much for letting me tag along on this incredible day. And what luck! -Sue