Monday, October 06, 2008

On The Road To Change ...

Doreen spent the night on Saturday so we could hit the road bright and early on Sunday morning.

Well, early. Not bright. Dark, actually. Completely dark.

But it was nice to watch the world come to life as we rolled down the highway.

Just as we had decided to stop for breakfast at Denny's over Cracker Barrel (motto: "If it can be killed or baked, we'll top it with sausage gravy"), we saw a billboard for Flap-Jacks. We decided to try it, unless it struck us as particularly scary. Which it did not. So Flap-Jacks it was.

Indiana almost always lands in the red-state column in presidential elections. This year, of course, Indiana is a swing state. Our booth in Flap-Jacks was located in somewhat-central Indiana, and Doreen and I were both sporting our Obama buttons. The menu featured, I kid you not, Freedom toast (not French toast), so, you know, it's that kind of place. But the people were nice anyway. Or so they seemed. Maybe they spit in our food. : o )

Of course, given that we were at a place called Flap-Jacks, we ordered eggs. Omelettes, actually. With "Swiss" cheese. Not real Swiss cheese. But the vague idea of Swiss cheese as reimagined as a plastic-wrapped cheese slice.

But pancakes were an option instead of toast, so I was Flap-Jacked that way. They were entirely ordinary. Which you might think is true of all pancakes, but no: some are better than others. These, however, were not part of that elevated pancake class. These were the C students of pancakes. The syrup, too, could have tried harder.

We made our way to the Obama office in suburban Columbus where Doreen's friend Shawn is the lone staffer (supported by volunteers).

Shawn is a force of nature. Quite the go-getter. Clearly the next generation of the James Carvilles of the world. But without the accent. And with hair. Fabulous hair, actually. He is also insanely young, but I have no question that he will be one of the reasons Obama carries Ohio next month.

Don't they make a cute couple? Note the fist bump:

In addition to the Obama standee, the campaign office is a very glamorous place:

Doreen and I took the obligatory shot with Flat Obama:

(Ignore the bags under my eyes that could hold a week's worth of groceries. For a family of 10.)

After volunteering for a spell and chatting with Shawn, we headed to The Ohio State University (what's with the "The"?) for the Vote for Change rally.

I thought that Barack and Bruce would be appearing together, but no. Barack was in North Carolina yesterday. But Barack draws a crowd and Bruce draws a crowd. So why not draw two crowds?

Those of us who could see behind the stage saw Bruce arrive. A "Bruuuuuuuuuce!" swell grew. Later, I saw Bruce talking with an older man backstage.

Turns out, that "older man" was John Glenn, who ended up introducing Bruce.

(Interestingly, I twice tried sending a photo of John from my phone to my computer and twice, it didn't show up. Poetic, isn't it? That my photos of John Glenn are out there in the atmosphere somewhere?)

There was a pretty good crowd on hand. My crowd-estimating skills are pretty much non-existent, but I'd say there were 10,000 of us there. Or 20,000. Or maybe more. Or maybe less. In any event, a lot of people:

Bruce was there on his own, just him and his guitars and his harmonicas (with a guitar tech to switch them out). He played an 8-song set, including "Youngstown," "The Ghost of Tom Joad," "No Surrender," "The Rising," "Thunder Road," and "This Land Is Your Land." (The other two tunes escape me and my tired brain at the moment.) But they were haunting arrangements. I marvel at Bruce's ability to reinvent his own music.

My shot of him is the smallest of the batch because of the use of my phone's zoom. We weren't super far from the stage, but the zoom on a camera phone isn't meant to minimize much distance:

After the event, Doreen and I grabbed a bite to eat (evidently, she was born with a Culver's tracking device in her brain) and I managed to drive us home without running off the road.

We rolled on about 700 miles up and back to Columbus. Kinda too much to do in one day, turns out. But such are the lengths I will go to for Barack and my beloved Boss.

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Blogger Mercurie said...

I keep hoping Obama will visit Missouri again soon, especially Columbia. I could actually see him then!

9:19 PM  
Blogger Chris said...

Very cool, I would love to be able to do some volunteering, and hope to do so (Wanted to go to the Indianapolis rally, but sadly, no).

Also, bags under your eyes? I don't see them. You look awesome. Marry me? ;)

9:25 PM  
Blogger Beth said...

Yep, it would be awesome to see Obama in person, mercurie. Someday soon, let's hope!

I would love to see him in Indy, too, Chris, but a mid-day, mid-week appearance is tough unless you live very near Indy. Thanks for the proposal, but I have a firm personal rule that I cannot accept any marriage proposals from people I have yet to met. I think it's just good sense. : o )

9:29 PM  
Blogger Chris said...

Blast! I knew there was a weak spot in my brilliant plan! ;)

I actually received an email today inviting me out to the rally ( as I'm sure at least four other people got *grin*), and was ready to try and make it, but yeah... the midday part of it sealed the deal for me, sadly.

10:44 PM  

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