Monday, August 11, 2008

I've Returned the Wiser

After nine days of being offline, this morning I plugged in again. I have to say, it was liberating to be concerned with bugs ... real ones, not the software kind.

My eyes have gorged themselves on unbelievable scenery and I've only begun to download the eight gazillion photos that I took but hey, all in good time. (The shot above is in Georgetown, off Hwy 70. We turned a corner and Gins wisecracked, "Hmmmm. I wonder when that was built?")

I'll say one thing for sure, Colorado is even more beautiful than I'd imagined. I wish I had a tank of gas for every time I uttered, "Whoa" or "Wow!" when trying to take it all in. The folks of this state have a great history to be proud of - early Coloradans were tough as nails and still are; they have a great mesh of Midwestern friendliness mixed with this mountain man survivor mentality that is quite admirable.

Gins and I were so lucky to have had this adventure and she is about the best traveling buddy that one can hope for. However, we are clearly The Odd Couple with me in the Oscar Madison role. At one point she looked at me, disgusted, "Is that refried bean in your hair?" Hey, at least I'm a good driver, right?

I'll have to parcel out this trip in digestible post chunks, which will come eventually. I'll try to lead an uneventful life until then.

***

Whoops. No luck.

Tonight, for the first time in my life, I went door-to-door for a campaign. It was on behalf of Obama but the goal was to register folks for a mail-in ballot since we all know how reliable hanging chads can be. Just the word 'Florida' still gives me nightmares.

I paired up with a tall dude named Darryl and, armed with forms at the ready, we rang doorbells. We both learned a lot. There are still Hillary supporters in denial, folks who don't want to talk about who they are voting for and one old woman who hadn't voted in 15 years. "I'll just leave it up to you people," meaning us young folk.

We met a lot of people who would rather physically walk into a voting booth on November 4 and I don't blame them. I prefer it myself - the sense of community and the spectacle of Something Important going on. Still, I convinced a couple of folks to change their minds so I guess that was worth it. Darryl and I will hit the streets again tomorrow.

One woman, who had an Obama sign in her window, thanked us and requested that we "keep him safe for us." I promised her we would though I have no idea how to go about that. I can tell you that after visiting the Obama HQ here in Denver, there's A LOT of people who have given up any semblance of a normal life to make sure he gets to the White House - what a scene! Lots of exhausted people and pizza boxes. It looked like a tech start-up but more over-40 types and less foosball.

Darryl and I eventually decided that instead of knocking on doors, we should go where the people congregate so we headed to the Denver institution, Bonnie Brae Ice Cream Store, where there is always a long line out in the street. We pulled up and recognized two other Obama volunteers we'd met earlier. We chided them for 'stealing' our idea and the guy says, "No, actually, we're done with our campaign shift. My parents own this place. Do you guys want some free ice cream?"

So far, campaign work is very revealing and incredibly yummy.

2 comments:

Kath said...

GOOD FOR YOU!!

Sorry for shouting, but I'm so glad you 'get it'!

I've door-knocked, phone-banked, blogged and campaigned for Howard Dean, Betty Castor (in FL), Jim Stork (in FL), John Kerry, Ed Perlmutter, Bill Winter and Ref i. It changed my life in ways I can never adequately describe, I met some wonderful people and had heated debates. I wouldn't change a second of it for the world.

I think the more people get involved, the better our country will be.

I am so proud of you, Heather!

ClizBiz said...

Thanks, Kath! I'm impressed with your history of involvement. This is my first time on a political campaign and already, I'm wondering why I haven't done this earlier.