I was invited by a co-worker of Noni's who I used to work with. He had five tickets and offered two to Noni and me. In real life I'm not overtly political because I can't be. I need to be politically neutral for some legitimate reasons. But this was being held two hours from home, so I could let my Republican freak flag fly. I told Noni I'd go.
We rode up to Fairfax with three of her co-workers. We got up at 4:00 a.m., hit the road at 5:15 a.m. and got to Fairfax around 7:20 a.m. The campaign had asked that people park at a local mall and take a shuttle bus since there would be no parking at the park where the rally was being held. We were on one of the first buses so we thought we had done everything just right. Ha!
First the bus went the wrong way and we had to circle a block back to the mall and start over. I'm pretty sure our bus driver was an Obama supporter. When we finally got to the park we quickly realized we were actually pretty screwed. The line was already almost a kilometer long (as quoted in the paper). It snaked down the street and wound back into a residential area, going around several turns. We felt pretty defeated at that point. We grabbed a spot in line.
Eventually we made our way in, after passing various t-shirt and pin vendors and protesters. The set-up for the event was done poorly because the press bleachers and other structures were big obstructions to much of the crowd. We claimed a spot a little ways up a hill so we could at least see over the crowd. We were still pretty far away.
It was fun to be in the crowd and feel the excitement. Our day was mostly hurry-up-and-wait but in the end I think it was worth it. For someone as politically conscious as me it was about time I did something like that, and it was fun to do it with Noni. Now I can say I've done it.
On the bus. Nothing like riding a school bus to make you feel small and inadequate again. Although, there was just as much wise-cracking and laughter as I remember back in the day too.
This is shortly after we got in line. We were back in the residential neighborhood, standing on someone's lawn. Hey, the sidewalk was full!
Hey! It's global warming bear! I'm pretty sure he was on our side.
The cops moved the protesters across the street from the queue. I would have been greatly disappointed if they hadn't made an appearance.
Our hillside perch.
The crowd filled out by the time the speeches started.
The reluctant McCain supporter with a placard in hand. If you'll recall from way back in the winter, the political quizzes matched me with him, but I wasn't all that thrilled about the idea. You can read my early dismissal here
. Oh well, Carnac I am not.