Thursday, August 05, 2004

Near Brush with Celebrity

I was feeding Ellie her lunch today when the phone rang. I gingerly picked it up with my cottage cheese covered hands and tentatively answered, expecting the worst. Will it be the hospital with their stubborn insistence that we pay Ellie's medical bills despite their refusal to send us a bill that makes sense, or will it be a telemarketer? Neither! It was a neighbor.

"Are you the house with the flags and John Kerry signs?"
Quietly, bracing myself for a scolding about subdivision policy, "Yes."
Excitedly, "Well, I thought you might want to know that Kerry is coming to Kirkwood this afternoon! He's coming through on a train and he's going to stop and wave from the caboose and if there are enough people there he'll come down and speak! At 2:00!"

Cool! So I cleaned Ellie up, nursed her, grabbed all of our piles of stuff (why does it take so much stuff to get out of the house for just a couple of hours?!) and jammed everything into the car. We made it down to the historic train station at 2:00 and waited with the enthusiastic crowd for an hour and a half. Local Kerry volunteers were passing out stickers, signs, and T-shirts, but much of the crowd had come with their own signs. One Grandma had a sign that read, "Give him hell, Kerry!" An old man and a young boy juggled together. Babies in strollers and dogs enjoyed the beautiful day. Kids ate ice cream and dashed around. Elderly folks gathered in the shade.

When the gates came down and we could hear the train coming, a great cheer rose from the crowd and everyone crowded up to the tracks. The personalized Amtrak train (Help is on the way! American can do better!) chugged on up, and the caboose stopped right in front of Ellie and me! I woke her up for the occasion, pulled her out of her sling, and sat her on my shoulders. She seemed a bit overwhelmed by the noise and the HUGE TRAIN not 5 feet in front of us, but she didn't cry.

Unfortunately, Kerry didn't come out and the train didn't stay. Theresa Heinz Kerry and Chris Heinz came out and waved, and the train slowly chugged on westward. People seemed a little disappointed but not too upset. Word was that he was way behind schedule and caught up giving interviews inside.

For me, the feeling of strength and patriotism and being surrounded by liberals on a warm, sunny, breezy afternoon in my picturesque little community were worth the trip.

Besides, here in the largest city in this battleground state, I'm sure we'll have another opportunity to see Kerry before November.


Geez the Deez said...

Hey Sarahlynn,

It was so good to see you yesterday and meet Ellie. When she is an old lady, she can she she was there! (Eisenhower was president when I was her age, but my parents were staunch Dems and would never have taken me to the train station to see him.) It was a beautiful day. As disappointed as I might have been, it hit me on the way to the car why Kerry/Edwards couldn't come out or wave to the people. Security. This country is so crazy and guns so rampant that the politicians (on either side) cannot be exposed to the crazies without proper security measures. It made me sad. But on a positive note, wasn't Chris Heinz DROP-DEAD GORGEOUS. Single, young, educated, Ketchup RICH gorgeous???


Yael - Ein Shem said...

Way to go BA. Next time take a camera.

Zoe said...

Woot for SA & Ellie! Damn, I miss living in a state where my vote might actually matter...
That must have been so cool for you guys!

Krupskaya said...

What a blast! He'll be back.